The Gulf States Collaborative Center for Health Policy Research (Gulf States CC) is a regional consortium proposed by the Bayou Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike, in collaboration with the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is supported by a multisector coalition of community-based;and faith-based organizations, healthcare organizations, state and local government institutions. The Consortium targets Alabama and Mississippi, which include some of the most impoverished and vulnerable communities in the nation. In Years 3-5, the geographic scope will be expanded to the neighboring Gulf States. The overall goal of the Gulf States CC is to significantly reduce the burden of chronic disease in minority, low-income, and other vulnerable populations in the Gulf region by conducting innovative health policy research. We will develop and evaluate a novel community-based model in which community residents assume leadership in the assessment, development, and evaluation of policies impacting health disparities. Building on our established community infrastructure, we will use a Community- Based Participatory Research approach to examine the socioeconomic, health-system, and environmental policies that interplay to produce disparate chronic disease outcomes in vulnerable populations. Ultimately, we aim to generate evidence-based, community-initiated policy change that can significantly reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. In the planning phase, we will solidify and expand our multisector coalition to establish a regional infrastructure in support of the proposed research activities;conduct a comprehensive assessment of existing policies that directly or indirectly impact the health of vulnerable populations in the region;develop a Community Action Plan (CAP) to engage the communities in health policy research and direct action organizing for policy change;finalize procedures for pilot projects;and develop a plan for the implementation phase. In the implementation phase, we will implement the CAP, a collaborative program for health policy research relevant to the disease burden of the targeted population, a pilot project program, and will evaluate the Consortium and disseminate results.
The Gulf States Collaborative Center for Health Policy Research aims to make a significant impact on the burden of chronic disease in minority;low-income, and other vulnerable populations in the Gulf region by conducting innovative health policy research that will lead to evidence-based, community-initiated policy change that can significantly reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities.