The University of South Alabama, Center for Healthy Communities (CHC), NIMHD Center of Excellence (COE) seeks to eliminate health disparities in its region via broad based collaborations with community partners, university investigators and policy makers. We seek renewed funding for our COE. We will focus on African American health and health disparities and have proposed activities that have grown from our current funding. We propose four cores: Administrative, Research, Research Training / Education, and Community Engagement/Outreach. The Research Training / Education Core, directed by Errol Crook, MD will run an undergraduate research program for students from health disparate groups. This program will serve to fill an important gap between the pipeline programs of our Community Engagement Core and other pre-health pipeline programs. We select up to 5 graduates of our pipeline programs to perform biomedical research during the summer after their freshman year of college. These students will be African American and from our designated service area. Many will be first time college attendees. Mentors will be investigators in the COE or other investigators in the University's Health Science Division. Students will be placed in research programs according to their stated areas of interest, their abilities, and the availability of dedicated mentors. The experiences of the students will be monitored by the COE during the summer and an end of summer evaluation of the experience will be completed by each student and mentor. Students will take part in a research methods and ethics series and will be advised on career options and future opportunities for unique programs.
African Americans suffer from a multitude of health disparities, and these disparities result in higher rates of death and disability. To adequately address these significant disparities there needs to be health care providers and researchers from this health disparate group. This core's activities are designed to facilitate the development of African American health disparities researchers and/ or health care providers.
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