As many of you know, the Urban Health Institute is transitioning into a chapter with a new mission and vision for the future. Part of this transition has included changes in leadership among our director and associate directors. Associate directors play a vital role in the work that we do every day. We are excited about welcoming a new leadership team to carry out our mission of advancing health and health equity in Baltimore. At the same time, we truly appreciate the work our associate directors, Dr. Terri Powell and Dr. Richard Lofton, have done to carry out our previous mission of strengthening and supporting university-community collaborations to improve the health and well-being of Baltimore city residents. We will truly miss their involvement in the daily work of UHI, but we look forward to opportunities for future collaboration with them as we move into this new chapter. You can learn a little bit more about Terri and Richard below.
Terri Powell has been a part of the Urban Health Institute team since 2014. During her time with the Urban Health Institute, Terri coordinated our Baltimore Researcher Dinners, quarterly dinners focused a variety of research topics and focused on how to use those research findings to enhance the health and well-being of Baltimore communities. Terri led 12 researcher dinners, bringing together in total 253 faculty, students, and researchers from colleges and universities across Baltimore.
Her primary responsibility was leading the Baltimore Researcher Dinners; however, Terri also contributed ideas, expertise, connections, and time to many of our other initiatives, programs, and events, including our annual Social Determinants of Health Symposium, our small grants program, and our re-visioning efforts. When she is not working with the UHI, Terri is an associate professor in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health. She brought her expertise in adolescent sexual health research and qualitative methodology and community-engaged approaches to inform our work. Terri not only has been an asset to UHI, but to the entire Johns Hopkins and Baltimore community. She has been recognized for her contributions through numerous awards including, the 2016- 2017 Faculty Appreciation Award and from 2015-2019 was recognized for Teaching Excellence at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Currently, Terri is leading the Better Together Project, a research study to better understand the experiences of young people in Baltimore who have been affected by drug abuse.
Richard Lofton joined the Urban Health Institute in 2018 and took the lead on our Small Grants Program. During Richard’s time with the UHI we received 77 Small Grant applicants and awarded 32 grants. Richard also represented the UHI well in his community-engaged activities, such as the recent symposium he planned in conjunction with Mayor’s Office of Civil Rights, “Terror in the Schoolyard: Race, Place and Systemic Inequalities”.
Richard is an assistant professor at the Center for Social Organization of Schools in the School of Education. He is the co-principal investigator for the national evaluation of the Student Success Mentor Initiative, which aims to reduce chronic absenteeism, develop caring relationships within schools, and increase successful outcomes for students. His research examines the impact of concentrated poverty on homes, schools, and communities, as well as the importance of uncovering systematic inequalities and developing meaningful relationships with students and their parents for academic success.
We have been honored to have Terri and Richard as a part of our UHI family over the years. We have a deep appreciation for all of the contributions they made and we hope to continue to engage them in our work. Please join us in thanking them and wishing them much success in the next chapters of their careers! To see some highlights of Terri and Richard in action here at UHI visit our Facebook page