Hhs Awards $85 Million To Eliminate Health Disparities
The awarding of $85 million to support the elimination of health disparities among racial and ethnic minority communities has been announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The awards augment the department’s Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and highlights strategies discussed during the July 2002 national health disparity summit.
Specifically, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) provided $74.5 million distributed among a number of its programs — the Centers of Excellence Program, the Endowment Program, the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions Program, and Loan Repayment Programs.
In additional, HHS’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) awarded 65 grants totaling $10.5 million to support community and state-based efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS and other health disparities in racial and ethnic minority communities. Of this amount, $4.6 million is supported by funding from the Minority AIDS Initiative.
The NCMHD was designated by Congress to lead, coordinate, support and assess the NIH research effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities as they affect racial and ethnic communities and medically-underserved individuals.
“To eliminate health disparities, all of us at NIH must continue to work together with our many research partners across the country to build a more collaborative biomedical and behavioral research enterprise of institutions and individuals from all populations that will benefit all Americans,” NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni said.
“These programs lay the foundation for our nation’s future efforts to eliminate the health disparities that plague so many populations within our country,” said John Ruffin, Ph.D., director of NCMHD. “If we are to solve these problems, we must be more inclusive in our research endeavors.”
Today’s announcement involves the following fiscal year 2002 awards from NCMHD:
o Endowment Program awards totaling $42.8 million have been made to 14 institutions for the purpose of facilitating minority health disparities research and other health disparities research. These institutions are all Centers of Excellence as defined by Section 736 of the Public Health Service Act. The grants will almost triple the endowment at some institutions and help to enhance and build their capacity for minority health and other health disparities research.
o Awards totaling $19 million have been made to 26 eligible biomedical and behavioral research institutions under the Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (Project EXPORT). These awards will support health disparities research, with 20 institutions receiving funds to begin developing health disparities centers and six other institutions receiving planning grants. The program aims to build research capacity at designated institutions enrolling a significant number of students from health disparity populations and to promote participation and training in biomedical and behavioral research among health disparity populations. The program attracts broad participation among institutions and consortia with varying levels of research infrastructure.
o Awards totaling $5.6 million have been made to six qualified biomedical and behavioral research institutions under the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions Program. This program helps institutions that enroll a significant number of students from minority health disparities population and want to enhance their capacity and competitiveness to conduct biomedical or behavioral research. The program assists non-doctoral degree institutions to develop their research infrastructures, primarily through collaborations with research-intensive universities.
o Awards totaling $7.1 million have been made to 153 qualified health professionals under the Loan Repayment Program, which are designed to increase the number of individuals conducting clinical or health disparities research, including researchers from health disparities populations.
The OMH grants announced today are as follows:
o Health Disparities in Minority Health Grants:
Awards totaling $1 million were made to fund 20 small-scale, community-based projects in 13 states that will address health disparities in minority communities. The grants will strengthen efforts by community-based, faith-based, and tribal organizations to reduce high-risk behaviors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, or poor eating habits, as well as improvements in access to health care. Projects aimed at addressing HIV/AIDS will also aim to increase counseling and testing services and improve access to care for “hardly reached” populations such as youth, women at risk, men having sex with men, injection drug users, persons who are mentally ill, and persons who are incarcerated.
o Minority Community Health Coalition Demonstration Grants, HIV:
Awards totaling $2.5 million were made to fund 17 projects in nine states to combat HIV/AIDS in minority communities. Each grant recipient is the lead agency for a minority-serving, community-based coalition of three or more organizations. Each coalition must include at least one organization with extensive experience in HIV/AIDS, one AIDS service organization, and one organization with no experience in HIV/AIDS. The grants are aimed at increasing community understanding of HIV/AIDS and improving access to HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, and treatment services. They are intended to promote integrated community responses, address sociocultural, linguistic, and other barriers to effective HIV prevention and services, and develop HIV/AIDS education and outreach efforts that will increase the number of individuals seeking and accepting treatment.
o State and Territorial Minority HIV/AIDS Demonstration Grants:
Awards totaling $2.4 million have been made to fund offices of minority health in 14 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to demonstrate the role these agencies can play in coordinating statewide responses to HIV/AIDS. Grant recipients will identify HIV/AIDS prevention and service needs among minority communities; improve linkages between community-based organizations and state entities; assist in coordinating Federal resources going into high-need minority communities; and facilitate access to federal technical assistance available to community-based organizations.
o Technical Assistance and Capacity Development Grants for HIV/AIDS:
Awards totaling $4.6 million were made to support development of effective and durable service delivery among minority-serving organizations involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The nine community-based organizations and three health departments in eight states and the District of Columbia that received grants will provide administrative and program-related technical assistance and develop mentoring relationships with minority-serving community organizations who are working to reduce high-risk behaviors, improve access to health care, and increase counseling and testing services for HIV/AIDS.
“These grants will strengthen local efforts by assisting a broad range of minority-serving groups working in communities highly affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other issues for which we have documented health disparities,” Secretary Thompson said. “These funds will support the hard work and creativity of community organizations, help our community partners gain access to expert technical assistance on management and program issues, and help coordinate community-wide and state-wide responses to health disparities.”