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Overview

The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative was created to leverage the power of data, research, education, and partnerships in order to make cities healthier, more equitable, and environmentally sustainable.

The mission of the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative is to improve health in cities by increasing scientific knowledge and public awareness of urban health challenges and opportunities, and by identifying and promoting actions and policies that improve population health and reduce health inequities.

The UHC conducts research, disseminates evidence and builds capacity by partnering and exchanging information with:

  • Community residents, leaders, and organizations to help advocate for health promoting change in cities and neighborhoods, and
  • Policymakers, government stakeholders and other decision makers to help inform urban policies so that they promote health and reduce health inequities.
  • Other academic institutions to promote meaningful and policy relevant interdisciplinary research

Much of health is influenced by the places where people live: their environment, their neighbors, and local social norms. It’s at this level where we see great potential for informed action to impact health. Drexel's Urban Health Collaborative was founded to bring research evidence to stakeholders including those in a position to enact or advocate for community change and population health improvement within cities. We focus on generating data and information on health inequalities and the drivers of health for neighborhoods within cities.

UHC areas of focus:

  • conduct research on the causes of urban health problems
  • evaluate health and environment impact of urban policies
  • disseminate knowledge and translate evidence into policies
  • train urban health leaders
  • partner with communities, policy makers, and other stakeholders to improve urban health, reduce health inequalities, and promote environmental sustainability

The UHC is committed to

Place-based approaches to improving health: We know that places shape health in ways large and small and provide opportunities for intervention. UHC researchers investigate the impact of neighborhood social and physical environments on health by linking survey, cohort or electronic health records data to a wealth of spatially-referenced environmental and policy data.

Data for action: We believe in the power of data to motivate and support action. The UHC team compiles data for Philadelphia, for cities across the nation, and across the globe. UHC uses this data together and with stat-of-the art methods to describe urban health and identify opportunities for action.

Evidence for policy: We understand that evidence-based policy is fundamental to achieving our goals. We partner to evaluate urban policies, to understand how evidence is used in policy, and to generate evidence that is useful for policy.

Health equity and health disparities: Cities are home to large social and health inequalities. In all of our work we are committed to promoting health equity. At the UHC we document and identify the causes of health inequalities and work with others to identify policies and interventions that promote equity.

Community and policy maker engagement: Meaningful knowledge-generation and effective action cannot happen without partnerships. At the UHC we engage with communities, governments, nonprofits, and other stakeholders locally and globally to conduct research and translate evidence into effective action.