There are two disabling dimensions to Health Disparities in minorities. The first is that minorities have higher frequencies of many diseases, and the second that they have fewer trained people to research and address those diseases within their own populations. Nowhere in the US does this apply more than to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. This proposal addresses both dimensions of health disparity by partnering two institutions in a predominantly (85%) Hispanic border region of South Texas: that is, the, Regional Campus at Brownsville of the University of Texas Houston School of Public Health and The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. This partnership will also draw on expertise and resources of the University of Texas Houston School of Public Health and the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center. Nowhere in the US is there a center dedicated specifically to research on the health of Hispanic Americans. The purpose of this proposal is to create such a Hispanic Health Research Center within the existing academic institutions of a predominantly Hispanic community, designed to address the disease burdens and the paucity of research capacity in this poor, undereducated and medically underserved Hispanic population. The activities of the Hispanic Health Research Center will encompass research on health disparities in Hispanics, provide a source of data on Hispanic health, develop and evaluate intervention strategies for Hispanic cultures, evolve research collaborations with other Hispanic communities, and build research capacity in South Texas LRGV. We propose to develop nine cores, of which three are research cores with projects addressing specific aspects of the major killers of the Hispanic population of South Texas, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The grant will be centered in Brownsville, in the adjacent, newly constructed buildings of the two partnering institutions on their common campus, sharing web and video facilities, library services, laboratories and other resources. The long-term goals are to enhance the ability of individuals from both partnering institutions to apply for research funding, and to create a strong scientific and academic relationship between the two institutions and the collaborating institutions in Houston. The two Hispanic population and the higher educational institutions attempting to serve them in the LRGV fit every ethnic, economic, geographic and scientific criteria of Project EXPORT.
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