Conference Title: Rehabilitative Health and Health Disparities: A Call to Action for Rehabilitation Faculty at HBCUs ABSTRACT The purpose of this grant proposal is to seek funding to assist in the implementation of a conference that will facilitate the development of a research agenda to address rehabilitation specific health disparity issues in African American communities. Specifically, this conference will seek to engage rehabilitation faculty at the 20 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) with rehabilitation programs and six (6) professional associations in the creation of a research agenda related to rehabilitative health and health disparities. For the purposes of this conference, rehabilitation programs includes the 37 programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, rehabilitation counseling, and speech language-pathology that are housed at HBCUs. Significant research on the health disparities affecting African Americans and other minority communities is presented in the literature. However, little investigation has addressed the role of rehabilitation providers in the health disparity of African American rehabilitative health. Much of the available research on the topic has focused on physician directed intervention, health policy, and on differences among groups of individuals. Information regarding the effect of biases, education, and professional roles and responsibilities of rehabilitation providers on service provision is lacking. Faculty at HBCUs are uniquely positioned to address and to seek avenues to promote health equity for African Americans. This conference will serve to empower participants to contribute to the development of a research agenda that will be shared with other faculty, students and professional associations. It is expected that a research agenda for rehabilitative health and health disparities, which specifically addresses the African American community, will be created when rehabilitation faculty from HBCUs and representatives of related associations are brought together for that purpose.
The specific aims of this conference are to: 1) develop a national research agenda that addresses rehabilitative health and health disparities by faculty of HBCUs with rehabilitation programs;2) create a network of faculty members and others who collectively work to improve health equity for African Americans in rehabilitation settings;and 3) facilitate faculty development through collaborative efforts. Results of the conference will be published online and in print. Funding for this conference will support up to $800 in travel and housing for at least 43 faculty members, six (6) association representatives and seven (7) facilitators. More participants will be funded if costs allow. This conference will be hosted by the Center to Advance Rehabilitative Health and Education (CARE) and the College of Health Sciences at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama.
Relevance: Annually, millions of individuals receive rehabilitation services provided by occupational therapists, physical therapists, prosthetists/orthotists, rehabilitation counselors, and speech- language pathologists who address health related needs. Disparities in healthcare are well documented. However, little is known about the relationship between services offered by rehabilitation professionals and health disparities, especially for African Americans.