Institute for the
Elimination of Health Disparities



There is national consensus that the existing health disparities between racial and ethnic groups must be eliminated. After sponsoring conferences and meetings that resulted in recommendations regarding these concerns, UMDNJ's President Stuart Cook announced the University's intention to establish an Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. At Dr Cook's request, Dr. Audrey Gotsch, Dean, School of Public Health (SPH) undertook the Institute's development. Dr. Leah Z. Ziskin, Associate Dean for Community Health and for Stratford/Camden Campus, SPH, and George Hampton, Vice President for Urban and Community Development, UMDNJ, were appointed as Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee who formulated the Strategic Plan.

On May 15, 2001, the UMDNJ Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept, ratify and approve the creation of the Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. The Institute was established to engage in and foster research that will lead to an understanding of the socioeconomic and medical causes for health disparities and, where possible, the identification of appropriate means to eliminate the difference. A Steering Committee comprised of UMDNJ faculty & staff, federal, state, and local government, and representatives of community groups was appointed by the President of UMDNJ to develop the strategic plan, including the mission, vision and values and goals. These are listed below:


The Rutgers Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities (IEHD) is a University wide, integrated center of leadership and excellence, dedicated to the elimination of health disparities in New Jersey and the nation. The IEHD develops and supports collaborative networks and initiatives to promote research, evidenced-based interventions, education, and advocacy for the benefit of eliminating health disparities across all populations in New Jersey, but especially those who are most at risk for disproportionate morbidity and mortality.


The Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities will serve as a statewide and national resource for effecting the elimination of health disparities across all affected populations. The Institute will be a statewide leader in promulgating the advancement of translational research, public health policies, and workforce diversity, in the medical and health sciences.


IEHD adheres to the values of:

  • People and Diversity
  • Ethical Behavior
  • Excellence
  • Knowledge
  • Service
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation and Flexibility, and

IEHD's core value which is

  • Every individual, family, and community has a right to health and well being regardless of race, ethnicity and social-economic status.

Please direct all inquiries to:
Kitaw Demissie, MD, PhD, MPH
Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities
Rutgers School of Public Health
65 Bergen Street, Room 743
Newark, NJ 07107-3001
Voice (732) 235-5267
Fax (732) 235-5418