The UMass Center for Health Equity Intervention Research (CHEIR) will provide robust research training and education for scholarship on minority health and health disparities through collaboration with existing educational and training programs and through developing new activities to promote the involvement/enrollment of underrepresented minority learners at all levels of training. Through seminars, Grand Rounds, and an annual research conference, the Research Training/Education Core will also bring together faculty and students affiliated with other CHEIR core activities and research projects to share projects and preliminary studies, learn new skills, network, and develop mentoring skills. Our activities address the overarching CHEIR themes of: (1) developing intervention tools that are tailored by deep cultural structure as well as linguistic and literacy characteristics;(2) focusing on strategies that not require direct physician intervention;(3) engaging vulnerable populations and the settings that serve them by working at multiple levels, such as patient, clinic, and community;(4) bringing innovation by infusing education and bidirectional academic-community learning throughout all activities.
The Specific Aims of the Research Training/Education Core are to: (1) Create an Undergraduate Minority Health Scholars Program in collaboration with UMass Boston minority institutes: the Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture, and the Institute for New England Native American Studies;(2) Develop a concentration in Health Disparities within the established Clinical and Population Health Research doctoral training program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UMass Worcester;and (3) Enhance minority health and health disparities research training within the UMass Schools of Medicine and Nursing with new curricular and training experiences. Our overall goal is to increase the number of health professions learners, particularly underrepresented students, who are committed to careers focused on minority health research and eliminating health disparities, through providing evidence-based and culturally responsive clinical care;through conducting translational, clinical, and health services research;or advancing their careers as both clinicians and researchers.
Health disparities remain a significant population health issue in the US despite overall improvement in mortality and health related quality of life. At the same time, the population of the US, and Massachusetts as well, is becoming highly diverse. An increasing number of specially trained researchers are needed to develop culturally-responsive interventions that target health disparities and improve the overall health of all our citizens.
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