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Friends of NIMHD Ask for Increased Funding for Institute

COSSA, a founding member of the Friends of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), joined in sending letters to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) leadership in support of $302 million ($21 million increase) in funding for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the NIMHD. While acknowledging the “difficult budget environment,” the letter also highlights the institute’s success in basic research; community-based, participatory research; transdisciplinary and translational research; and training the research workforce.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 16), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThe latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Dr. Courtney Ferrell Aklin and Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who write about how the social and behavioral sciences help us understand the social determinants of health and address health disparities. Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 2), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

NIH Recognizes Sexual and Gender Minorities as a Health Disparity Population

On October 6, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Director Eliseo Pérez-Stable announced the “formal designation of sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) as a health disparity population” for the purposes of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-525) gives the directors of NIMHD and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) authority to define health disparity populations. The designation follows recommendations of a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now the National Academy of Medicine) Committee tasked with assessing the current state of knowledge about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as identifying research gaps and formulating a research agenda that could guide NIH in enhancing and focusing its research in this area. In 2015, NIH officially established the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) within its Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI). This office “coordinates sexual and gender minority (SGM)-related research and activities by working directly with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices.”

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Posted in Issue 20 (October 18), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIMHD Accepting Applications for Health Disparities Research Institute

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applicants to its Summer Institute on Health Disparities Science. The Institute which will be held on the NIH campus from August 15-19, 2016, is designed to “support the development of individual research projects by promising scientists early in their careers and … stimulate research in the disciplines supported by science on minority health and health disparities.” The course includes lectures, seminars, and small group discussions on research relevant to minority health and health disparities along with sessions by NIH scientific staff engaged in related health disparities research across the various NIH Institutes and Centers. Early career researchers from diverse backgrounds, as well as individuals interested in research on minority health and health disparities within academic, community-based, nonprofit, and other non-academic settings are encouraged to apply. Applications are due June 1, 2016.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 17), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Organizations Form Friends of NIMHD, Hold Welcome Reception for New Director

A diverse group of scientific societies and professional associations, including COSSA, have organized to create a coalition to advocate on behalf of the research supported by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). The newly formed group, the Friends of NIMHD, is an independent, voluntary coalition launched in 2015 to support the mission of NIMHD and its role in national efforts to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities.

The coalition will serve as a united voice for a broad, diverse network of organizations, institutions, communities, stakeholders, and individuals who care about improving minority health and eliminating health disparities. Its primary mission is to advocate on behalf of NIMHD during the annual congressional budget and appropriations process. The coalition is chaired by Lisa Simpson, Academy Health. Organizations interested in joining the new coalition and/or receive updates regarding its activities can contact Lindsey Horan at Academy Health.

COSSA and more than 100 representatives of professional associations and scientific societies joined Congressional staff and the Friends of NIMHD at a Capitol Hill reception to welcome new NIMHD Eliseo Perez-Stable, who took office in September 2015 (see Update, September 22, 2015 and May 4, 2015).

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Posted in Issue 20 (November 3), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Perez-Stable Joins NIMHD Participates in First Advisory Council Meeting

Just two weeks into his new position, newly appointed National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) director Eliseo Perez-Stable presided over his first meeting of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NACMHD) on September 17. Perez-Stable was appointed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins in April (See Update, May 4, 2015).

Perez-Stable shared his excitement to be at the NIH and his appreciation for the opportunity to work on a topic that he is passionate about. As a resident, he was interested in Latino health care, particularly patient-doctor communication styles, which guided him down his professional path. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 22), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH Minority Health Institute Moves Ahead on Science Visioning of Health Disparities

At the June 9 meeting of National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NACMHD), outgoing Acting Director Yvonne Maddox updated the Council on the Institute’s Science Visioning process for health disparities research.  NIH Deputy Director Larry Tabak will serve as the Institute’s Acting Director until newly appointed director Eliseo Perez-Stable’s arrival in September.

To initiate the process, the Institute released a request for information in April (see Update, May 4, 2015).  Maddox reported that a trans-NIH Science Vision Advisory Group had been appointed and working groups are being established. The working groups will hold discussion forums around areas of science “to establish foundational concepts for advancing the science of health disparities research.”  The trans-NIH advisory group is populated by senior NIH leadership and led by Irene Dankwa-Mullan, Acting Deputy Director, NIMHD Division of Extramural Scientific Programs. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 11 (June 16), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable Named Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Ood_28_ln April 28, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins announced the selection of Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D. as Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).  He is expected to join NIH in September.

Currently at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Pérez-Stable is a professor of medicine, chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, and director of the Center for Aging in Diverse Communities. He is also director of the UCSF Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, which is addressing issues for African Americans, Asians, and Latinos in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive health.  His personal research interest is in improving the health of poor and minority patients, reducing health risks such as smoking in minority populations, and improving cross-cultural communication skills among health care professionals.

Announcing Pérez-Stable’s appointment, Collins noted that “Eliseo is a highly respected leader with rich experience in advancing efforts to eliminate health disparities.  He has the passion and vision to guide the NIMHD research agenda in this critically important area.”

Collins also recognized and thanked Acting NIMHD Director Yvonne T. Maddox for her “exemplary and dedicated service of leading the NIMHD efforts over the last year.”  He also announced that Maddox is moving on to become Vice President for Research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

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Posted in Issue 8 (May 5), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH: NIMHD Seeking Input for Health Disparities Science Vision

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) serves as the focal point for the agency’s conduct of research, research training, capacity-building, and outreach dissemination of minority health and health disparities. NIMHD recently initiated a scientific planning process in collaboration with the NIH institutes and centers designed to define a vision that will guide the development of “the science of health disparities research for the next decade and identify key research areas that should be given high priority because knowledge in those areas might inform translational efforts that could have a significant impact on reducing health disparities.”

To that end, NIMHD has issued a time-sensitive request for information (RFI), Soliciting Input into the NIH Science Vision for Health Disparities Research (NOT-MD-15-006). The Institute is seeking conceptual input regarding the science vision for health disparities research. Comments are being specifically sought regarding key research areas that might address the complexity of the multiple, interacting factors that often generate and perpetuate health disparities.

Research questions identified by NIMHD as important to the science vision process include, but are not limited to:

What are the causes of health disparities?

  • What are the social, ecological, environmental and behavioral pathways, and the biological mechanisms that determinants of health operate upon to influence the health status of health disparity populations?
  • How do different health determinants interact to produce health disparities? How can the complexity be captured while producing scientific information useful to guide policies and practice?

What are the best methods and metrics to study health disparities, their causes, and promising solutions? What measures, analytic approaches, and other methods will advance health disparities science?

  • How should health disparities be measured in general, in physical health, in mental and psychosocial health, and in social health and wellbeing?
  • Who should be the “reference” population in determining health disparities? Who should be compared to whom to measure health disparities? Should the criteria change over time in relation to the demographic and contextual changes, and if so, how?
  • How can we leverage Big Data to determine the causes of health disparities and the pathways and mechanisms through which they operate?
  • What methods should be used to evaluate the success of a health disparity intervention given the challenges often faced?
  • How can we apply a population health systems approach to facilitate an understanding of the etiology of health disparities

What practice and policy interventions show the greatest promise to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities? What new knowledge is needed to inform effective interventions to address health disparities?

  • What scientific research areas are most critical to study in order to inform pressing practice and policy questions addressing health disparities?
  • What are the periods in the life cycle, timeframes or entry points along developmental trajectories that appear most promising as targets for interventions addressing health disparities across the life course?

What are the dissemination and implementation science approaches that will lead to effective practice and sustained policy intervention to reduce and eventually eliminate health disparities?

  • What criteria should be used to determine whether a health disparities intervention is ready for dissemination and implementation? Can we develop systematic approaches for assessing “Implementation Readiness” of biomedical knowledge and interventions?
  • How do we ensure that interventions are tailored to the needs of various health disparity populations while maintaining adequate fidelity of the intervention in a tested model?

Responses will be accepted through July 31, 2015 and must be submitted electronically to NIMHDScienceVision@mail.nih.gov.

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Posted in Issue 8 (May 5), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

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