The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 1918 with the shared National Urban League mission of enabling African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. Today, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has become one of the most accomplished affiliates in the country.

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh focuses on serving African American constituents and other minorities, but no one is ever turned away. Last year, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh served more than 28,000 individuals in Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties. As the largest comprehensive social service/civil rights organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh provides services in the areas of education, health advocacy, housing, early childhood and youth development, hunger services, employment and career training/counseling and economic empowerment.

From left: Esther L. Bush, Community PARTners co-director pictured with Michael Yonas and Jessica Griffin Burke, Community PARTners deputy directors.
(Photo by Joshua Franzos)

Two of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s current programs—Operation Home and Hunger Services—provide outreach to residents of Allegheny, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland Counties. Operation Home offers first-time homebuyers classes to prepare themselves to qualify for home buying. Hunger Services provides counseling and referral to citizens who are eligible to receive food stamps but who may not realize it.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute has one mission: to facilitate the translation of research advances into clinical and public health practice and policy—bridging the laboratory bench to patient bedside to community-based practice. To achieve this goal, CTSI is working to integrate existing programs with innovative new initiatives to create an awareness and understanding of the benefits to health that can be realized from research. CTSI has established 10 core divisions to take on this mission. Community PARTners (Partnering to Assist Research and Translation) is one of these cores. It aims to be an integral link between the University and the community, which is why they are teaming up with the Urban League and the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Research studies need participants of all ages, genders, races and ethnic groups. Some studies need healthy participants, while others need people with specific health problems. The research participant registry is a voluntary database of people who are willing to consider participation in research studies. Its goal is to bring the advancements of medical research more directly and quickly to those who can benefit from them. Although the research participant registry is a joint effort between the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, you do not need to be a patient in the UPMC health care system to sign up for the registry. If you decide to join, you may:

•Learn ways to possibly improve your health

•Gain access to new medications, tests, and programs before they become widely available or that may not be available outside of research

•Potentially help others

•Further knowledge of health and effective medical care

(For more information, please contact Community PARTners at 1-866-422-1575,, or visit our website at

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