The disorders of late life constitute one of the most pressing global public health issues of the 21st Century. Addressing the care of older adults in the coming decades is all the more challenging when one considers demographic trends, patterns of service use and delivery, and the training and composition of the health care work force . The proposed Center activities address the need for: multidimensional and community-based research, interdisciplinary research, and, increasing the supply of investigators interested in and capable of carrying out interdisciplinary research designed to rectify health disparities. The overarching goals of this core are: (1) to facilitate the conduct of research relevant to health disparities across the stages of chronic illness in Latino and African American elders, (2) to prepare investigators to conduct such research,. The investigator development core will increase the productivity of existing Penn centers and programs by creating new opportunities (in collaboration with the community liaison core) for recruiting older minority persons for research, by increasing the knowledge (in collaboration with the measurement core) of investigators on aging-specific issues pertinent to disparities, and by enhancing the recruitment and training of diverse investigators to the field of minority health issues. A central feature of this core is recruitment and development of minority investigators, which the core will achieve by providing a comprehensive development program that addresses, in addition to mentoring in research, issues of the receptivity of the environment, career counseling and development, and development of specific skills necessary for success as an investigator.
The specific aims of the investigator development core are to: (1) increase the knowledge base by which health disparities in minority older adults are understood by identifying and evaluating patient, health care provider, caregiver, and social and environmental factors, and testing interventions at the patient, provider, organizational, and environmental levels; (2) support research training and multidisciplinary collaborations relevant to research on health disparities in older minorities;and, (3) recruit and train minority investigators focused on health disparities research among older adults.
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