MissionAbe outside maxwell

To improve population and community health through research, outreach, and education focused on the social, spatial, and structural determinants of physical, mental, and behavioral health and health disparities.

Vision Statement

To be a nationally recognized institution for rigorous population health research, community engagement, and student training.


The Lerner Center is guided by the principles of scientific rigor, equity, justice, community engagement, and multidisciplinary and multi-institution collaboration. Today’s population health challenges are complex. Solving these challenges and building environments that value and promote health for everyone requires expertise from a range of scientific disciplines and public and private partners. The Center works in partnership with students, researchers, community organizations, and the public to conduct timely research, identify needs, develop programming, deploy collaborative initiatives, and advocate for evidence-based policy and practice change.


Community Engagement:

The Lerner Center was designed to prominently feature the Healthy Monday campaigns. We have paralleled the campaigns with community health initiatives, earning local, state, and national attention and a reputation as an objective convener and facilitator on community health issues and initiatives. The Center maintains its commitment to the Healthy Monday Campaigns, durable community partnerships and respectful engagement, while also strategically conducting high-impact research on local, regional, and national population health challenges.

The Student Experience:

With an eye toward making contributions to their communities, students within Maxwell and the university-at-large seek careers with meaning and purpose. The Lerner Center aims to provide both graduate and undergraduate students a distinctive experience that combines traditional and applied training in population health and community health research and engagement to address pressing local, regional, and national health problems and reduce health inequities.

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Multidisciplinary Discovery:

Improving population health requires skills and expertise from a range of academic disciplines and community partners. Lerner Center Research Affiliates come from multiple disciplines, have expertise in numerous methodological approaches, and conduct high-impact research on the social, spatial, and structural determinants of various physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes and disparities. The Center also has strong partnerships with local health care institutions and community organizations that support and promote individual and community health and aim to improve health equity.

Statement on Systemic Racism and Racialized Violence

As a center that aims to improve population health and promote health equity, the Lerner Center is deeply saddened and horrified at the continued preventable loss of black lives. The police murder of George Floyd is the latest manifestation of a long history of systemic racism and violence against black people in the U.S. Racism is an ongoing threat to population health, and it is not possible to achieve health equity without addressing racial injustices and their structural roots. Racism kills both directly and indirectly and is embedded in every U.S. institution. As both scholars and concerned citizens, it is our responsibility to speak out against racism and injustice in all forms. Recognizing that words are not enough, the Lerner Center is also committed to conducting, supporting, and disseminating the findings from research on the causes and consequences of racial health inequities and advocating for solutions to eliminate these inequities. We stand in solidarity with those opposing racism and racialized violence, and we will continue to work toward promoting a healthier and more just society.