About Us

History and Purpose

The W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association (NMA) Health Institute (The Cobb Institute), a 501(c)(3) in Washington, DC, functions as a national consortium of scholars that engages in innovative research and knowledge dissemination for the reduction and elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities and racism in medicine. Solving one of our society’s most pressing problems, racial inequities in health, requires the collaborative work of public agencies, private entities, academic medical centers, and -- equally important -- communities. Founded in 2004, The Institute is named in honor of the late William Montague Cobb M.D., Ph.D., physician, anthropologist, and a distinguished professor of medicine and anatomy. Dr. Cobb influenced countless graduates of Howard University School of Medicine, including Randall C. Morgan, Jr., M.D., M.B.A. who is an orthopedic surgeon and Founding Executive Director of The Cobb Institute.  



The Vision for The Institute is to change the landscape of population health by becoming a valued resource for ethical, inclusive research and data-driven solutions and strategies pertaining to racial and ethnic health and health disparities and racism in medicine.



The Mission of The Institute is to conduct rigorous research and policy analysis, and engage in dynamic collaborative partnership for the reduction of persistent racial and ethnic disparities in health and racism in medicine.


The National Medical Association (NMA), also a 501(c)(3) in Washington, DC, is the collective voice of African American physicians and the leading force for parity and justice in medicine and the elimination of disparities in health. The Cobb Institute was launched by the NMA in 2004 at Howard University to expand the Association's research and policy analysis activities. In 2008, The Cobb Institute became a separate nonprofit entity from the NMA, even while remaining a close partners and collaborator. The NMA is the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing African American physicians and health professionals in the United States. Established in 1895, the NMA represents the interests of more than 50,000 African American physicians and the patients they serve. For more information about the NMA, click here.