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JHU SON Center for Community Innovation and Scholarship

901 N. Broadway Street
Baltimore MD 21205
PHONE: (410) 522-9800

CONTACT:  Patty Wilson, Assistant Director

Function of Organization/Mission:

The Center for Community Innovation and Scholarship reduces health disparities and serves vulnerable populations by providing opportunities for student learning, faculty practice, research and scholarships.


The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Wald Community Nursing Center was founded in 1994 as the first of three faculty directed service-learning program sites in East Baltimore. The Center for Community Innovation and Scholarship as it is known today is one of a few health programs in Baltimore City providing nearly barrier-free health services to poor, uninsured or under insured residents at no charge to them. The JHSON is also active in two other East Baltimore community faculty directed service-learning sites at the House of Ruth Maryland (HRM) Shelter for Battered Women and Isaiah Wellness Center. Graduate and undergraduate nursing students are mentored by JHSON faculty in all aspects of operating these sites through clinical placements for credited course practice, research, independent practice and volunteerism. Below is a brief description with primary and secondary goals for each of the three current program sites:

House of Ruth Maryland

In 1997, JHUSON faculty and students were approached by the House of Ruth Maryland Domestic Violence Shelter to provide nursing care and health promotion services to their residents as an outreach site from Wald Community Nursing Center. Battered women and their children come to the House of Ruth because of a history of physical and emotional abuse leading to a personal crisis with abrupt departure from their usual home and resources, including health care. As with families seeking care at Wald Community Nursing Center, families who seek shelter at the House of Ruth have complex health and social needs.

The JHSON nurses provide monthly family planning classes to educated women of various birth control options and harm reduction strategies related to reproductive coercion.  Reproductive coercion may include intentionally exposing a partner to STIs, attempting to impregnate a partner against her will (such as throwing away a partner’s birth control) and threats or acts of violence if the partner does not comply with the perpetrator’s wishes regarding the decision whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy as well as threats or acts of violence if the partner refuses to have sex.

Isaiah Wellness Center

Apostolic Towers

The primary goal of the Isaiah Wellness Center is to provide residents of senior apartment buildings in East Baltimore with health promotion and enrichment activities aimed at enhancing their ability to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Health education programs are designed to promote the client’s ability to manage his/her illnesses. Self-efficacy is enhanced through programs like diabetes support, “exercise for independence” and medication review. Healthy aging is promoted by offering older adults opportunities to volunteer in the community and learn new skills such as painting, writing, and computer use.

The secondary goal of the IWC is to give students a “new view of old age”.  JHUSON students develop skills in health promotion activities tailored to meet the needs of low-income older adults and learn to identify the root causes of health disparities among low-income minorities. Health promotion programs are developed in partnership with the Senior Health Advisory, a group of residents and community members dedicated to planning community pleasing programs. Students working in an interdisciplinary team have many opportunities to see older adults as vital, multidimensional people who are life-long learners.

The new Isaiah Wellness Outreach Program will expand our health promotional activities and clinical services to additional senior residential buildings and formally homeless women and children. Electronic mobile devices will be utilized to enhance the delivery of health education and clinical services while promotion continuity of care through use of electronic medical records.

Wald Community Nursing Center

The Wald Community Center re-located to a centrally located, newer and refurbished site, 901 Broadway in the summer of 2012. The primary goal of the Wald Community Nursing Center remains the same, to promote the health and wellbeing of uninsured or underserved families and individuals by providing interim (“gap”) nursing services at no cost to clients that expedite their participation in educational and occupational opportunities in the community and facilitate their connection with established primary health care resources. Health promotion and preventive services provided by faculty, staff, and students include comprehensive health assessment and physical examinations; health education and counseling; screenings; immunizations; referrals and case management; and maintenance of a local service site for the Women, Infants, Children (WIC) food supplementation program.      

For more information about each of the three sites you may contact:

EBCNC Director, Patty R. Wilson, PhD, RN: 443-287-5719 or EBCNC Outreach Coordinator, Linda Whitner: 410-614-4317

Volunteer and Involvement Opportunities: