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School of Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact: John M. Lazarou
March 24, 2004
JOHNS HOPKINS URBAN HEALTH INSTITUTE HOLDS GRAND OPENING CEREMONIES FOR NEW COMPUTER TRAINING CENTER
The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute and its partner organizations celebrated the opening of the Institute's East Baltimore Technical Resource Center Wednesday, with a ribbon cutting and an open house.
"The center will be a place of new beginnings," Johns Hopkins University President William Brody, M.D., Ph.D said. "The outpouring of support from community organizations, neighborhood churches and the residents of Historic East Baltimore have been a tremendous help in making this center a reality. It will nicely complement the work of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute in trying to bring better health, housing and economic opportunities for all."
The new facility, home to 9,000 square feet of computer learning labs and a venue for a wide range of general computing and technical courses, is designed to provide local residents easy, cost-free access to computer training. Trainees also can learn computer repair and maintenance. Refurbished computers will be distributed to East Baltimore community-based organizations, schools and homes.
"This new facility was made possible with the help of several organizations and their commitment to help build a healthier community," said Urban Health Institute Director Claude Earl Fox, M.D., M.P.H. "This center will provide skills necessary in today's job market. It also provides computers, donated by Johns Hopkins University, to assist community-based organizations in their efforts to improve computer literacy in the community."
The East Baltimore Technical Resource Center, located at 1819 East Preston Street, is the first site of its kind in east Baltimore. The building, which used to be the home of the Diamond Press, was donated by the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC) and will be staffed via the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program. Training seminars and courses will be offered through a partnership between the training center, and the Maryland Center for Arts and Technology (MCAT) and Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). Other important organizations involved with the project include: Senior Cyber Net, the Phoenix Project, Space Hope, Gaining Access to Training and Employment (GATE), the University of Baltimore's Center for Community Technology Services, Madison East-End Community Association and the Rose Street Community Center.
"The long range plan for the center is not only to provide training opportunities, but also to help bridge the digital divide by providing computers for additional learning opportunities throughout the community," said Tom Morford, Urban Health Institute Deputy Director. "We will continue to establish computer learning labs across the city, with the refurbished computers, to further improve computer literacy."
The Urban Health Institute, established and funded by Hopkins in 2000, is a multi-disciplinary institution for research, education and community outreach on issues related to urban health with jointly appointed faculty, a core staff, and connections to relevant community, government and health agencies. Its charter is to bring to bear the resources of Hopkins and its partners to improve the health status of East Baltimore residents.
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Additional information about The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute can be found at http://www.jhu.edu/uhi/