Federal agencies mandate the inclusion of minority groups in study populations, yet researchers face many obstacles in reaching these underserved groups, including mistrust about the scientific community and poor past experiences. This holds true for minorities in the Southern California Inland Empire Region (IE) and San Bernardino County (SBC), where Hispanic and Black/African American communities comprise nearly 60 percent (48.1 and 9.5 percent, respectively) of the population. The IE has been identified as the most sprawling region in the U S, with a lack of transportation choices, town centers, and mixed use neighborhoods, and poorly connected street networks '^^'^""""""""l There is a dearth of open spaces: one third of children 0-18 do not live within walking distance of a park, playground, or open area. Moreover, it is considered one of the unhealthiest regions of California, with only 1 of every 6 stores/restaurants selling healthy food. Race/ethnicity related health disparities are especially seen for breast cancer, prostate cancer, overweight and obesity and diabetes. For instance, breast cancer incidence in Black women compared to non-Hispanic White women is higher (124.1 cases/100,000 vs. 116.6 cases/100000, respectively), and, even more importantly. Black women suffer from higher breast cancer mortality rates than non-Hispanic Whites due to more aggressive forms of the disease. SBC has higher prostate cancer incidence in Black versus White men (135.1 cases/100,000 vs. 243 cases/100,000, respectively), and Black men have mortality rates nearly 2.5 to 6 times that of other male groups from prostate cancer. Additionally, diabetes diagnosis is higher in Latinos and Blacks vs. Whites'^^'as are complications and worse outcomes''. Among adults, 63% are overweight or obese, and diabetes-related deaths are 120.9 per 100,000. Many areas fit the definition of high need. Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs). Despite these well documented disparities, the IE receives less per capita funding from grant-makers and foundations compared to the statewide average ($3 versus $119, respectively) and substantially less federal funding per capita ($21 vs. $1,507 nationally).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Loma Linda University
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