The Center for Community Health and Risk Measurement


The Center for Community Health and Risk Measurement seeks to provide social risk assessments and the appropriate blend of intervention approaches to reduce and eliminate pre-mature morbidity, mortality and disability among individuals, agencies, communities and groups to improve health outcomes and quality of life.

As a major part of Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University – Morgan State University, the School of Community Health and Policy is anchored in the university and rooted in the community. Our work and commitment is a social justice approach to population health by transforming urban communities, promoting health and reducing health inequities.

Our Vision: Healthy and Safe Communities

Perceived Risk Hierarchy Theory (PRHT)TM

The foundation of the CHARM is guided by the Perceived Risk Hierarchy Theory (PRHT).TM  The (PRHT) emerged from a longitudinal study among emerging adults regarding alcohol and substance use, sexual behaviors, Hepatitis – C, mental health and decision-making. Developed by public health practitioners in an attempt to explain the lack of regard for preventive health care screenings for early detection of communicable diseases among youth and emerging adults. However, the data collected and analyzed revealed a much larger concern among this population which led to the development of the PRHT.TM  The PRHT posits that youth and emerging adults’ perception of health risk and/or severity is attenuated by what they perceive as more imminent and immediate risks.

The PRHT was tested by the Center for Predictive Analytics (CPA) at Morgan State University employing psychodynamics. The theory’s validity and reliability were confirmed. Of note, has ranked Morgan State University among the “Best Colleges with Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology Degrees in the U.S.”

A Glimpse of Our Research

The PRHT arrived at an assumption that because youth and emerging adults live every day on high alert for perceived threats/severity and are in a constant state of mobilizing for fight, flight, or suspense as they anticipate the next assault, it becomes less likely for this generation to concentrate, learn, recall, perceive a future orientation, and delay immediate gratification. To face the immense challenges of high-risk scapes, historical trauma, exposure to community violence, lead poisoning, school safety, epigenetic effect and a cadre of other adversities, youth and young adults must adjust to the hardships associated with learning how to survive.

Constructs of the PRHT


None of Us Will Get Out of Here Alive: The Intersection of Perceived Risk for HIV, Risk Behaviors and Survival Expectations among African American Emerging Adults


SurvivornomicsTM suggest that youth and emerging adults residing in disadvantaged, hyper-segregated and marginalized communities live, adjust and thrive in the face of adversities while discovering resilience. Because the challenges they face are multi-factorial and involve various systems (e.g., socio-ecological systems), we must think critically about the factors that determine their behaviors and avoid becoming rigid in our deliberations.

The problems confronting our youth are enormous: morbidity, education inequality, lead-poisoning, residing in high-risk scapes, cumulative exposure to community violence, as well as un-addressed adverse childhood experiences (ACES) with adverse community environments (Ellis, 2018).


Morgan State University Professor Talks About Inner City Youth And SurvivornomicsTM

Our intervention solutions will be built and designed to incorporate the tenants of the PRHT.

Perceived Risk Hierarchy Method
Impact Statistics



Professor Lorece V. Edwards


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Morgan State University – School of Community Health and Policy

Center for Community Health and Risk Measurements/Management (CHARM)

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