The overarching goals of the Center are to: (1) demonstrate the efficacy of a systems framework for conducting health services research that address multi-level determinants of health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities;(2) provide inter-disciplinary mentoring, support, and training of research scientists in conducting health disparities research designed to prevent or delay the onset of diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect minority health;(3) establish academic and community partnerships to develop, implement, translate, and disseminate discoveries from health disparities research into real world, clinical, public health, and public policy practice;and (4) reduce health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities in Nashville/Davidson County. This application builds upon the unique institutional mission of Meharry, existing collaborative relationships with investigators at Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University, our commitment to community engagement in research, accomplishments of our past EXPORT Center grant, and the new Meharry institutional research plan. For this application, the name of the Meharry EXPORT Center will be changed to the NCMHD Health Disparities Research Center of Excellence at Meharry (HDRCOE or the "Center") to reflect changes in the current RFA and refinement of our mission. The Center will have four cores: Administration, Research, Research Training and Community Engagement.
Five specific aims have been identified to guide efforts of the NCMHD Health Disparities Research Center of Excellence (HDRCOE or the "Center") in accomplishing its overarching goals: 1: Establish an inter-institutional, inter-disciplinary, NCMHD health disparities research center of excellence at Meharry Medical College (MMC);2: To conduct inter-disciplinary, health disparities research using a systems framework that will advance our understanding of the interrelationships between human factors, community context, and macro social forces as determinants in the development, progression, prevention, and control of disease and public health conditions that lead to health disparities across the lifespan. 3: To train students, residents, and scholarly productivity on health disparities. 4: To increase exchanges of knowledge about health disparities among faculty, students, and community participants about culturally sensitive diagnostic, prevention, treatment, and policy interventions for preventing, delaying, and managing the onset and progression of conditions and diseases that disproportionately affect health outcomes of racial/ethnic minorities and other medically underserved and at-risk populations. 5: To develop an administrative infrastructure that supports inter-institutional community participation in health disparities research across the three institutions.
The focus of this grant is to reduce health disparities in racial/ethnic minorities. The two racial/ethnic minority health issues (absolute health status and relative health disparities) parallel and link to two principal goals of Healthy People 2010 (HHS, 2000b). Thus, success in reducing racial/ethnic minority health disparities will contribute to the achievement of both of these two central goals of Healthy People 2010.
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