Center of Excellence for Health Disparities

About the Center for Excellence

  • October 2004: the National Institutes of Health awarded a $1.2 million Project EXPORT grant to the University of South Alabama Center for Healthy Communities. Project EXPORT (Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach and Research on Disparities in Health and Training) is an ongoing national program to support initiatives to identify, address, and ultimately eliminate health disparities. This grant supported the establishment of community-based programs to research and address health disparities (as identified in the Healthy People 2010 initiative) among minority and underserved populations.
  • October 2007: the Center was recognized as the Center of Excellence by the NIH and was awarded a $7.5 million dollar grant (P20MD002314--Broad-Based Research Collaboratives on Minority Health and Health Disparities) to further develop and expand its programs.  This grant was renewed for an additional five years in 2012.

The Center for Healthy Communities Center of Excellence is organized into core components, each with distinct strategies and responsibilities that together support the overarching goal of the NIH/NCMHD Project EXPORT: Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities, and Training.

  • The Community Engagement Core initiatives include both health promotion and disease prevention activities. The Outreach core uses community-based participatory approaches that engage various sectors of the population as active partners in its efforts to improve the overall health of the target communities. A community health advocate (CHA) program and pipeline programs to develop future healthcare providers are the focus of attention.
  • The Research Education and Training Core works to advance the careers of minorities in the area of health disparities research. This is achieved by creating and fostering research opportunities and mentoring relationships for junior researchers.
  • The Research Core aims to strengthen the University's existing research infrastructure while engaging in critical health disparities research among target populations in the USA College of Medicine service area.
  • The Administrative Core facilitates the efforts of all cores and provides fiscal management for the EXPORT project. This core is also tasked with forging and maintaining partnerships between the departments and organizations within the University and relevant outside organizations.