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Vol. LXII, No. 23
November 12, 2010

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NIMHD Concludes Inaugural Health Disparities Course
NIMHD translational health disparities course participants and lecturers  
NIMHD translational health disparities course participants and lecturers  

Experts and scholars from around the country and abroad recently visited the NIH campus for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities’ inaugural course on health disparities. The course featured former Surgeon General David Satcher and lecturers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Northwestern University, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and George Washington University, just to name a few.

Course attendees participated in a series of lectures and dialogue on the principles of health disparities research. More than 40 health care and public policy professionals as well as members of community-based and faith-based organizations attended the course, titled Translational Health Disparities: Integrating Principles of Science, Practice and Policy in Health Disparities Research.

“We are very pleased with the course participants’ enthusiasm, energy and commitment to ending health disparities,” said Dr. John Ruffin, director of NIMHD. “They are now prepared with information and resources to take back to their respective communities to serve as advocates who can translate their knowledge into practice. This allows us to build our capacity to eliminate health disparities.”

Course modules focused on biological and non-biological determinants of health as well as a range of social, political, economic, cultural, legal and ethical theories related to health disparities. Scholars learned about factors that lead to poor health such as environment, social status, immigration laws and access to care. Other modules focused on genetics and genomics as well as ethical issues relating to health disparities and cultural competency. Experts discussed the challenges of recruiting people from health disparity populations into clinical trials. They also shared their experiences translating and disseminating scientific knowledge with policymakers and the public.

Ruffin announced that NIMHD would host the course on an annual basis. “I believe that we must continue to engage people in better understanding the considerable health disparities faced by millions of Americans. I can think of no better way to get the message across than by empowering the people who work directly with communities that are experiencing health disparities. This is a course that I believe anyone involved in health disparities work at the NIH should also attend.”

At the end of the course, participants were asked to formulate a plan for health disparities innovation research in their communities. Details about next year’s course will be announced soon.NIHRecord Icon

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