Training Minority Leaders for Underserved Populations
The MHHDRC is the first NIH-funded health disparities research center in Louisiana. Designed to improve the health of underserved populations in New Orleans and the surrounding regions, the center's objectives are to conduct health disparity research, develop minority faculty into successful investigators, expose undergraduates to health disparity research, and train minority nursing students to become clinical research associates. Towards the former, LSUHSC has developed research projects that focus on chronic conditions accounting for a disproportionate share of disease among minority and other populations. Through these projects, Dillard University faculty members are serving as co-investigators on studies being led by NIH-funded SSSCC investigators (Drs. Liu, Hagenseee, and Sothern). By working in these and other LSUHSC laboratories, Dillard undergraduates are also being provided with valuable research opportunities. In addition, Dillard nursing students in training to become clinical research associates are being afforded experiential learning opportunities by working with clinical research associates at the LSU Interim Hospital and clinics and at other MB-CCOP performance sites. In conjunction with the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center at the University of Alabama, extensive community engagement initiatives are being developed to promote community participation in reducing health disparities. The LSUHSC efforts are being led by John Estrada, MD, who along with John Wilson, PhD, at Dillard University, serves as a PI for the MHHDRC award.