This is a proposal for continued support of five yearly three-day stand-alone National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) conferences. The NHSN is dedicated to improving health equity of Hispanics by increasing the amount, quality, and dissemination of interdisciplinary translational research;and fostering the development, advancement, and promotion of future Hispanic scientists and leaders. The NHSN conference will involve participation of members of the global research community focused on different aspects of alcohol and drug abuse including epidemiology, toxicology, environmental health, intervention science, psychology, sociology, health policy, and neurobiology as it pertains to Hispanic populations. The NHSN conference is unique in that it will congregate experts, who attend scientific conferences specific to their area of interest, and who otherwise would not have an opportunity to engage in this inter-professional and transdisciplinary scientific discourse. Because many of the socio cultural factors and co-morbid conditions relevant to Hispanic communities are shared with other underrepresented minority (URM) populations, we plan to expand the scope of the conference (on alternate years) to include African-American, Asian-American, Native-American workgroup participation. The proposed yearly conferences will continue to serve as the unique venue for transdisciplinary and inter-professional scientific discussions on strategies towards minimizing the impact of alcohol and drug abuse and their co-morbid conditions on health disparities in Hispanics and other URM. In addition, they will foster the recruitment, retention, development and advancement of Hispanic scientists to promote future leaders in areas related to alcohol and drug abuse research. This conference will provide an opportunity for trainees from diverse gender, ethnicity, discipline, and geographic locations to come together and participate in a multidisciplinary scientific meeting, establish peer-support groups, and develop professional relationships that will provide venues for innovative developments in the field.
Hispanics constitute the largest racial/ethnic minority population in the United States and are disproportionately impacted by alcohol and drug abuse. There is a pressing need to study the biological, individual, family, community, legal, and contextual factors that differentially affect substance use, its consequences, and the use of treatment services in Hispanic populations through inter-disciplinary and translational approaches. The proposed yearly conferences will continue to serve as the premier venue for transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and inter-professional scientific discussions on strategies towards minimizing the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on health disparities in Hispanics and other underrepresented minority groups.
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