The Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN) has two aims: (1) To form a research collaborative across the Eastern Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados, and Trinidad &Tobago to recruit and follow a community-dwelling adult cohort to estimate the prevalence of known and potential risk factors associated with the development of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes and (2) To enhance health outcomes research leadership capacity in the region through a series of dedicated activities locally and abroad. ECHORN will expand clinical research with racial/ethnic minority populations in a transitioning part of the globe now threatened with an epidemic of noncommunicable chronic diseases (NCD). ECHORN's findings will have direct implications for the health disparities research and policy agenda in the mainland United States. In the long term, the links ECHORN will faciliate with local health policy delegations and global strategic organizational partners will promote the translation of research to Improve health outcomes across the region. The collection and storage of biological specimens will also contribute to national biomonitoring projects and has the potential to identify unique risk and protective factors in the development of NCD.
Strengthening capacity for the design and implementation of actionable health outcomes research within the Eastern Caribbean is an essential component of any comprehensive strategy to combat the emerging epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in the Western Hemisphere and globally. The Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN) is a novel, multipronged collaboration that will ultimately inform strategies, diagnostics, technologies, and targeted interventions to improve health.