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Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD): An NIMHD COE

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PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Health disparities are a significant problem in Arkansas, arguing for research to eliminate them. The development and support of researchers and communities who can conduct research to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these disparities and test the effectiveness of strategies to achieve health equity is essential. We will continue to complete research in minority health disparities, promote the training of a diverse research workforce, disseminate research findings, and foster collaborations and partnerships through the activities of the proposed Arkansas Center for Health Disparities (ARCHD). The proposed Center builds on 9.5 years of strong, collaborative work as an Exploratory Center of Excellence, continuing its thematic focus developing multidisciplinary, multilevel research that reduces chronic disease risk factors for which there are significant health disparities among socially disadvantaged African American communities, with a goal of improving health and quality of life and ultimately eliminating health disparities. ARCHD will maintain three core units ? an Administrative Core to provide overall coordination and management of Center activities, including the coordination of common data elements, evaluation, and methods expertise; an Investigator Development Core, to develop a pilot project program for early stage investigators and to provide mentorship and guidance; and a Community Engagement and Dissemination Core, to expand and facilitate equitable, sustainable, collaborative relationships with community and other stakeholders and to coordinate dissemination of research findings to diverse audience segments. The Center will implement two full research projects, both using a community health worker model to deliver interventions to disadvantaged African American populations, i.e., female African American tobacco users in rural communities and recently incarcerated African Americans at high risk of contracting HIV. We seek to foster additional research addressing minority health disparities, both within and outside the Center, the dissemination of which may inform efforts to create systematic change in policies, programs, and environments to reduce and eliminate health disparities.

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