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  • History and Center Overview

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  • Ronald L. Braithwaite, Ph.D., Director
     Sandra Harris-Hooker,Ph.D,  Deputy Director

    The Center of excellence on Health Disparities was established in 2002 with funding from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. During its initial years of planning and execution under the able leadership of Dr. David Satcher, the Center accomplished numerous milestones including: substantially increasing publications on Health Disparities research areas, acquisition of new grants by Center Investigators, increased participation and preparation of junior faculty as health disparities researchers, enhanced training opportunities for undergraduate and graduates students with CPBR projects in local communities, extensive collaborations with diverse community partners with shared interest in community health, a successful mini grant program for CBOs, integration of transdisciplinary research areas, including basic science, translational research , CBPR, Clinical trials and health services research. Research Core activities also included studies in mental health HIV/AIDS, Cardiovascular, diabetes, maternal and child health, and cancer.

    Building on this strong foundation in August 2012 the CEHD was funded for a new five year cycle with Dr. Ronald L. Braithwaite as the Director and Principal investigator to succeed Dr. Satcher. Under Dr. Braithwaite’s leadership, the emphasis of the Center seeks to reduce health disparities in vulnerable African American families and communities. Towards this end the Center has adopted four neighborhood planning units within the Atlanta area to launch three primary research projects and a series of pilot research studies in collaboration and consultation with a well established community coalition board under the aegis of its chair, LaShawn Hoffman, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association, Inc. in consultation with the Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Morehouse School of Medicine.

    Specially, this new five year initiative will enable investigators to study and partner with community resident’s on issues involving: 1) the impact of second hand smoke on children, 2) challenges and facilitation of women social offenders re-entering communities from incarceration, and 3) an assessment of the impact of parent education on children and adolescents development through a Smart and Secure Children initiative. The Center has also recently funded four faculty led pilot studies that will address: Ancestry Determinations for Minority Populations; Role of serum-and-gluccorticoid-inducible kinesis in stroke; PTSD among African American Women; and Lifestyle Modification Strategies. All of these studies will be supported by four additional cores (Administrative, Community Engagement, Research, and Research Training and Education.

    The Center is building on the legacy of its earlier era of funding during which time a health disparities seminar series was inaugurated under the leadership of Dr. David Satcher. The current health disparities research seminar series is a partnership with the department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and National Center for Primary Care. These entities have joined forces to implement a monthly health disparities research seminar series and have attracted national experts as seminar speakers.