Developing Effective Interuniversity Partnerships and Community-Based Research to Address Health Disparities
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Health disparities are an enormous challenge to American society. Addressing these disparities is a priority for U.S. society and especially for institutions of higher learning, with their threefold mission of education, service, and research. Collaboration across multiple intellectual disciplines will be critical as universities address health disparities. In addition, universities must collaborate with communities, with state partners, and with each other. Development of these collaborations must be sensitive to the history and unique characteristics of each academic institution and population. The authors describe the challenges of all three types of collaboration, but primarily focus on collaboration between research-intensive universities and historically black colleges and universities. The authors describe a four-year collaboration between Shaw University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). These universities strategically developed multiple research initiatives to address health disparities, building on modest early success and personal relationships. These activities included participation by Shaw faculty in faculty development activities, multiple collaborative pilot studies, and joint participation in securing grants from the Agency for Health care Research and Quality of the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, including a P-60 Project EXPORT center grant. These multiple activities were sometimes led by UNC-CH, sometimes by Shaw University. Open discussion of problems as they arose, realistic expectations, and mutual recognition of the strengths of each institution and its faculty have been critical in achieving successful collaboration to date.
author list (cited authors)
Carey, T. S., Howard, D. L., Goldmon, M., Roberson, J. T., Godley, P. A., & Ammerman, A.