Not only are most racial and ethnic groups less healthy, but they also tend to have shorter life expectancies, higher rates of infant mortality and chronic diseases, worse outcomes once diagnosed with illnesses, and less access to health care than their white counterparts. Health disparities persist even when socio-economic status and insurance coverage are taken into account, due to a complex combination of factors.
"This initiative is core to our commitment to be engaged in eliminating health disparities in our region and help the Kellogg Foundation build a model for the nation," said Donna Petersen, ScD, dean of the USF College of Public Health.
The Foundation-sponsored Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) will intensively collaborate for one year with teams from each of the 12 institutions to develop and implement strategies focused on eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. The USF team includes leaders from the College of Public Health; the Chiles Center; the Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI); the School of Aging Studies (SAS); as well as community members from the Hillsborough County Health Department; the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program; and the Healthy Start Coalition.
"Our inclusion is acknowledgment that we are already doing good things in the area and being part of the initiative will help us do it better," said Hana Osman, PhD, assistant professor of public health and project leader. "This consultation will place us in a great position to apply for health disparities extramural research funding in the near future, as a result of our newly acquired skills and partnerships."
Eliminating health disparities will require solutions that bring communities and institutions together as partners and build upon the assets, strengths, and capacities of each. Schools and graduate programs of public health – with their roles in educating public health professionals, conducting public health research and applying knowledge to solve public health problems – have a unique and important role to play, said Karen Liller, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs at USF College of Public Health. "We are proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to involving faculty, staff, students, and our surrounding communities in education and research initiatives to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities."
The Kellogg Foundation defines engaged institutions as "institutions that invest in lasting relationships with communities…these relationships influence, shape, and promote the success of both the institution and the community."
Teams include academic administrators, faculty, staff, students and community partners. Consultation will be provided by members of the CCPH Consultancy Network, the organization's training and technical assistance arm. The initiative will also sponsor teleconferences, identify promising practices and produce resource materials.
Initiative announcements and updates will be posted on the CCPH website at www.ccph.info.
Participating Schools and Graduate Programs of Public Health:
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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