4.2.2. Thematic Focus The overall theme of the Research Core is to stimulate and advance multi-level, interdisciplinary and community-engaged health services research to reduce health disparities that adversely affect vulnerable, racial and ethnic minorities. A major focus of our Center will be to investigate the diffusion of health interventions that have been found to be enormously beneficial to society in general, but whose impact on minority populations is less clear. What we are proposing is that many beneficial biological interventions may have unintended adverse effects within minority populations, or at the very least, may not yield results equitable to those found among whites. The two studies included in this Center application examine two different aspects of the diffusion of health innovations in minority populations. Our overarching hypothesis is that the independent and interrelated effects of individual, community, and systems-level factors provide both the context and determinants for health disparities between whites and racial and ethnic minorities. It assumes that disparities in health build upon vulnerabilities caused by social and economic inequalities and characteristics which affect the speed of diffusion of health innovations to different segments of our society. The sum of proposed Center activities is not only to advance scientific understanding of the relationship between individual, community, and macro social factors, including the effects of public policies and health, but to identify and disseminate knowledge about key pathways for reducing disparities to clinical and community partners. The primary goals of the Research Core are to: a) develop a strong, inter-disciplinary, core group of researchers, steeped in a systems framework, knowledgeable about a multi-level approach, and trained in health services research methods;b) assist project investigators focus their research on culturally relevant interventions to improve the health of underserved populations and to pave the way for the elimination of health disparities;c) provide opportunities for investigators to use secondary data sets to test relevant hypotheses and generate new knowledge;and d) successfully submit articles for publication and compete for investigator initiated research grants.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-EMNR-B)
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Meharry Medical College
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