UCLA Family Medicine Department receives $300,000 from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Funds to be used to evaluate interventions aimed at reducing racial and ethnic health-care gaps in depression

The UCLA Department of Family Medicine, under the direction of Principal Investigator Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, is receiving a two-year, $300,000 grant from Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, a National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) housed at the University of Chicago that evaluates interventions aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic health care disparities in local communities. Ten other organizations from around the country will receive similar grants from Finding Answers/RWJF. The organizations were selected from a pool of 178 submitted proposals.

"We are pleased to join the Foundation and its Finding Answers program in working to eliminate disparities in the U.S. health care system," said Michael Rodriguez. "The funds from this grant will help the Departments of Family Medicine at both UCLA and Charles R. Drew University to evaluate our current interventions to learn whether they are effective in equalizing care for all our patients."

The Finding Answers/RWJF grant will allow the UCLA Department of Family Medicine to evaluate its current efforts in order to improve the care of minority patients suffering from depression, a disease for which evidence of racial and ethnic disparities in care is strong and the recommended standard of care is clear.

"There is an urgent need to move beyond documenting the existence of health care disparities and start finding solutions that will eliminate them," said Marshall H. Chin, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, Department of Medicine and the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, as well as the director of the Finding Answers program. "With the joint effort of these grantees and the health care community, we will identify innovative, replicable and sustainable approaches to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care."

The results of the UCLA and Drew Departments of Family Medicine's research will help Finding Answers and RWJF understand what works or does not work to improve health care for minority patients. The information UCLA and Drew and the other 10 grantees provide to Finding Answers will include obstacles to and solutions for implementing a tested intervention, start-up and maintenance costs for the intervention, and staff training needs. Finding Answers will evaluate the results and related information and then inform health care stakeholders, doctors, hospitals and health plans about promising interventions that demonstrate potential to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care. The majority of the 178 proposals submitted to Finding Answers/RWJF included interventions involving health care policy, health care organizations, providers, patients and direct community linkages to the health care system. All were evaluated and selected based on the following factors: strength of the intervention, demographics of the institution, institutional commitment to addressing disparities in health care and improving quality of care overall, data collection capacity, and the scientific quality of the proposed research project.

The 10 other grant recipients are:

  • Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority, Oklahoma

  • Cooper Green Hospital, Alabama

  • Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Massachusetts

  • Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia

  • Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Rhode Island

  • The Regents of the University of California, California

  • University of Southern California, California

  • Westside Health Services, Inc., New York

  • Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut


To learn more about the UCLA Department of Family Medicine visit http://fm.mednet.ucla.edu/index.asp.

Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change is a research and tracking program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at the University of Chicago. The program is the cornerstone of the Foundation's strategy to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care by 2008. To learn more about Finding Answers and other initiatives dedicated to eliminating disparities in health care, visit www.SolvingDisparities.org.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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