The proposed 5-Year Endowment Strategic Plan entitled `Building Capacity and Infrastructure for Population Health and Health Disparities Research at San Diego State University' (SDSU) is submitted by an interdisciplinary team of SDSU Deans from three colleges (Health and Human Services; Engineering, and Sciences), directors of research institutes, and faculty from across campus. The mission of the Strategic Plan is to create an infrastructure for innovative and significant translational research to achiev population-level health changes and reduce health disparities among racially/ethnically diverse populations (Hispanic/ Latino and immigrant groups most notably), sexual minorities, and lower-income populations in the United States (US). By creating and sustaining an infrastructure for population health and health disparities (PHHD) research that integrates the disciplines of various health and human sciences, engineering and computer sciences, we can more quickly translate research findings to improvements in clinical, public health and organizational practice, and population health. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, SDSU researchers are among the national and international leaders in Hispanic/Latino health research. Additionally, SDSU has several emerging leaders in sexual minority and immigrant health. Current infrastructure struggles to support the amount of research activity generated at the institution, and so this Strategic Plan is proposing to strengthen the physical infrastructure, and faculty member and trainee capability, to integrate the latest innovations in technology for data collection and intervention delivery, as well as the use of big data to answer some of the most pressing questions relevant to population health and health disparities in the US.
Three aims of the Strategic Plan are to: (1) invest in the hardware and software to support technological innovations in data collection and intervention delivery for translational research, and the use of big data to help refine how we understand, measure, and intervene on sources of influence on health; (2) invest in technology and programming personnel support to develop the next generation of tools for PHHD research; and (3) invest in faculty, post-doctoral fellows, students, and organizational and community partners by training on a team science approach in PHHD research - intersecting the disciplines of health and human sciences (behavioral science, epidemiology, exercise and nutritional sciences, social work, psychology, geography), engineering, and computer sciences. San Diego County's population diversity arguably represents that of the US in future years; as such, supporting population health and health disparities research at SDSU will be supporting new knowledge and discoveries that can generalize across the nation, and may inform the ongoing challenge of halting and reducing the widening gap in health disparities within the US population.
Latinos/Hispanics, immigrants, and sexual minorities suffer disproportionately from health disparities including but not limited to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and other cardiometabolic disorders. An endowment for population health and health disparities research at San Diego State University, a Hispanic-Serving Institution, will inform innovations from the integration of tools and paradigms from health and human sciences, engineering, and computer sciences.