Health Partnership Program
Fact Sheet

Updated June 2011 (historical)

NIAMS Health Partnership Program
Reducing Health Disparities in Rheumatic Diseases

What is the NIAMS HPP?

The Health Partnership Program (HPP) is a collaboration between the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and Washington, D.C. area community organizations and representatives. Established in February 2000, the Health Partnership Program helps address health disparities in arthritis and other rheumatic diseases and promotes a community-based medical research program.

What are the HPP's focus areas?

  • Public Health Education. Increase awareness and knowledge about treatment and prevention of rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and lupus.
  • Patient Care. Improve access to high-quality specialized medical care in rheumatology for patients from minority communities.
  • Health Disparities Research. Improve scientific information about the uneven burden of rheumatic diseases among affected racial and ethnic groups.
  • Recruitment to Research Careers. Increase the number of researchers, physicians, and allied health professionals from minority communities.
  • Community Relations. Strengthen trust and involvement of people from minority communities in the medical research process by engaging them as stakeholders, promoting their participation in clinical studies at the Community Health Center, and informing them about clinical advances that may benefit their health and well-being.

What is the NIAMS Community Health Center?

The NIAMS Community Health Center (CHC), located in Silver Spring, Maryland, is the platform for the HPP's research, education, and training activities. The CHC offers assistance in evaluating and treating conditions such as arthritis, lupus, and other rheumatic diseases. All patients at the CHC are enrolled in the Natural History Study of Rheumatic Diseases in Minorities, which is designed to gather information on how minority populations are disproportionately affected by rheumatic diseases.

Who are the HPP partners and what do they do?

HPP partners are individuals and community organizations that are committed to improving the health and wellness of Washington D.C. area residents. These include local government agencies, schools and universities, faith-based organizations, civic and community groups, voluntary and professional organizations, and private businesses.

Community partners offer input on the HPP's direction and help promote NIAMS' research, training, and education resources. Some examples of partner activities are:

  • Sharing NIAMS' health materials with community members;
  • Involving NIAMS in community health fairs and events;
  • Promoting the work of the Community Health Center by referring patients in need; and
  • Reviewing patient education information in the planning and development stages.

What are the benefits of being an HPP partner?

  • Free Health Education Materials. NIAMS offers bulk quantities of health education materials for your outreach and communication efforts.
  • Networking Opportunities. NIAMS promotes networking opportunities and collaboration with like-minded organizations that have an interest in improving the community's health and well-being.
  • Expertise. NIAMS provides science-based information on diseases and conditions of bone, joints, muscles, and skin through its publications and toll-free information lines.

To learn more about the HPP, visit the NIAMS website at http://www.niams.nih.gov or call NIAMS at 301–496–8190. For information about diseases and conditions of bones, call 1–800–624–2663. For information about diseases and conditions of joints, muscles, and skin, call 1–877–226–4267.

NIAMS Mission

The mission of NIAMS, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is:

  • to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of diseases and conditions of bones, joints, muscles, and skin;
  • to train basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and
  • to disseminate information on the progress of research in these diseases.