About the Department
The Department of Urban Health and Population Science envisions a world in which all people have equitable capacity for health – and we partner with communities to help achieve this end.
We conduct community-engaged, interdisciplinary research utilizing our outcomes to create innovative programs that foster a greater capacity for health and overall wellness. Our hope is to eliminate systemic social and structural barriers for everyone.
Our work is portable. Our programs are scalable and replicable – and we encourage their adoption by other groups.
The Department unites more than 130 faculty and professional staff who represent medicine, law, social work, education, anthropology, population science, behavioral health, urban planning, public health, and other fields that bring multi-level focus to our rigorous research. We are highly skilled in the science of studying equity – and in deploying evidence to drive change.
The communities with whom we partner work on and with our teams. We engage people who are credible messengers in their communities, touchpoints for trust-building and messaging. We attribute much of our success to their insight and influence.
Three highly respected Temple research centers are united under our Departmental umbrella: The Center for Asian Health, the Center for Urban Bioethics, and The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.
Center for Asian Health
The Center for Asian Health, established in 2000, is one of the first in the nation dedicated to improving health equity among underserved Asian Pacific Americans and other health-disparity populations. Grace X. Ma, PhD, Associate Dean for Health Disparities and Laura H. Carnell Professor, is the Founding Director of the Center. She is also a primary member of the Fox Chase Cancer Center faculty. The Center for Asian Health pursues its mission through multidisciplinary research; education, training, and mentorship; and community outreach and engagement. The Center also deploys dissemination and implementation science -- and patient navigation and clinical supports to enhance the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of care. Through community-based participatory research and patient-centered outcomes research, the Center integrates social, behavioral, environmental, clinical, genetic, and biological approaches into its work to address structural and social determinants of health and health disparities in cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions.
Center for Urban Bioethics
The Center for Urban Bioethics, established in 2010 by Kathleen Reeves, MD, has become a leader and pioneer in the field, creating the first – and still housing the only – Master of Arts degree program in Urban Bioethics in the country, establishing a unique foothold within the world of bioethics. The Center’s attention to social justice is not only academic. Trauma-informed community engagement is paramount to the Center’s work. The Center engages community residents in the design, implementation, and evaluation of its programs – with key staff from the North Philadelphia community who enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the work. The Center is proud to host Philadelphia’s Cure Violence Program, Farm to Families Fresh Rx Program, Begin the Turn Opioid Use Intervention Mobile Unit, the Philadelphia Healthy and Safe Schools Program, Maternal Health Equity, and Transformative Emotional Academic Community Healing, among many others.
The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice
The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice is an action research center redefining what it means to be a student-ready college with a national movement centering #RealCollege students’ basic needs. Dr. Anne E. Lundquist serves as Director and Assistant Professor at The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice in the Department of Urban Health and Population Science at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. The Hope Center was originally created in 2013 as the Wisconsin HOPE Lab before evolving to its new home in Philadelphia in 2018. The Hope Center operates on the core belief that students are humans first and that their basic needs are central conditions for learning. The team leads the largest national assessments of food and housing insecurity in higher education -- and pioneers improvements in institutional practice as well as federal and state policy to advance equitable college attainment.
While each Center maintains its independent mission and portfolio within the Department, all three also work together. Principles of solidarity and social justice unify our aims.
Collectively, we have received millions in public and private contributions – from funders such as NIH, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Health and Human Resources Services Administration, and private foundations – enabling us to build evidence-based, practical solutions that reduce health disparities, improve quality of life, train the healthcare workforces of tomorrow around equity, and improve health outcomes.