University of Alabama Receives $3M NIH Grant To Study Health Issues That Affect Rural, Elderly Blacks
The University of Alabama-Birmingham has received a $3 million, five-year NIH grant to fund three pilot projects that focus on reducing health disparities among rural, elderly blacks, the Birmingham News reports. There is a critical need to improve the health of elderly blacks in rural areas, particularly those living in the deep South, Richard Allman, director of the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care at UAB, said.
The grant will establish the Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research, which will be a collaboration of researchers from Morehouse School of Medicine, Tuskegee University, UAB and the University of Alabama. The three pilot projects include the following:
- Yvonne Eaves, a researcher in the school of nursing, will lead a study focusing on improving in-home nursing services;
- Raegan Durant of the UAB Department of Preventive Medicine will lead a study focused on improving the social support for blacks diagnosed with chronic heart failure; and
- Hui-Chen Hsu, an immunology researcher, will focus on cytomegalovirus, which is a common virus that some studies suggest is more prevalent in blacks than whites.
The center also will seek to improve elderly blacks' participation in research programs and develop other health disparities studies, according to the News.
Allman said, "It's a huge agenda," adding, "If these disparities persist, we're going to put an even greater burden on the health care system, but, even more importantly, we need to improve the health of everybody." He added, "Really, in this society we can't afford there to be differences in health status and access to care based on race" (Parks, Birmingham News, 5/5). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.