PINE, the Alumni Magazine of Northern Arizona University has featured the Center for Health Equity Research in the Fall 2017 edition. The article reflects the center’s objective of addressing health disparities unique to Arizona’s rural and minority populations through research. This research emphasizes factors that contribute to health inequities like social, economic, and cultural factors. Public health based projects established during the center’s first year include an assessment of well-being in northern Arizona, a study of Arizona’s Health Start Program effectiveness, and a study on decision-making about cancer screening among American Indian women with intellectual disabilities.
The National Institute of Environment Health Sciences has highlighted Nicolette Teufel-Shone, Associate Director of CHER, as a featured grantee of funding. She is recognized for her effort to create meaningful community partnerships with Native communities. Working closely with these communities extends the reach of community engagement, data collection, and dissemination. As the director of the Community Engagement Core of the Center for Indigenous Environmental Health Research, she is working to grow health and wellness promotion in Native communities through collaborative relationships.
Emery Eaves and Lisa Hardy will be facilitating a workshop for healthcare providers focused on patients’ chronic pain and opioid use. An overdose prevention training, hosted by Eaves and Hardy, will be held for community members. This session includes recognizing and responding to opioid overdose and lessons on the administration of key medication.
Emery Eaves, PhD, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, has been approved for a $50,000 funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support a project in collaboration with community partner and co-lead Cora Phillips, MSW, and Julie Baldwin, Director of NAU’s Center for Health Equity Research, entitled “Involving Native Stakeholders in Pain Research Efforts (INSPiRE).” Dr. Eaves and Ms. Phillips will use the funds provided through PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards program to build a partnership of individuals and groups who share a desire to advance patient-centered outcomes research focused on improving chronic pain management and reducing opioid overuse in Tribal communities. Pipeline to Proposal Awards enable individuals and groups that are not typically involved in clinical research to develop the means to develop community-led funding proposals focused on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER). Established by the non-profit PCORI, the program funds help individuals or groups build community partnerships, develop research capacity, and hone a comparative effectiveness research question that could become the basis of a research funding proposal to submit to PCORI or other health research funders.
The proposed project will build on existing partnerships to engage local, regional, and national stakeholders in taking culturally informed and evidence-based first steps toward addressing pressing needs for chronic pain management and opioid overuse support in Arizona’s Tribal Communities
The NARBHA Institute and Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation approached CHER in 2016 to conduct a comprehensive regional needs and assets assessment of health in northern Arizona. CHER has compiled and analyzed existing data and met with community members, leaders, and healthcare providers to understand what their priorities are and what resources they feel are most impactful in improving health across the region. The assessment also documents existing community assets and strategies that are successfully tackling some of these issues and includes a “best practices” guide to share with the communities and counties. The report contains a comprehensive map of existing evidence-based needs, assets, and program development resources and strategies to reduce health disparities across the region. The assessment will help funding agencies and strategic planners prioritize spending and help communities build capacity to support health and wellbeing in their communities.
CHER initiated two pilot intervention programs as a part of this project, Health Disparities in Jail Populations and Employee Wellbeing. The first will study the confluence of behavioral health issues, infectious disease, and chronic illnesses, which show significant patterns of health disparities in jail populations when compared with the general population. The latter will study management practices in healthcare institutions and their impact on employee wellbeing, which have a multitude of effects on outcomes for patients as well as for healthcare organizations.
This project is funded by the NARBHA Institute and the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation.
We are pleased to announce that the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities has awarded Northern Arizona University and the Center for Health Equity Research $21.4 million to establish the Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative (SHERC), which will focus on increasing NAU’s basic biomedical, clinical, and behavioral health research capacity to address health disparities among diverse populations of our region. SHERC will be led by PIs Julie Baldwin, CHER Director; and Diane Stearns, Associate VP for Research at NAU.
The new research center underscores NAU’s commitment to addressing health disparities facing underserved populations in the Southwest.