This proposed Georgia State University Center of Excellence: Syndemics of Disparities is a P20 Center which was designed in response to the NCMHD request for application for Exploratory Centers for Excellence (RFA: MD-09-005). The motivating focus for the exploratory NCMHD Center of Excellence that we propose at Georgia State University is an understanding of the syndemic burden on health disparity populations in the inner cities of Atlanta. The syndemic approach posits that personal, social, and environmental issues interact with diseases and conditions to produce a greater level of morbidity and mortality than would occur if these conditions acted singly. Individual examples are rife, but a comprehensive analysis of a large, diverse metropolitan area has not to our knowledge been undertaken. In addition to three specific projects, we propose such an comprehensive analysis as part of our Research Core. The collection and analysis of required data will serve our research plan;will be a key element in our Training/Education Core by providing students and faculty with the necessary data resources;and will provide our Community Engagement/Outreach Core with the needed infrastructure to plan and implement interventions.
The Specific Aims of the overall center are: l)Consolidate and expand the focus of the Institute for Public Health and the Partnership for Urban Health Research on health disparities suffered by urban populations in metropolitan Atlanta;2) Develop a research program based on assembled data from geographic, infectious and chronic disease, social and demographic, criminal justice, and urban planning sources;3) Develop a training program, built on the current MPH and soon-to-be-offered PhD in Public Health, that focuses on health disparities and multi-factorial interventions;and 4) Continue the development of community interventions to ameliorate health disparities, based on the research data base and using the mechanism of community-based participatory research.
The project we propose will amplify our understanding of the public health impact of health disparities by addressing their interaction and synergism. Through research into the joint effect of diseases, conditions, and risk;through teaching an education aimed at increasing commitment to issues of health disparities;and through community engagement with neighborhood initiatives, the proposed Center of Excellence will have relevance for both understanding and amelioration of health disparities.
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