This application is to develop the Caribbean Export Center for Research and Education in Health Disparities in the Virgin Islands of the United States. The proposed Center will develop resources and the infrastructure needed to expand research capacity in education and health that will support interdisciplinary projects to reduce disparities in health status for health disparity populations in the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John). The Center will be located at the University of the Virgin Islands within the Division of Nursing. The University of the Virgin Islands is the only HBCU outside the continental U.S. Its baccalaureate nursing program is the only program in the territories preparing health professionals. A very sparse literature suggests that residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands have significant rates of heart disease, diabetes, HIV infection, infant mortality and other health disparities. However, beyond sketchy prevalence data incorporated in national reports, few studies have described factors that might be associated with reported prevalence rates. The population of the U.S. Virgin Islands is highly diverse with African American, African Carribean and Hispanics comprising 80% of the population. Access to care, lack of health insurance, limited education and poverty may represent significant barriers to health promotion and prevention activities that could ultimately reduce health disparities within our islands. Yet we will need to increase the capacity of faculty and community representatives to conduct disparity research that includes focused studies that incorporate island history, context, culture, access and other factors contributing to these disparities within the islands. The leadership, capacity building and other developmental activities described in this application reflect the underlying commitment of the University and our collaborating partners to improve our ability to address health disparities in the U.S. Virgin Islands more effectively.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-LW (04))
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Stinson, Nathaniel
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University of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas
United States
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McDonald, Patricia E; Nunez, Maxine A; Yarandi, Hossein N (2017) A Church-Based Diabetes Care Survey in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc 28:9-13
Njie-Carr, Veronica; Sharps, Phyllis; Campbell, Doris et al. (2012) Experiences of HIV-positive African-American and African Caribbean childbearing women: a qualitative study. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc 23:21-8
Callwood, Gloria B; Campbell, Doris; Gary, Faye et al. (2012) Health and health care in the U.S. Virgin Islands: challenges and perceptions. ABNF J 23:4-7