Joseph B. Richardson, Jr.

In Funded Scholars
Joseph B. Richardson, Jr.
Joseph B. Richardson, Jr.

Joseph B.

Richardson, Jr.


Associate Professor, Race, Health, Social Policy, 
University of Maryland 

Professional Bio

Joseph Richardson is an Associate Professor in the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Richardson is a criminologist trained in urban ethnography and medical anthropology. He received his doctorate from Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice and has completed post-doctoral research fellowships at the University of Chicago and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Richardson is the Director of the National Capital Border Area-Violence Intervention Program, an emerging hospital-based violence intervention program at the Prince George’s Hospital Trauma Center. This program utilizes trauma-informed care strategies to reduce violent victimization and recurrent violent injury among young Black men in Prince George’s County. He is currently Principal Investigator of two research studies, which examine violent injury/trauma among young Black men in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. Dr. Richardson was recently awarded a mid-career scholar award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct a longitudinal ethnographic study that examines the role and function of the Maryland ACA Navigator, specifically how Navigators enroll young Black male victims of violent injury into healthcare insurance coverage. He is also the Co-Chair of the HIV/STI Workgroup for the Prince George’s Healthcare Action Coalition. This workgroup has been charged by the Director of the Prince George’s Department of Health to develop and implement strategies to seek, test and treat persons infected with HIV in Prince George’s County. He is currently an early career scholar in two prestigious research networks: The Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Well-Being of African-American Men and theRobert Wood Johnson’s Foundation’s New Connections Network. In January 2014, he was appointed as a Board Member for the Brady Campaign and Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence a public policy and public health awareness advocacy organization dedicated to the reduction of gun violence.

Project Description

Interpersonal violence, particularly by firearm, is the leading cause of death and disability among young Black men ages 15-34. Young Black male victims of violent injury, particularly via firearm, are typically uninsured. Victims of firearm assault are disproportionately more likely to be uninsured. ED visits for these uninsured victims are nearly three times the national average. Their hospital admission rate is more than two times the national average. Young Black male victims of violent injury often have low health literacy levels and are estranged from traditional medical care systems.The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has created new opportunities for tens of millions to acquire health insurance particularly hard to reach populations of young Black men. ACA Navigators will likely play a large role in targeting and enrolling hard to reach populations.This RWJF proposal aims to explore the role, function, challenges and effectiveness of the Maryland ACA Navigator in enrolling young uninsured Black male victims of violent injury into Medicaid or qualified health plans (QHPs). The questions driving my inquiry are: What are the methods and strategies used by the ACA Navigator to promote a culture of health among hard to reach vulnerable populations? What are the challenges, barriers and best practices used by the ACA Navigator to enroll hard to reach vulnerable populations? The conceptual model for this study is the health literacy model which focuses on the development of skills and capacities intended to enable people to exert greater control over their health and the factors that shape health. This conceptual model can provide a sophisticated understanding of the process of health communication in both clinical and community settings. This study will qualitatively address disparities in accessibility to healthcare by using a clinical ethnographic case study design to understand the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations of young Black men through the lens of the ACA Navigator.

My New Connections Experience

I applied to New Connections several times as a junior investigator before I was awarded the Mid-Career Consultant Award. I applied because New Connections provides the resources and support for early career scholars with interests in health, healthcare and improving the culture of health among vulnerable populations.

Being part of New Connections acknowledges the value of my research on violence and trauma among young Black men and how they access care, particularly enrollment in healthcare insurance coverage. New Connections is well respected among scholars with interests in health and healthcare. I am confident that my membership in New Connections now as a grantee will contribute to my successful journey towards Full Professorship at my university. Furthermore, being part of New Connections gives me a national and global platform to showcase my research and to inform the field.

Research Interests

Violence, Trauma, Access to Care and HIV Risk Related Behaviors among Low-Income Black Men

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Mid-Career Consultant
  • Award Year: 2014
  • Project Name: Assessing the Best Strategies of the Maryland ACA Navigator for Enrolling Young Black Male Victims of Violent Injury into Health Insurance Coverage.

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