This article is part of A Broad Mandate to Advance Health Equity in Patient Care.
High blood pressure is 40 percent more common in Black adults than White adults, and the condition—if uncontrolled—can lead to heart disease. In an effort to combat this racial disparity, the American Heart Association funded a $20 million Health Equity Research Network, RESTORE, that was awarded to NYU Langone as the coordinating center. Olugbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, founder and inaugural director of the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity, leads the RESTORE Network, a collaboration among eight medical centers.
The projects focus on reducing and preventing hypertension in Black communities through community partnerships, developing new intervention strategies and policy recommendations, and training early-career investigators in health equity and hypertension research. One project, led by Joseph E. Ravenell, MD, associate professor of population health and medicine, leverages community health workers to screen Black men for hypertension in barbershops, provide lifestyle counseling, and facilitate their access to care.
“There is no biological basis for the glaring racial disparities we see in hypertension and cardiovascular disease outcomes,” says Dr. Ogedegbe. “Our goal is to mitigate the impact of social determinants on hypertension among Black adults.”