Given the heterogeneity of factors such as culture, acculturation, and socioeconomic status, there is a need for additional research related to cardiovascular health and shared protective and risk factors associated with other chronic diseases specific to Latino subgroups. However, there is an under-representation of Latino scientists and university faculty in the US, which contributes to a limitation in insight among scientists seeking to understand and reverse the negative health disparities experienced by Latino communities. It is thus crucial to train and develop future scientists to increase the body of literature on Latino health and to increase Latino community members'access to culturally competent health information and care. As more Latino researchers are trained, there is greater potential to diversify the workforce and promote culturally sensitive research that encourages the continued inclusion and participation of diverse groups in research studies. The proposed training program, entitled, "Investing in America's Future: Mentoring Latinos in Health Disparities Research," will bring researchers accomplished in Latino community health research (mentors) together with aspiring younger researchers (mentees) to optimize the chances of research success and advancement among the latter and prepare them in turn to train the next generation of individuals who will be working in Latino health. To advance the scientific career development of the junior Latino faculty and scientists, the proposed team will offer a series of trainings and mentoring activities focused on Latino health and health disparities research as related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other conditions associated with CVD risk factors. These activities, which will involve three separate cohorts of approximately eight Latino mentees each (24 mentees total), will consist of an initial two-week long summer institute, a mid-year visit by a mentor to each of the mentees'research settings, and a second summer institute of one-week, as well as a final meeting of all three cohorts at the conclusion of the study period. Regular communication between mentees and mentors and the provision of a modest stipend to pursue additional training will complement the in-person activities. The ultimate goal of the program is to equip the junior researchers with the skills necessary to develop manuscripts and submit a grant proposal related to health disparities and CVD within two years of completing the program. The proposed research training program will be evaluated periodically to determine the overall relevance and value of the methods employed. Mentee and mentor feedback will be used to refine the program to best meet the needs of the participants. Further, portions of the program will be disseminated at its conclusion to allow others who are not able to attend to develop productive Latino health research careers using aspects of the training.
Project Narrative: There is an under-representation of Latino scientists in the US, which contributes to a narrowing of insights among scientists seeking to understand and reverse the negative health disparities experienced by Latino communities. Therefore, this training program will fulfill a great need by training and developing junior Latino faculty and scientists to conduct rigorous research to increase the body of literature on Latino health and to increase Latino community members'access to culturally competent health information and care.
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