The University of Alabama (UA) joins Tuskegee University (TU) as an auxiliary partner in application to establish a Center of Excellence for Minority Health Disparities, Bioethics, and Rural Health in Alabama's Black Belt. Throughout UA, faculty and staff are engaged in a variety of collaborations with Black Belt communities. UA affiliates work with community organizations, leaders and individuals to improve healthcare, education and economic development. The proposed partnership will benefit from and enhance these efforts. Within UA, a division of particular relevance and strength is College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS). For over a decade CCHS has worked closely with numerous partners to improve rural health education and services in Alabama. CCHS has been an important force in accomplishing the following over the last decade: 1) Establishing a Rural Medical Pipeline to attract and retain rural medical students, including a program geared specifically toward minority students; 2) Undertaking Alabama's first agrimedicine program; 3) Implementing a rural training track for CCHS medical students; 4) Creating a telemedicine linkage among three counties and CCHS; 5) Founding the Rural Alabama Area Health Education Center to administer community-based training programs and provide health education; 6) Successfully enrolling uninsured children in health plans; 7) Initiating an annual interdisciplinary Rural Health Conference; 8) Providing an influential rural voice in public policy discussions in Alabama; and 9) Fostering a University-wide commitment to rural health, institutionalized in 2001 through the Institute for Rural Health Research (IRHR), a collaborative effort of six colleges and schools within UA. The proposed project is precisely the sort of collaboration for which IRHR was created. The Institute's structure provides for protected faculty time, infrastructure, space and facilities, with provision for expansion as necessary. Selected highlights of the proposed collaboration include: 1) Creating formal academic degree programs linking the two universities; 2) Enhancing efforts at both schools to create integrative, multidisciplinary programs with a holistic orientation and an emphasis on bioethics; 3) Coordinating and enhancing existing collaborations between the separate applicant institutions and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center; and 4) Expanding IRHR's activities to include TU faculty.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-TC (02))
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Tabor, Derrick C
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University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Gaskins, Susan W (2006) Disclosure decisions of rural African American men living with HIV disease. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care 17:38-46