Placing Health Equity Front and Center:
The mission of El Centro is to advance the scientific development of culturally-tailored interventions to improve the health of groups who experience health disparities. Through research, education and collaboration with community and academic partners, El Centro aims to advance the science of reducing health disparities in Hispanics, blacks, sexual minorities and people in Caribbean nations and Latin America.
Major Research Focus
As a comprehensive research initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health – National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), El Centro develops, tests and disseminates culturally tailored interventions to improve the health of groups who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, drug abuse, intimate partner and family violence, and co-occurring mental and physical disorders.
El Centro strives to serve as a leader and resource in enhance health disparities research capacity, knowledge, competence and practice at the University of Miami, in the South Florida community, nationally and internationally.
Health Disparities Defined
“Although the term “disparities” often is interpreted to mean racial or ethnic disparities, many dimensions of disparity exist in the United States, particularly in health. If a health outcome is seen in a greater or lesser extent between populations, there is disparity. Race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location all contribute to an individual’s ability to achieve good health. It is important to recognize the impact that social determinants have on health outcomes of specific populations.”
A National Health Disparity is…“A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social or economic disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social and/or economic obstacles to health and/or a clean environment based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.”
Source: National Partnership for Action to end Health Disparities
“Health disparities refer to differences between groups of people. These differences can affect how frequently a disease affects a group, how many people get sick, or how often the disease causes death.
Many different populations are affected by disparities. These include:
• Racial and ethnic minorities
• Residents of rural areas
• Women, children, the elderly
• Persons with disabilities”