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Training is conducted at the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions in order to maintain the prominent profile of minority health and health disparities within the academic programs of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, to enhance the capacity of the faculty, students and fellows to incorporate health disparities within their ongoing research, and to expose faculty, fellows, students and others not affiliated with Johns Hopkins to current topics in health disparities and health disparities research.

IDC Pilot Program

The overall goal of Investigator Development Core (IDC) is to create a more diverse biomedical workforce by building the capacity of a cadre of new investigators who are committed to investigating how place-based determinants impact minority health and health disparities. This goal will be largely achieved via a competitive application process to identify postdoctoral trainees, junior faculty, and other early stage investigators that will be called Health Disparities Scholars. These Scholars will be equipped with the skills to develop and implement cutting edge pilot studies, with support of the Research Methods Support Team in the Administrative Core, and translate and disseminate the findings to research, policy, and practice audiences with support from the Community Engagement and Dissemination Core.


We have a range of different training opportunities. Select an option below to learn more.

HCHDS Summer Internship Program

The Summer Internship program at the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions (HCHDS) accepts students from the Diversity Summer Internship Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and students from the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

The Diversity Summer Internship Program is a summer program for minority high school and undergraduate students to participate in research and academic activities within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Students receive mentoring from public health faculty and senior level staff. Applications come from undergraduate students from universities throughout the country (commonly minority serving institutions). The application includes a written statement of goals and interests, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Student research interests are matched with faculty mentors at the center, who then assign them projects and provide supervision as well as mentoring. At the end of the nine weeks, each student produces a poster and oral presentation that summarizes his/her summer experience.

For more information on the Diversity Summer Internship Program.

The HCHDS collaborates with the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which offers four funded summer internship programs.  

If you are interested in working directly with the HCHDS faculty members please contact: Roland Thorpe at

A Journal Club in Understanding Health Disparities

Established in Fall 2003, Critical Issues in Health Disparities is a journal club that focuses on health disparities, inequalities and inequities. The aim of the club is to facilitate increased understanding of the issues and controversies relative to these topics by creating opportunities for students, staff and faculty members.

  • hear from experts in the field
  • engage in discourse with each other
  • keep up with the current literature
  • develop a community of researchers and scholars

The journal club has a strong focus on racial/ethnic health disparities in the United States. Topics for discussion include:

  • Conceptualization, definition and measurement of race/ethnicity in public health
  • How race/ethnicity is used in public health research and application
  • Intersection of race/ethnicity and other social determinants (e.g., gender, socioeconomic position, discrimination)
  • Interventions/solutions (design, implementation and evaluation)
  • Acculturation and immigrant health
  • Cultural competency
  • Social justice
  • Distinction between racial/ethnic disparities in health vs. in health care
  • Historical perspective of racial/ethnic disparities
  • Patient/provider interactions

The journal club meets on the second Tuesday montly in Hampton House (HH), 624 N. Broadway from 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014 (B14B)
  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 (HH901)
  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014 (HH250)
  • Tuesday, December 9, 2014 (HH250)
  • Tuesday, February 10, 2015 (HH208)
  • Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (Location TBD)
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015 (Location TBD)
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (Location TBD)

Notification of any changes in the meeting location and/or dates will be sent via email. Please feel free to forward suggested articles, topic ideas and presenters/facilitators to Dr. Roland Thorpe,

Certificate Program in Health Disparities and Health Inequality

In addition to offering doctoral and masters' degrees, the Bloomberg School of Public Health also offers certificates of concentration in subspecialties in public health. Thus, a student can obtain a doctoral or master's degree from any one of the ten departments that comprise the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and also earn an optional certificate in a specialized topic area. The school currently offers certificates in 21 topic areas, including the “Certificate Program in Health Disparities and Health Inequality,” established by Drs. LaVeist and Gaskin in 2003. The program is open to students enrolled in any graduate degree program at Johns Hopkins University. The purpose of this program is to train future leaders in research on health disparities and health inequality, to train individuals for leadership in health policy and public health practice on the underlying causes of health inequality and to prepare public health professionals in known solutions for health disparities and health inequality. We are proud to say we have awarded over 170 certificates.

Past Scholars Affiliated with HCHDS:

  • Roberta Downing, PhD - Kellogg CHSP Scholar: Dr. Downing completed her doctoral training in social psychology with a parenthetical notation in women’s studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on economic justice and health. Specifically, her work investigates racist and classist discrimination in health care; issues surrounding women’s reproduction including attitudes towards single motherhood and low-income women’s childbearing; healthcare policy, and attitudes toward universal health care. She has also published on topics such as affirmative action, mentoring, and adolescent health.
  • Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., PhD - National Institute on Aging Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr. Thorpe is a graduate of Florida A&M University and received his doctorate from Purdue University. His research focuses on identifying potentially malleable social and environmental factors important to understanding racial disparities in function and health status.
  • Shani Harris Peterson, PhD - Kellogg CHSP Scholar: Dr. Peterson is a graduate of Spelman University and received her doctorate from Duke University. Her research interests focus around adolescent female sexual risk factors and health communication and the media. She has an avid interests in filmmaking and its role in health communication.
  • Duane Thomas, PhD - Kellogg CHSP Scholar: Dr. Thomas is a graduate of Virginia State University and received his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University. Although trained as a general scientist-practitioner, he has been developing specialization in four areas: violence prevention, community-based participatory research, school consultation and the identification of risk and protective factors for urban African American children and youth.
  • Sharon Smith, PhD - UHI Fellow: Dr. Smith holds degrees from North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University and a doctorate in Epidemiology from University of South Carolina. Her research interests include diabetes, obesity and hypertension.