Grant :: Health Care Disparities Grant $300,000

The UCLA Department of Family Medicine, under the direction of Principal Investigator Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, is receiving a two-year, $300,000 grant from Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, a National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) housed at the University of Chicago that evaluates interventions aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic health care disparities in local communities.

Ten other organizations from around the country will receive similar grants from Finding Answers/RWJF. The organizations were selected from a pool of 178 submitted proposals.

?We are pleased to join the Foundation and its Finding Answers program in working to eliminate disparities in the U.S. health care system,? said Michael Rodriguez. ?The funds from this grant will help the Departments of Family Medicine at both UCLA and Charles R. Drew University to evaluate our current interventions to learn whether they are effective in equalizing care for all our patients.?

The Finding Answers/RWJF grant will allow the UCLA Department of Family Medicine to evaluate its current efforts in order to improve the care of minority patients suffering from depression, a disease for which evidence of racial and ethnic disparities in care is strong and the recommended standard of care is clear.

?There is an urgent need to move beyond documenting the existence of health care disparities and start finding solutions that will eliminate them,? said Marshall H. Chin, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, Department of Medicine and the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, as well as the director of the Finding Answers program. ?With the joint effort of these grantees and the health care community, we will identify innovative, replicable and sustainable approaches to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care.?

The results of the UCLA and Drew Departments of Family Medicine?s research will help Finding Answers and RWJF understand what works?or does not work?to improve health care for minority patients. The information UCLA and Drew and the other 10 grantees provide to Finding Answers will include obstacles to and solutions for implementing a tested intervention, start-up and maintenance costs for the intervention, and staff training needs. Finding Answers will evaluate the results and related information and then inform health care stakeholders?doctors, hospitals and health plans?about promising interventions that demonstrate potential to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

The majority of the 178 proposals submitted to Finding Answers/RWJF included interventions involving health care policy, health care organizations, providers, patients and direct community linkages to the health care system. All were evaluated and selected based on the following factors: strength of the intervention, demographics of the institution, institutional commitment to addressing disparities in health care and improving quality of care overall, data collection capacity, and the scientific quality of the proposed research project.

The 10 other grant recipients are:
* Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority, Oklahoma
* Cooper Green Hospital, Alabama
* Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Massachusetts
* Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Massachusetts
* Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia
* Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Rhode Island
* The Regents of the University of California, California
* University of Southern California, California
* Westside Health Services, Inc., New York
* Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut

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