A New Year’s Update from the Urban Universities for HEALTH Learning Collaborative


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Funding Opportunities

The Aetna Foundation has launched the Healthier World Innovation Challenge, which will fund projects intended to improve chronic disease outcomes in underserved communities using technology that is readily available. Up to $4.5 million will be awarded.  

The Disability Research and Dissemination Center (DRDC), in coordination with the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the CDC, is pleased to announce the availability of three new grant opportunities for 2015. The purpose of these opportunities is to evaluate the impact of various strategies for early identification of developmental disability. Awards range from $150,000 to $350,000 for up to 1 year. Applications are due February 27, 2014.

There are two upcoming grant opportunities for health professions students.  First, the National Health Service Corps released their 2015 Application and Program Guidance for the NHSC Loan Repayment Program.  Applications are due March 30, 2015.  Second, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) is accepting applications for the 2015 Paul Ambrose Scholars Program, which exposes health professions students to influential public health professionals and prepares them to be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level. Applications are due on March 31, 2015.

The NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI) is accepting applications for funding for the implementation of partnerships between institutions serving underserved health disparity populations and underrepresented students (ISUPS) and NCI-designated Cancer Centers (CC).  Applications are due April 1, 2015.

Also from NIH, the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science (R25) supports educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce. Institutions must collaborate with at least one NIH BD2K Center.  Letters of intent are due on March 7, 2015.

Finally, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) have the opportunity to participate in a research project to benefit students with disabilities. Although this is not a grant opportunity, participants will be provided with software, accessible textbooks, training, and professional education free of charge.


The University of Missouri-Kansas City has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for the foundation’s coveted Community Engagement Classification. Among the initiatives cited in UMKC’s successful application were the Heartland Health Network, which earned a $1 million federal grant to address health disparities in the African American community, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences’ active engagement of community partners in the development of educational programs that meet community needs.

Cleveland State University made headlines this week for its positive economic impact on the Cleveland community.

The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) is proud to announce the launch of our new blog, Urban University.  The blog aims to disseminate the learning from USU initiatives, members and partners that advances our understanding of student success and the role of anchor institutions in the community. We welcome case studies, reports, guest posts, videos, interviews, infographics and other news on innovations happening at your institutions.

A new study finds that racial and ethnic health disparities have declined in some areas. According to the researchers, gaps in quality of hospital care received by black, Hispanic and white patients have narrowed for three ailments: pneumonia, heart attacks and heart failure.

Another new study found that health care professionals who work in teams make fewer diagnostic errors than professionals working alone.

A Health Affairs blog explores how Community Health Workers can reinvent health care delivery in the US.

What will it take to diversify medicine? A RWJF Human Capital blog discusses the “power of the pipeline.”

Should urban universities help their neighbors? This article tells the story of how the University of Chicago partnered with other community organizations to stabilize a local neighborhood decimated by the housing crisis.  

President Michael Rao of Virginia Commonwealth University has announced that undergraduate applicants with a high school GPA of 3.3 or higher will no longer be required to submit SAT scores.  Hundreds of colleges around the country have already dropped the SAT requirement.

Upcoming Events

AAMC, VHA and CHA are co-hosting a webinar on tools to help hospitals and their partners address community health needs and plan activities to improve community health. The webinar will be held Thursday, February 5, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. (Please note that registration is restricted to AAMC, VHA and CHA members only).

The 36th Annual Minority Health Conference, Reaching for the American Dream - Economic Mobility and Minority Health will be held February 27, 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC.

The Association for Community Health Improvement (ACHI) will hold its annual conference March 4-6 in Dallas, TX.  All community health, community benefit, population health and healthy community professionals are welcome to attend.

The 2015 Beyond Flexner conference will focus on the social mission of medical education, and will be held April 13-15 in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Art Kaufman from the UNM Health Sciences Center will be co-chairing.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) will hold their annual meeting on April 15-18 in Phoenix, AZ.  The theme is “Empowering Leaders Igniting Change.”

Publications and Resources

The Condition of Latinos in Education 2015 Factbook published by Excelencia in Education provides compelling data to counter common myths and misperceptions about Latino students, including English language proficiency, workforce participation, and college enrollment and graduation rates.

HRSA has just published data collected from 2010-2012 on the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of U.S. health care occupations.

The Ohio State University has launched a new web portal, Public University Medicaid Partnerships, which provides resources for university systems (public and private), academic medical centers, state agencies, and independent healthcare organizations interested in developing or expanding university-state partnerships. 

AAMC is pleased to launch Public Health Pathways, a new web-based resource of public health training opportunities for learners across the medical education continuum. 

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