Health and health service disparities are pervasive in asthma and mental disorders in both Puerto Rico and the United States among Latinos. The causes for these disparities are poorly understood and effective interventions to eliminate these disparities are needed. The mission of the proposed University of Puerto Rico-Cambridge Health Alliance Research Center of Excellence (UPR-CHA RCE) is to conduct research on Latino health and health care disparities, specifically mental disorders, substance abuse and asthma, and to generate and test models of improved service delivery to eliminate these disparities. The UPR-CHA RCE will build on the strengths and experiences of the UPR-CHA EXPORT Center. The UPR-CHA RCE is led by an experienced and diverse research team with a long history of collaboration and commitment to the study of service disparities among minority populations. The Center is structured around a Research, Administrative and Training Core. Based on a conceptual model developed by the group, three research projects will test multi-level interventions at the provider, individual/family and policy level to reduce health services disparities in mental disorders and pediatric asthma (Projects 1 and 2) and provide data to understand the magnitude of substance abuse treatment disparities and the social and economic burden of these disparities (Project 3). Two pilot projects open up new areas of research on disparities, one focusing on a low-cost prevention intervention for mothers of asthmatic children at risk for depression (Pilot 1) and another on documenting disparities in the treatment of mentally ill nursing home residents (Pilot 2). The five aims of the proposed UPR-CHA-RCE are to: 1) Establish an administrative structure that integrates and centralizes a synergistic core of researchers into a single interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary enterprise by pulling together resources, leadership, and expertise from the mainland US and Puerto Rico. 2) Continue to establish, strengthen and maintain partnerships with organizations and communities for conducting original and relevant research leading to improvement in Latino health and in eliminating service disparities. 3) Enhance research and training activities of the ongoing UPR-CHA EXPORT Center to mentor and develop Latino investigators and to increase the number of minority researchers who conduct health disparities research. 4) Formulate and conduct an interdisciplinary asthma and mental health services and intervention research program to increase our understanding of and eliminate and/or reduce service disparities of Latinos in all stages of their life cycle. 5) Disseminate and integrate the product of these efforts to inform policy decisions, clinical practice and community partners, and orient health service systems to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-MR (08))
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University of Puerto Rico Med Sciences
San Juan
United States
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