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Johns Hopkins ProHealth Clinical Research Unit

 ProHealth Bldg.

Johns Hopkins ProHealth is a joint program of the GIM Division and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research. This community-based facility is among the nation’s premier centers that conduct prevention-oriented research, often clinical trials, with a goal of preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. It was established in 1989 by Dr. Paul Whelton, who was also the founding director of the Welch Center, and Lawrence J. Appel, current director of the Welch Center.

Dr. Lawrence Appel is the current Director of ProHealth.  Under his direction, the program has grown substantially.  Located near the intersection of routes 70 and 695 in the Woodlawn section of Baltimore County (directions), the program occupies ~15,000 sq ft of space and employs over 30 research staff.  Downstairs, the Data Collection Suite includes a reception area, a clinical laboratory, 8 examination rooms, a large data storage room, and long-term freezers.  Upstairs, the Intervention Suite includes group meeting rooms, individual counseling rooms, an exercise room, and a state of the art metabolic kitchen.

ProHealth has hosted a series of landmark, NIH-funded studies, including TOHP, TONE, DASH, DASH-Sodium, OmniHeart, OmniCarb, DPP, AASK, CRIC, Achieve, PREMIER, Weight Loss Maintenance, POWER, and Look AHEAD.  Some of the high-impact papers associated with these studies are available online.

Current ProHealth investigators include:

Dr. Lawrence Appel, Director (GIM/Welch Center)
Ms. Jeanne Charleston, RN, BS, Director of Clinical Operations (Epidemiology) 
Dr. Jeanne Clark (GIM/Welch Center)    
Dr. Gail Daumit (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Nisa Maruthur (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Pete Miller (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Jessica Yeh, PhD (GIM/Welch Center) 
Mariana Lazo, MD, PhD  (GIM/Welch Center)

Active Studies at ProHealth


Studies Actively Recruiting Participants at ProHealth


MACH15 (Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Cardiovascular Health15)

Mariana Lazo (PI)

Study website:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. There are many risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, being overweight or obese, diabetes or prediabetes, being physically inactive or having a poor diet.

Will consuming one drink of alcohol every day help to prevent heart disease, stroke and/or diabetes? 

Researchers at the JHU ProHealth Center in Woodlawn, Maryland, hope to provide a definitive answer to that question by conducting a study called Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health (MACH15) Trial. The study is funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If you are over 50 years of age and are at risk for heart disease or diabetes, you may be eligible for the study.

Recruitment is ongoing.

For more information about MACH15, please call Johns Hopkins ProHealth Center at 410-281-1600. You can also get more information here:

Study website:


MACH15 Flier

STURDY (Study To Understand Fall Reduction and Vitamin D in You)

Lawrence Appel (PI)

Study website:

Falls are an extremely common medical problem in older persons.  This randomized trial will test the effects of 4 doses of Vitamin D (200, 1000, 2000 and 4000 IU/d) on the occurrence of falls in persons, ages 70 and older.  This study is being done at ProHealth and at the Comstock Center in Hagerstown, MD. This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.

Recruitment is ongoing.


For people in and around Hagerstown, email:

STURDY flier

STURDY brochure


CRIC (Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study)

Lawrence Appel (PI)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an extremely common medical problem. CRIC is a long-term, longitudinal, observational study with a goal of determining risk factors for progression of chronic kidney disease and  understanding the consequences of chronic kidney disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. Across the US, 13 centers are conducted CRIC. This study is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Recruitment ongoing until July 2015.

Other ProHealth Studies


Jeanne Clark (PI)

Excess weight leads to diabetes and its adverse consequences. Look AHEAD is the extended phase of a long-term, randomized trial which tested the effects of weight loss on cardiovascular disease and mortality in adults with type 2 diabetics. Across the US, 21 centers conduct Look AHEAD. This study is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Recruitment is complete.

Ideal (Intervention Trial to Decrease Cardiovascular Risk in Persons With Serious Mental Illness)

Gail Daumit (PI)

Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) suffer disproportionately from cardiovascular disease. This randomized trial is testing a comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction program for persons with serious mental illness. This study is based at ProHealth but conducted at facilities serving SMI patients in the Baltimore region.  This study is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.


Gail Daumit (PI)

Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) have high rates of tobacco smoking compared to the overall population. This randomized trial is testing a practical smoking cessation intervention combining behavioral and pharmacologic treatment and incorporating exercise and weight management counseling. This study is based at ProHealth but conducted at Johns Hopkins Bayview and a facility in Montgomery County. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. 


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