Eliminating Health Inequities through Research Education and Mentorship

We propose to strengthen and to expand our mentorship and educational initiatives in health services research on racial and ethnic health disparities at the RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico (UNM).  Our program has a special focus on American Indian and Latino health issues, including social and economic inequities; our Center provides an intensive training institute, which introduces health services research and community based participatory research to newly hired and “minority” junior faculty members and graduate students from the basic social science disciplines (e.g., economics, political science, sociology) and the clinical sciences (e.g., nurses).  In addition, we plan to build within our core research infrastructure the capacity to administer a “population laboratory” for the greater Albuquerque region that can support a wide range of future studies.  This project also enhances ongoing mentorship relationships with exceptional nationally recognized health researchers.  By this application, we will strengthen the successful RWJF Center program by expanding it in two important ways; both directions reflect NCMHD priorities expressed in the Program Announcement and other communications.  a) By recruiting advanced to candidacy graduate students (e.g., ABD) who have been unable to finish their dissertations for a variety of reasons to our intensive dissertation completion and mentoring program we will rapidly increase the number of new “minority” researchers.  b) Recruitment of “minority” researchers from the social sciences at the post-doctoral level who may not have thought their work was relevant to eliminating health disparities will increase the pool for successful new faculty addressing racial and ethnic disparities.  
Principal Investigator:  Robert O. Valdez, PhD, RWJF-Center for Health Policy at UNM
Project Dates:                9/20/2009 to 06/30/2012