For the Sake of All

September 20, 2013

The research findings and a series of related policy briefs culminated in a report and community conference in 2014, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The For the Sake of All project is funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health and includes faculty from Washington University in St. Louis and from Saint Louis University. The Institute for Public Health, the Brown School’s Policy Forum, the St. Louis American and the St. Louis Beacon are partners as well.

Associate Professor, Brown School

“This is unprecedented in that it will focus not only on the health issues of African-Americans, but also education and economics,” says Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and lead researcher on the project. “African-Americans bear a considerable burden of disease, disability and death in the St. Louis region,” Purnell says. “The goal with this project is to produce a series of policy briefs and a report that will identify the issues and offer real solutions.”

The research will focus on African-Americans in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County. Policy briefs have been published to the For the Sake of All website and prepared in five areas:
A Multisector Approach to Health Disparities in St. Louis (PDF)
African-American Educational Attainment and Health in St. Louis
Invest in Our Community and Raise Awareness to Improve Mental Health (PDF)
Segregation: Divided Cities Lead to Differences in Health
Chronic Disease in St. Louis: Progress for Better Health

“Several important recent reports on health have included a focus on African-Americans in St. Louis, but much of the emphasis has been on access to health care,” Purnell says. “We’re looking to broaden our focus to include the reasons there is such need for expanded health care access in the community.”

To do the research, Purnell assembled a team of African-American scholars that cuts across disciplines and institutions. “We’re going to need all hands on deck to get things done,” Purnell says. “That’s another key to what we’re doing: Change is going to require a multisector approach – business, education, government and nonprofit organizations. Everyone’s going to have to be part of the process.”

Washington University Team Members

Jason Q. Purnell, Brown School
Bettina F. Drake, School of Medicine
Melody S. Goodman, School of Medicine
Darrell L. Hudson, Brown School
William F. Tate, Arts & Sciences
Gabriela Camberos, Brown School
Robert Fields, Brown School

Saint Louis University Team Members

Keith Elder, College for Public Health and Social Justice
Keon L. Gilbert, College for Public Health and Social Justice


Institute for Public Health
Policy Forum at the Brown School
St. Louis American
St. Louis Public Radio