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About the UM SONHS Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro

El Centro is the cornerstone of the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies’ program of research on health disparities.  This comprehensive research initiative was established in 2007 through the National Institutes of Health- National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Centers of Excellence Program.  Through research, education and collaboration with community and academic partners, El Centro advances the science of reducing health disparities in the areas of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, family and intimate partner violence, and associated mental and physical health conditions. El Centro is focused on improving health equity among groups of Hispanic and African descent, sexual minorities and people in Caribbean and Latin American nations.

About the NIMHD Centers of Excellence (COE)

Mandated by the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-525), the NIMHD Centers of Excellence (COE) Program creates centers within colleges and universities to address health disparities through research, research training and education, and community engagement. These centers typically become local hubs for health disparities research, addressing the biological, environmental, behavioral, and social factors that contribute to health disparities.

The program was launched in 2002 as the Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (Project EXPORT).  In 2007, the title was revised to be NIMHD Centers of Excellence.

For more information about the COE Program visit http://www.nimhd.nih.gov/programs/extra/coe.html/

About Health Disparities

What is a “health disparity”?

The first attempt at an official definition for “health disparities” was developed in September 1999, in response to a White House initiative. In 2000, United States Public Law 106-525, also known as the “Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act,” which authorized the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, provided a legal definition of health disparities:

“A population is a health disparity population if there is a significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates in the population as compared to the health status of the general population.”

Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act. United States Public Law

106-525. (2000), p. 2498 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-106publ525/pdf/PLAW-106publ525.pdf/

Since the passage of U.S. Public Law 106-525, many federal and private agencies have incorporated and expanded this definition. One approach to defining health disparities is focused on addressing inherent inequities in health differences such that “disparities are health differences that are unfair, avoidable and unjust and adversely affect groups who have experienced greater obstacles to health”.

U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services.  NIH Health Disparities Strategic Plan and
Budget Fiscal Years 2009-2013.
[PDF Format]. Retrieved June 17, 2014 from:  http://www.nimhd.nih.gov/about/strategicPlan.html/

For additional information please visit: http://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2014/06_06_2014/story1.htm