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The center was first funded in 2003 as the Columbia Center for the Health of Urban Minorities (CHUM) under the leadership of Olveen Carrasquillo, MD. CHUM was funded by NCMHD in response to RFA MD-03-003 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/rfa-md-03-003.html) as one of the Comprehensive Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Disparities in Health and Training program (Project EXPORT).


The emphasis of project EXPORT was on community outreach and training. CHUM was organized accordingly (http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/chum/index.htm) and included the following cores:

  • Community Action
  • Training
  • Minority Health and Health Disparity Education
  • Research Cores (primary barriers, cardiovascular, mental health, diabetes, injury prevention)

During the first iteration of the center under the leadership of Dr. Carrasquillo the Center was seen at Columbia University as a model for how an interdisciplinary team operates, in a manner that has led to an enormous bank of accomplishments in the Columbia University / Northern Manhattan community. Thus, the several investigators affiliated with the Center have, between them, published 268 manuscripts on data that came out of the Center, and also had notable accomplishments in research training, cultural competency education and community outreach. With NCMHD funding, CHUM established itself as a valued, trusted resource for minority health and health disparities research within the University and in the local community.


In 2006, NCMHD issued an RFA (RFA MD-06-002) for the renewal of the center and changed the primary emphasis to research. Dr. Carrasquillo organized the center renewal with an administrative core, a research core, and 3 scientific projects that included one cohort study and 2 community-based clinical trials. He also recruited into the center 2 project leaders with experience in research in diverse communities and health disparities, José Alejandro Luchsinger, MD, MPH who also became the center co-Director and grant Co-PI, and Olugbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH. CHUM was renewed on February 1, 2008 and is funded until January 31, 2013. Dr. Carrasquillo moved to the University of Miami in May of 2009 to become the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Luchsinger, center co-director, became the director and PI upon Dr. Carrasquillo’s departure. The center cores and projects have continued their work uninterrupted thanks to the strong center foundation and structure left by Dr. Carrasquillo.

The center has had continued success. Dr. Luchsinger was awarded a competitive supplement in 2010 to establish the Northern Manhattan Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness Research to Eliminate Disparities (NOCERED) in response to RFA MD10-500. NOCERED's mission is to support comparative effectiveness research (CER), infrastructure development, human capital building, and dissemination, with particular emphasis in priority areas in minority health and health disparities. The first research project of NOCERED is a randomized trial comparing the New York University Caregiver Intervention with case management by community health workers with case management alone.

In 2010 renaming of the center was considered in consultation with members of the community of Northern Manhattan and Columbia University. The center was renamed putting emphasis on our community and the mission of the center, and is now named the Northern Manhattan Center of Excellence on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NOCEMHD) at Columbia University.

NOCHOP, COACH and address
link to NOCHOP link to COACH email link rc2415@cumc.columbia.edu