The UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program is comprised of the following core components:
The Administrative Core is primarily responsible for the Program’s strategic planning, including: defining and upholding its mission, aims, and objectives; conducting environmental scanning for strategy development; directing and managing strategy implementation, program evaluation, and assessment; and ensuring that adjustments are made for continuous quality improvement.
The Research Core aims to (a) forge research collaborations among culturally diverse academic researchers and community members for the purpose of conducting culturally sensitive research to address obesity and other health problems that have a disproportionately negative impact on racial/ethnic minorities and low-income individuals; (b) develop and test evidence-based health promotion interventions in racial/ethnic minority and low-income communities; (c) empirically evaluate the impact of culturally sensitive health information technology on the health outcomes of patients; and (d) increase the participation of racial/ethnic minorities in health research, including clinical trials.
Research Training and Education Core
The Research Training and Education Core provides training and mentoring for faculty, students, and health care professionals in the design and implementation of culturally sensitive, minority health research to reduce health disparities. Although the program as a whole emphasizes training and mentoring minority scientists and focuses on community-based/participatory health promotion and health risk reduction research, the scope of this core will expand this approach to include opportunities across the translational research spectrum, taking advantage of the breadth and richness of research interests and expertise currently in place at the participating institutions. Strategies for sustaining training outcomes will also be a focus of this core.
Community Engagement and Outreach Core
The Community Engagement and Outreach Core focuses primarily on empowering at-risk communities to develop culturally sensitive prevention and intervention programs focusing on health promotion and health risk reduction. The ultimate goal of these programs is to eliminate diseases that are priorities within these communities. The construct of health empowerment will guide our work with the target communities; this construct includes active participation in managing one’s health, being knowledgeable and informed about health and health care, being committed to health, and pursuing interventions to promote health and prevent or treat disease. An interplay of cultural, social, and environmental factors; personal resources; and intrapersonal factors influence health empowerment. Therefore, through this Core, we strive to form partnerships within the community at multiple levels, including neighborhoods, schools, community centers/agencies, managed care organizations, physician practices, dental practices, churches, and individuals themselves.