New funding opportunities, publications, and a network for health equity champions

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From the National Program Office

We are pleased to announce two new media publications related to the Urban Universities for HEALTH-led study, Holistic Admissions in the Health Professions. Dr. Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Cincinnati (UC), and Dr. Greer Glazer, Dean of the College of Nursing at UC, recently published a joint op-ed in the Huffington Post on the results of the study and implications for our health care system. Meanwhile, Dr. Marc Nivet, Chief Diversity Officer at AAMC and Dr. Jennifer Danek, Senior Director for Urban Universities for HEALTH, co-authored a blog entry in Wing of Zock on how holistic admission practices go beyond test scores to increase diversity.

Funding Opportunities

MedU invites letters of intent for medical education research, both qualitative and quantitative, in the areas of learning analytics, instructional design, and effectiveness studies. Proposals in these areas that best capitalize on MedU’s data and infrastructure will receive higher priority. Multi-institutional and cross-disciplinary studies are encouraged. Only MD, PhD, or EdD investigators are eligible to apply. The deadline to submit letters of intent is December 12, 2014.

The NIH and the EPA have partnered to fund Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research (P50), which will develop innovative approaches to understanding environmentally-driven health disparities and improve access to healthy environments for vulnerable populations and communities. A technical assistance webinar will be held on November 24, and applications are due January 9, 2015. The NIH has also announced The Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (R25), which supports creative educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce. Applications are due February 18, 2015.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and The Advisory Board Company have announced the launch of the BUILD Health Challenge (Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local and Data-driven). Together, the funding partners will award up to $3.5 million in grants and up to $4 million in low-interest loans and other program-related investments over two years to collaborations that promote community health and health equity.  To be eligible to apply, applicants must include at minimum the partnership of a hospital or health system, local health department, and nonprofit community-based organization, and focus on an urban neighborhood, zip code, or census tract experiencing severe health disparities.  The deadline to express interest is January 16, 2014.

News

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, effectively upholding a decision in the university's favor that was issued by a panel of the court's judges in July. The case could now be headed once again to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The AAMC’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Sex Development published a new comprehensive resource guide for medical educators on how to provide better care for patients with diverse forms of gender identities, sexual orientations, and sex development histories. The release was covered by Slate and NPR; the latter also interviewed Dr. Scott Leibowitz, an assistant professor of child psychiatry at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, regarding his views on reforming the medical school curricula to address disparities in the care of LGBT patients.

Virginia Commonwealth University won APLU’s C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award for their Working Together to Transform Lives through Pharmacist Collaborative Care and Outreach in the Community (PCOC) program. The PCOC program partners with underserved clinics and senior living facilities to provide community-based clinical training experiences for pharmacy students that will help them better understand the needs of underserved populations, including the uninsured, older adults, homeless individuals, and those living in rural areas. 

The University of Texas System has unveiled a competency-based medical sciences education program that employs personalized learning strategies. The first program to enroll students will be a bachelor’s degree program in biomedical sciences at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; other certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs are planned.

The White House has released a new report, Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity that highlights work the Administration has done over the last six years to reduce barriers to success for everyone, including women and girls of color. Read the full report.

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that fast-food chains disproportionately target black children through child-oriented marketing, further contributing to and perpetuating existing disparities in obesity.

Upcoming Events

The 2014 Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Grantees' Conference will convene on December 1-3, 2014 in National Harbor, MD. The theme is “Transdisciplinary Collaborations: Evolving Dimensions of US and Global Health Equity.” Although the conference will primarily highlight research from the programs supported by NIMHD, all who are engaged in clinical, translational, basic science, education, and policy research in minority health and health disparities are invited to attend.

The American Hospital Association will hold a webinar, University Hospitals’ Journey to Increase Diversity in Leadership and Reduce Health Care Disparities, on December 16, 2014, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will feature University Hospitals and its many programs that have helped the health system increase diversity in its leadership and governance and reduce disparities in health care.

The AAMC has issued a call for abstracts and submissions for the 11th Annual AAMC Health Workforce Research Conference.  Submissions are due by close of business on January 9, 2015.

Publications and Resources

AAMC released Diversity in the Physician Workforce: Facts & Figures 2014 via an interactive website. The report provides physicians, students, faculty, administrators, researchers, and policymakers with a compendium of detailed statistical information on the demographics and practice patterns of the physician workforce that graduated from U.S. M.D.-granting medical schools as well as trending information for select topics.

A new report by the AAMC and Academy Health finds substantial disparities in research aiming to eliminate health disparities. Knowledge gaps exist among populations studied, disorders studied, and geographic locations of the research activities.

The Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN), a collaborative effort between the National REACH Coalition, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the National Collaborative for Health Equity, officially launched earlier this fall.  HELEN will support the health equity movement by providing analysis and information on health policies and laws and their impact on health equity, a forum for health equity champions to share ideas, and a venue where advocates, scholars, and public health practitioners can connect.  HELEN membership is free and open to anyone interested in health equity and health policy work. 

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