BW Tackles Health Disparities with New Research & Education Center
Minimizing Gaps in Health Outcomes
Inequities in health outcomes occur for a variety of reasons. Differences based on race, ethnicity, gender, wealth, sexual orientation and community location. Under the direction of Swagata Banik, Ph.D., director of BW's Public Health Program, the Center will house research and educational activities that will have local, national and international scope.
"Our vision is to be an NIH-recognized center for health disparity education," said Banik. "Our research aims to develop innovative interventions that achieve measurable reductions in health disparities."
Initial research and public education will focus on vulnerable communities and health inequities in four areas: diabetes, HIV/AIDS, rural healthcare and LGBT health. Activities already underway or in development include:
- Ohio’s first CDC-recognized National Diabetes Prevention Program.
- Community-based Participatory Research program addressing rural health issues in Lubec, Maine. The co-investigators and students have made multiple trips to conduct community health assessment.
- Collaboration between Banik (BWU) and Passamaquoddy Native Americans in Maine for substance use prevention.
- Collaboration between Banik (BWU) and UCC Church of Cleveland for HIV prevention among vulnerable population in Cleveland.
- Affiliation with Aninwah Medical Center, Kumasi, Ghana, for public health research in Ghana.
- Collaboration between Banik and Humsafar Trsut at Mumbai, India, and Pune University, India, for HIV/AIDS prevention research.
Area physicians, scholars, public health agencies and others also have been invited to house their research under the umbrella of the Center. Banik said a local physician investigating hypertension and salt sensitivity is already in the fold. Also underway is a student fellows program.