Center for Population Health and Health Disparities

The Center for Population Health and Health Disparities began as a project of the NIH Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities, and concluded in 2010. The project site was archived in January 2011 and has not been updated since then.

Family on porch

Where you live affects your health. Neighborhoods can affect health outcomes, including infant mortality, life expectancy, and the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and asthma. We know that neighborhoods "get under the skin," but we don't know exactly how.

To advance understanding of the links between environment, behavior, and health, the National Institutes of Health has established eight Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities. The RAND Center is part of this network. All eight centers share an overall goal: to support cutting-edge research to understand and reduce differences in health outcomes, access and care.

The RAND Center for Population Health and Health Disparities is a part of RAND Health.

The Center has five basic objectives:

  • Study the effects of neighborhoods on health throughout the life cycle and the pathways by which these effects are felt.
  • Develop a rich data resource that can be used to enhance understanding of how neighborhoods influence health.
  • Develop robust community-based participatory research partnerships within each of the three cities in which RAND is located (Santa Monica, California; the Washington, D.C. area; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
  • Foster a community of interdisciplinary researchers — particularly biological and social scientists — focused on the social determinants of health, specifically the role of neighborhoods.
  • Inform public policies aimed at improving population health.