This application is a renewal application for the Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD) Exploratory COE at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences'(UAMS) College of Public Health (COPH) for a 2nd funding cycle. Although based in the COPH, ARCHD has engaged faculty across UAMS who are either involved in minority health disparities research or who are interested in developing health disparities research programs. Strong institutional support is demonstrated not only by the COPH Dean (Dr. Raczynski) serving as Pl/PD but also by strong support from UAMS Chancellor Rahn and commitment of funding to match the indirect costs generated by ARCHD (approximately $450,000 annually) as discretionary funds. ARCHD was originally founded in October 2007 with an initial 8-month fiscal year. Hence, the Center has been only funded for approximately 3 1/2 calendar years when this application was submitted. Despite this short period and most funded research projects on-going with no results yet available, ARCHD Pilot Research Projects have already resulted in 3 NIH awards (2 ROIs and 1 R03). Dr. Yeary's Research Project proposed in this continuation application is based on a 4th Pilot Research Project. The overall theme for this continuation application remains: to develop research that improves access to quality prevention and healthcare programs for racial and ethnic minorities with a goal of eliminating health disparities. ARCHD will continue to focus on chronic disease disparities with an emphasis on significant epidemic chronic disease risk factors and the management of other chronic disease risk factors that lead to excess morbidity, mortality and costs through institutional placements. Four mandatory core units are proposed (Administrative, Education/Training, Research, Community Engagement). In addition, two research projects are proposed: Holly Felix, PhD, PI - Effect of community health workers compared to standard outreach for long-term care services, a comparative effectiveness evaluation of a program for long-term care prevention;and Karen Kim Yeary, PhD, PI -Weight loss and maintenance for rural, African American communities of faith, a community-based participatory, faith-based, lay health advisor intervention for rural African Americans.
Minority health disparities result in significant excess death and disability for minority health disparities populations but also a major cost burden for all citizens. Health indicators are among the poorest in the country, and health disparities in Arkansas are among the worst in the country. Thus, finding approaches to eliminate minority health disparities is extremely important in reducing human and financial costs.
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