CHER’s mission & values
Collaborating with communities to improve health and well-being
The mission of the Center for Health Equity Research at Northern Arizona University is to end health disparities in our region, as well as working to end such disparities nationally and internationally.
Health disparities in Arizona are significant, and are related to its rural nature, widespread poverty, and cultural differences among diverse populations. More than one fifth of Arizonans live in poverty, and 13 of 15 Arizona counties are rural. The state’s rate of uninsured is one of the three highest in the nation, and Arizona ranked in the bottom third of states in overall child health and economic well-being in 2015.
National and international
Health disparities on a national and international level are also worthy of attention, particularly because the connectedness of the modern world means that health disparities can have global consequences such as the spread of communicable diseases like tuberculosis, virulent stains of influenza, Zika virus, and Ebola. Indigenous people worldwide suffer generally poorer health, as well as higher rates of suicide, infant mortality, and infectious diseases.
Finding solutions will involve new ways of engaging researchers, healthcare providers, and communities in research which is culturally relevant and respectful, and which provides solid information on which to base conclusions and actions.