CMS ANNOUNCES RESEARCH GRANTS TO FOUR UNIVERSITIES TO HELP REDUCE HEALTH DISPARITIES AMONG MINORITIES
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. today announced grants totaling nearly $500,000 to four universities to encourage research to reduce health disparities among minority populations.
Grants were awarded under CMS’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities Research Grants Program to Alabama A&M University in Normal, Ala., and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala. Grants were awarded as part of the Hispanic Health Services Research Grants Program to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ) in Newark, N.J., and the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Fla.
“Reducing health disparities is a priority challenge that must be met if we are to improve the quality of health in minority communities in this country. CMS supports such research grants because of the belief that historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic investigators may play an important role in finding solutions to health issues facing African Americans and Hispanic Americans,” Dr. McClellan said. “These institutions and Hispanic investigators have unique expertise, knowledge and reputation they can bring to the design and implementation of research projects that will help eliminate health disparities.”
The grants, ranging from $118,000 to $125,000, are given annually to support studies related to health care issues, such as access and barriers to care, delivery, financing, and quality of care, that affect African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
Under these programs, eligible educational institutions may request $100,000 to $125,000 per year for one or two years for various research projects. CMS has conducted the grant programs for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs) since 1996 and 1998, respectively.
The four grants support research regarding access to care, utilization and quality of services, and activities related to health screening, prevention and education. The grants also examine racial disparities, social and economic differences, and other barriers affecting the design and operation of programs that deal with health care issues of minority communities.
“These grant programs are designed to sponsor research projects that will examine health service issues of importance to African Americans and Hispanic Americans,” Dr. McClellan said. “From this experience, there has been an increased ability on the part of minority investigators from historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic serving institutions to compete successfully for federal government research and program funds.”
CMS has developed a partnership with HBCUs and HSIs as part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ strategic plan to increase the ability of these institutions to participate in HHS-sponsored programs.
Following are the projects funded by the fiscal year 2004 grant awards:
Alabama A&M University – Project: “Colorectal cancer screening” – budget: $125,000.
Tuskegee University – Project: “Improving prostate cancer screening rates among African-American men in rural black belt counties in Alabama: An education intervention program” – budget: $125,000.
UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School – Project: “Assessing colorectal cancer knowledge and improving screening rates among older minorities in the city of Newark” – budget: $117,640.
University of Miami School of Medicine – Project: “An educational intervention with HIV-infected patients: A randomized study” – budget: $124,745.