Disability and public health remain an elusive combination despite obvious synergies. Birth defects, developmental and other disabilities, health and care disparities in disability, and health and wellness for people with disabilities are not commonly noted in medical and health education and service programs. This proposal is designed to develop a Center to focus a program of activities in support of the initiative and mandates of the NCBDDD, called the Disability Research and Dissemination Center (DRDC). DRDC will require a collaborative that includes prominent organizations, networks, and groups with the capacity to carry out public health research, training, and practice in the areas of birth defects, developmental and other disabilities; avoid health disparities for people with disabilitie of all ages; and promote health and development of persons with disabilities across the lifespan. DRDC will be organized through 5 Cores: 1) Administration to provide infrastructure and coordination for Center activities; 2) Research to support NCBDD priorities and those of the Center; 3) Training and Evidence-Based Programs to catalogue/promote evidence-based practices for wellness and develop professionals' education; 4) Dissemination to advance information with and for stakeholders and others; 5) Evaluation to assess processes of the Center and assure research and product integrity. The collaborative will bring together nationally prominent disability experts in pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine, preventive medicine and public health, behavioral health, genetics, epidemiology and biostatistics, health promotion, nursing, social work and related fields who are located within universities, schools of public health and medical schools throughout the US. The organizational framework allows us to be inclusive of medical and health education programs and tenure track faculty in university settings, plus colleagues in public and private organizations and businesses, who have expertise in research and training to promote the health of people with developmental and other disabilities. Our primary team and Cores will be housed at University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC), SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY), and American Association on Health and Disability (Washington, DC). The primary team has successfully worked together to establish and expand the field specific journal, Disability and Health Journal.
This project is designed to identify and fund the best research in this field, foster training of public health and other professionals, and to use the most progressive mechanisms to disseminate knowledge about evidenced-based practice. The ultimate goal of the Disability Research and Dissemination Center (DRDC) is to increase scientific and public awareness about areas related to developmental and other disabilities, with a promise of scientific breakthroughs, new policies, and new areas of research which will positively impact the health of persons across the lifespan living with birth defects and disabilities.
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