This component of the OSU Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) proposes to develop, implement and evaluate a Training and Career Development Program (TCDP) in cancer health disparities. The overall goal of the TCDP is to help prepare the next generation of health disparities researchers by offering training that emphasizes transdisciplinary science and multi-level approaches to address cervical cancer health disparities among Appalachian populations. The TCDP will be open to students, postdoctoral trainees and junior faculty in behavioral sciences, public health, nursing, basic sciences and related disciplines. Postdoctoral trainees will be supported by the TCDP while students and junior faculty will have opportunities to participate in program initiatives and the Center's research projects. There is a clear trend in cancer research toward working within teams thus we propose a transdisciplinary training program to prepare trainees for work in collaborative teams. The Center investigators have extensive experience with research in Appalachia and the expertise to provide this focused training. The US Department of Health and Human Services considers rural residents a "special population" . Rural Americans tend to be older, poorer, less educated, and more likely to be uninsured than their urban counterparts . Rural communities have higher rates of chronic illness, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, disability and report poorer overall health than do urban communities . Systemic factors such as lack of public transportation, fewer community services, and a shortage of health care providers contribute to sub-optimal health among rural Americans . In Ohio, 32 of its 88 counties are categorized as Appalachian, a largely rural area whose population has experienced extreme poverty and poor health. The elevated cancer burden in Appalachia motivated NCI to recognize this population as a 'special population'with significant 'health disparities.' To our knowledge, there is only one NIH-funded cancer prevention and control training program that focuses on the Appalachian population and that program is located at the University of Kentucky (Principal Investigator, Mark Dignan, is a member of our External Advisory Board). This proposed training program will expand training capacity, and help fill a void in the NIH training portfolio focused on cancer health disparities. This program will build on the solid foundation established over the last five years of the OSU CPHHD during which time we trained or supported 57 students, 2 post-doctoral fellows, 7 junior faculty and produced two doctoral dissertations based on research data collected by the CPHHD. This proposed training program will provide additional capacity for training the next generation of health disparities researchers with expertise in issues related to cancer prevention and control among Appalachian populations.
The specific aims of the training program are to: 1. Recruit postdoctoral trainees to a transdisciplinary training program in health disparities research that includes: a) a specialized curriculum of instruction, b) mentored research experiences, and c) development of an NIH grant proposal; 2. Provide opportunities for students and junior faculty at OSU to participate in the Center's research projects and special program initiatives;and 3. Conduct continuous process evaluation and annual outcome evaluation of the training program and provide feedback to center leadership.
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