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CHHR History

In 2006, The Office of Minority Health of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene convened the Borough of Manhattan Ecumenical Advisory Group (BMEAG) to advise on and advocate for improving the health of Manhattan residents. Because of the magnitude of the disparity in the quality of the health and health care of Central Harlem residents compared with New York City as a whole, the BMEAG began with a focus on Central Harlem. Nana Aboagye (formerly Victor Hunter), of the New York City Dept. of Health, Office of Minority Health and Mental Hygiene, Patricia R. Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Tara Ragbir who then was with the Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Founding Conveners, formulated the idea of a health revival. Upon presentation of that idea to the entire membership of BMEAG, the Central Harlem Health Revival (CHHR), was formed. CHHR became a reality due to the extraordinary efforts, dedication, planning, and actions of many, but especially Ms. Laura Brown, Ms. Delores Moon, Ms. Vivian Potter all of Canaan Baptist Church, Ms. Doris Rhem of Mother A.M.E. Z. Church, and Ms. Dale Wallace Thompson of Memorial Baptist Church. These women became known as the Co-Conveners . CHHR was saddened at the passing of Sister Vivian Potter in 2008.

CHHR Board of Directors

  • Mrs. Patricia Butts: First Lady, Abyssinian Baptist Church

  • Dr. Elizabeth Cohn: Executive Director, Center for Health Innovation, Adelphi University

  • Emmanuel Durham: Davita Dialysis Center

  • Ingrid Gonzalez: NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

  • Dr. Kristie Lancaster: Associate Professor of Nutrition, NYU, Canaan Baptist Church 

  • JoAnne Thigpen: Abyssinian Baptist Church

  • Dr. Olajide Williams: Director of the Stroke Initiative, Columbia University & Harlem Hospital Center

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