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Center for Reducing Health Disparities

About Us (en Espaņol)


Health disparities are differences in health-related outcomes by race, gender, socioeconomic status, or other grouping.  Health disparities are especially striking in the greater Cleveland area.  In January 2004, Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth Medical Center created the Center for Reducing Health Disparities.

To reduce health disparities through (a) research on root causes, mechanisms, and interventions,
(b) education of students, providers, and policy makers, and (c) partnership with community organizations and government agencies.

• To create a durable academic-community partnership to develop innovative interventions that achieve measurable reductions in health disparities in the greater Cleveland area.
• To promote successful intervention strategies that can be replicated in other regions.
• To train a new generation of health activists committed to eliminating health disparities.

The Center functions as a catalyst for research and collaboration among Center and affiliated faculty, community organizations, and government agencies.  Recent and ongoing efforts include:
• a Medicare-funded project to develop clinical performance measures on access to kidney transplantation.
• an NIH-funded study to utilize the mother-daughter relationship to enhance cervical cancer screening in South Africa.
• a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded activities to reduce disparities in organ donation.
• a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study to examine racial variation in colorectal polyp and tumor location.
• an American Heart Association-funded intervention to improve management of hypertension in inner city clinics.

The Center seeks to educate students, providers, and policy makers about health disparities.  Recent and ongoing efforts include:
• visits by local and national experts on health disparities.
• an interdisciplinary graduate course on health disparities that is offered every fall.
• a symposium on genetic, clinical, and health policy aspects of health disparities.
• a health disparities journal club.
• works in progress conferences.

The Center works with community organizations and government agencies to develop and coordinate efforts to reduce health disparities.  Center staff are particularly interested in helping organizations and agencies with design and evaluation of projects.  Recent and ongoing efforts include:
• a collaboration with the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland to improve delivery of services to Hispanics (funded by the Office of Minority Health)
• a collaboration with Greater Cleveland Partnership to conduct a lecture series to educate Clevelanders about health disparities (funded by St. Luke's and Mt. Sinai foundations).
• a collaboration with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to evaluate a program to improve nutrition and physical exercise among youth.
• a collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland's attorneys to address legal barriers to health and health care.