Addressing the health care needs of the poor and underserved is increasingly recognized as important to assuring the overall health of the US population. The cornerstone of care for this population is the community-based primary care clinician.

Conducting research that addresses practical day-to-day concerns is essential to solving the problem of health disparities. DC PrimCare provides the best "real world" laboratory by giving providers a chance to answer questions that affect their patients, community and practice.

* All research activities undertaken by the Network will respect the rights of the individual practice and the patients they serve. Each study or research project must be approved by the Howard University Institutional Review Board before implementation. For each project, the goals, risks and potential benefits will be discussed with the physician and patient. Moreover, the DC PrimCare Network will always consider patients' needs and health first and foremost.



  • Cognitive Function and Health Literacy

This project is designed to determine the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and low health literacy in primary care practices. The Clock Drawing Test (CLOX), a two-part instrument is used to assess cognitive ability and discriminates impairment between two domains: executive control and visual-spatial praxis as they relate to clock drawing. The outcomes of this study will be an understanding of the contribution that cognitive impairment and other correlates have on medication adherence. This study will also determine how well clinicians can assess the cognitive function in their older patients.


  • National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS)

    The NAMCS Survey is a national survey designed to meet the need for objective, reliable information about the provision and use of ambulatory medical care services in the United States. Findings are based upon a randomized sample of patients visiting non-federally employed office-based physicians who are primarily engaged in primary care. Data will be extracted from patient charts to provide an analytical base that expands information on ambulatory care. Data are obtained on patient’s symptoms, physicians’ diagnoses and medications ordered or provided. The survey will also provide statistics of the demographic characteristics of patients and on the services provided to them.

    DC PrimCare PBRN intends to use these findings to characterize and to compare the practices in our Network to other practices nationally. This will aid the initiation of new research activities that can be beneficial to both the Network’s providers and their patients.


  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use and Communication Practices in Primary Care

This study explores the use of CAM and other health management practices of adult patients. A brief questionnaire will probe what types of activities, therapies, and behaviors patients think positively contribute to the improvement of their health. Patient-provider communications regarding CAM and how health information is obtained will also be examined.


  • Consumer Genetics Education Network Project

This is a grant project sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration and March of Dimes. This is a community-focused and driven project focused on increasing awareness of genetic information in underserved and underrepresented groups of people, and increasing access to appropriate genetic education programs. If you would like to learn more about this project please refer to the website or contact Mrs. Finie Richardson at 202.806.9849.

CGEN Fact Sheet



  • Howard University Breast Cancer Study

At the Howard University Cancer Center, we are trying to find out why African American women have the highest rates of breast cancer. We are also trying to find out why young African American women get the more aggressive forms of breast cancer. It is our goal to improve the treatment of breast cancer in African Americans, increase the survival of those diagnosed with breast cancer and determine how to best fight the aggressive types of breast cancer affecting African Americans. HELP US LEARN MORE ABOUT BREAST CANCER: Contact Dr. Lulu Ricks at the Howard University Cancer Center @ 202-806-9438 or

Please review links below for more details:

Breast cancer poster

Breast cancer brochure

Latina-Breast cancer poster

Latina-Breast cancer brochure


  • Genome-Wide Adimixture Mapping for Asthma in African Americans

Asthma has reached epidemic proportion in the US and globally, and bears significant impact on public health. It is a complex disease in which the interplay between genetic and environmental factors has significant influence on disease susceptibility and outcome. Asthma shows disproportionately higher incidence and disease associated mortality in African Americans. Although linkage and association studies are powerful tools to identify disease-associated loci, their application in admixed populations may be confounded by population stratification. In this context, admixture mapping (AM) is a promising method for identifying genetic risk factors for complex diseases in populations with mixed ancestral background. Progress in computational algorithms and availability of population specific ancestry informative markers has now made AM to be a complementary approach. Therefore, we propose to apply AM to identify asthma susceptibility loci/gene with the following specific aims: (1) to enroll a total of 500 asthma cases and 500 unrelated matched controls among African Americans in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, (2) to genotype an African American admixture panel of 1,509 ancestry informative markers in the entire study population and perform both case-only and case-control analytic strategy to identify asthma linked genomic loci, and (3) to perform a follow-up fine mapping of the linked genomic loci identified from admixture mapping scan using haplotype-tagged SNPs to refine the critical region(s) potentially harboring the asthma susceptibility gene(s). Findings from this study bear a strong potential for identifying genetic clues behind asthma susceptibility and especially as it relates to the observed disparity in African Americans. For more information, contact Dr. Mezbah U. Faruque at 202-806-4780 or


  • Engaging Low Income Residents in Prioritizing Interventions to Address Socio- Economic Determinants of Health

Socioeconomic factors such as income and education are thought to have a powerful influence on the health of low-income populations. Drs. Pamela Carter-Nolan and Marion Danis were conducting a study to find out which interventions DC residents would choose to address these socio-economic influences. The goal of this collaborative project is to explore the possibility of designing affordable, evidence-based public programs that improve the health of urban low-income populations in the US.For more information please review the link below.

Engaging Low Income Residents in Prioritizing Interventions to Address Socio-Economic Determinants of Health


  • Alzheimer’s Disease Studies

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an increasing medical problem in the US, as the baby boomer generation ages AD will reach epidemic proportions. To prevent or cure AD is therefore an important public health goal. Dr. Obisesan is hoping to enroll persons age 50 years or older with memory concern or have family members with memory concern into his multiple Alzheimer's studies. Those individuals who successfully enroll into the Alzheimer's disease research network will be awarded $50.00. If you have any questions or want to refer your patients please contact Dr. Thomas Obisesan at (202) 865-7895. Please review the link below for more information.

Alzheimer's Disease Research