The long term objective of this application is to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities in the U. S.Virgin Islands. The Division of Nursing, University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) proposes to establish TheCaribbean EXPLORATORY Center for Research ans Education on Health Disparities (CaRE-HD) in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The specific aims of the Exploratory Center are to: 1)provide the administrative structure,coordination and resources to facilitate cohesive functioning of the Center for research and education onhealth disparities; 2)expand the initial efforts of the Caribbean EXPORT Center for Research and Educationon Health Disparities ; 3)strengthen the research preparation and expertise of tmembers of the UVI faculty,students and community in health disparities research; 4)enable academic, institutional and communitypartners to evaluate interventions designed to improve the health of Virgin Islanders. A very sparse literaturesuggests that residents of the U. S. Virgin Islands are burdened with the same health disparities identified inhealth disparity populations on the mainland U. S. Few studies have described factors that might beassociated with reported prevalence rates for health disparities in the territory. The population of the U.S.Virgin Islands, while multicultural and diverse, is 76% black (African American, Afro Caribbean), 10% white,and 14% Hispanic. Access to care, lack of health insurance, low levels of education, high levels of povertyand a growing immigrantpopulation may represent significant barriers to health care, health promotion andprevention activities in the Virgin Islands. The proposed exploratory research center will provideopportunities for a concerted focus on these complex variables as well as the unique intersections of islandhistory, context, culture, demographics, socioeconomic status and other factors that might contirbute tolealth disparities within the islands. Four continuing pilot studies and abstracts for 7 proposed pilot studiesand one full study on health disparities are included in this application. The Division of Nursing, University ofhe Virgin Islands, is the only program in the territory offering a degree in one of the health professions, ands uniquely suited to continue this highly significant public health imperative in the region underrepresented iniealth disparities research.
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