The Center for Health Equity Research (HER) has had a productive and exciting 6 months since our last newsletter. We continue to work hard to achieve our core mission to (1) foster transdisciplinary collaborations between the community and academic departments, and (2) support HER pilot projects with innovative strategies to enhance self-management knowledge and behaviors and improve outcomes of chronic conditions.
We are actively creating and sustaining meaningful transdisciplinary and community partnerships. Within the University of Texas at Austin, we are collaborating with various health disciplines, including those represented by the School of Social Work, College of Pharmacy, Department of Nutritional Sciences, and Dell Medical School, as well as the Department of Computer Science and Moody College of Communication.
Our community partnerships also continue to grow. We are collaborating with two outstanding community organizations to address health care inequality issues in Austin: Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman and the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas were awarded two 6-year grants totaling more than $3 million from the City of Austin. These two projects exemplify community-based participatory research, both in its relevance to the target community and in its credibility among the research and policy communities that we, as heath scientists, seek to influence. Both projects are based on community-driven solutions to health equity issues that each community has identified.
In line with our second mission, we continue to support pilot projects that employ innovative self-management strategies to improve outcomes of chronic health conditions. We have four pilot studies that incorporate transdisciplinary collaborations to promote patient self-management and improve health outcomes in people with chronic conditions such as heart failure, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, HIV, and cancer.
We have also sponsored and co-sponsored many networking and community events to foster new, sustainable partnerships between community organizations and UT academic partners. We have hosted several skills-building events on grant writing, informatics, and technological interventions and we will be hosting the LaVerne Gallman Distinguished Lecture in Nursing, where Dr. Shirley Moore, the Associate Dean for Research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, will discuss “Team Science: Building and Supporting Effective Research Teams.”
More information about all these developments can be found in this issue. Please feel free to contact us with ideas for collaboration or resources you might find helpful related to transdisciplinary and self-management science. On behalf of our HER team, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and new year!