Over the last decade, the Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) research training program has prepared a diverse cadre of 15 nurse scientists at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels to take on the major science, health, and technology challenges and opportunities that face our nation for the foreseeable future. RHeaDI trainees have produced award-winning scholarship at premier scientific conferences for informatics; translated their findings into clinical, public health, and policy journals; and advanced the science of informatics application in underserved populations. Former RHeaDI trainees are now positioned as nursing and biomedical informatics faculty in leading research-intensive organizations. The RHeaDI core concepts of interdisciplinarity, informatics, health disparities, evidence-based practice, and underserved populations are even more central to federal and other national strategic initiatives now than in the past. However, health disparities continue to exist despite significant initiative aimed at improving health equity and creating a national health information network or cyberinfrastructure that improves health care, promotes health, and advances biomedical discoveries. It is nurse scientists, such as those educated in the RHeaDI training program, who are eminently prepared to bridge the scientific domains of nursing, health, biomedical informatics, and dissemination and implementation to reduce health disparities and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations through application of rigorous interdisciplinary theories and methods. Thus, the specific aims of this competitive renewal application are to: 1) Maintain an administrative structure to support interdisciplinary research training for nurses focused on the use of informatics to reduce health disparities and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations; 2) Recruit and train a qualified diverse cadre of nurses (predoctoral and postdoctoral) to conduct interdisciplinary research using informatics to reduce health disparities and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations; 3) Enhance the knowledge and skills of predoctoral and postdoctoral nurse trainees in the integration of theories and methods from informatics and from dissemination and implementation science to reduce health disparities and facilitate evidence-based practice in underserved populations; and 4) Evaluate the training program structures, processes, and outcomes on an ongoing and annual basis. RHeaDI trainees will include 3 predoctoral (2-4 years of T32 support) and 2 postdoctoral trainees (2-3 years of T32 support) for an anticipated total of 5 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees during the project period. There is no doubt that the need for RHeaDI is critical and its relevance to the 2011-2016 National Institute of Nursing Research Strategic Plan is strong. Moreover, the outstanding interdisciplinary research environment of Columbia University offers unique resources for achievement of study aims.
The Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) research training program will prepare nurse scientists with knowledge and skills in informatics and in dissemination and implementation science to address the scientific challenges and opportunities related to use of health information and communication technologies to reduce health disparities and facilitate evidence-based practice.
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