The Brooklyn Health Disparities Center is a novel partnership formed in 2004 between a community-based organization (Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health), a government agency (Office of the Brooklyn Borough President) and an academic research institution (SUNY - Downstate Medical Center) that is committed to reducing health disparities in Brooklyn and increasing the level of engagement of academics, community members, and policy makers in the process. The long-term objectives of the Center are to foster community engaged research that contributes to the elimination of racial/ethnic health disparities in Brooklyn, New York and disseminate the ensuing clinically and community defined evidence-based health findings among academic, community, and policy stakeholders.
The specific aims are: 1) to establish a dynamic research infrastructure that will foster community-engaged research collaborations among SUNY Downstate's five colleges, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, and its community partners in Brooklyn, NY; 2) conduct methodologically rigorous community-engaged research on high priority topics in Brooklyn, NY (i.e. HIV and cardiometabolic diseases); 3) continue to foster and strengthen local community partnerships to develop community-engaged research initiatives and disparity reducing policy initiatives; and 4) train high school, undergraduate, and graduate level underrepresented minorities (URM) to address health disparities in Brooklyn by employing community engaged approaches. In order to address the research aims, the BHDC will build on previous workshops s to educate community partners, the BHDC Youth summer internship program, and a training program for URM junior faculty. Specifically, the Center will: host seminars to facilitate partnerships between health disparities researchers at Downstate Medical Center and community members to initiate grants and research projects; implement and develop a community engaged HIV intervention study and an obstructive sleep apnea community-engaged screening project; a training/mentoring program will be created for URM undergraduate and master's level students, and an established health disparities curriculum will be expanded for URM high school students. Fostering equitable community-academic-government collaborations, developing community-engaged projects, and increasing the number of successful URM researchers is consistent with the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center's commitment of reducing health disparities and increasing diversity in the health professions. The proposed projects will significantly add to appropriate replicable models for reducing and eliminating health disparities.
The Brooklyn Health Disparities Center proposes to extend a unique partnership between a community based organization, a medical center, and a government agency to address health disparities in Brooklyn by:training community members to participate in research and policy-making; developing community-engaged projects; and increasing the presence of underrepresented minorities entering the health field.
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