Significant gaps in the quality of health and healthcare access have been identified across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is well documented that minorities, particularly African Americans, and low income populations have higher incidences of certain diseases, higher mortality and poorer health outcomes. The reduction of such health inequities in minorities and economically deprived groups is an overarching societal goal. To that end, the Research Core seeks to expand the capacity and competence of the University of South Alabama, Center of Excellence as a leader in research and dissemination of outcomes that address minority health and health disparities. The Research Core, thru the efforts of the Health Disparties Research Group, will advance the original "research apprenticeship" multidisciplinary CBPR approach to improve minority health. HDRG will build and expand on faculty/community partnerships to facilitate the transfer of research knowledge and study findings into effective and culturally competent community-based interventions designed to improve the health of the minority and underserved populations in the targeted community of Mobile, AL. To further advance this goal, the research core will support three research sub-projects that focus on key issues in health disparities. Specifically, these projects aim to 1) define sentinel surveillance tools, procedures and sites, to collect and track information on health behaviors, health care access, and morbidity of disparate populations with the objective of monitoring the progress towards health equity;2) elucidate what proportion of individuals living in high poverty neighborhoods have (or do not have) access to health insurance through their participation in the labor market, and determine what prevents those uninsured individuals from utilizing public resources in light of the recent 'Affordable Care Act';and 3) examine plasma biomarker levels to establish the baseline variability (age, after an acute coronary event) to determine the utility of the biomarkers in predicting cardiovascular risk.

Public Health Relevance

In pursuit of the goal of eliminating health disparities, the Research Core aims to foster innovative research in close collaboration with community partners, with the goal of realizing measurable improvements in health disparities among minorities and low-income populations while furthering the Community Based Participatory Research paradigm

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN)
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University of South Alabama
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