APRIL 16, 2007 | The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health has received $23,000 for programs to be developed over the next year aimed at improving health care for racial and ethnic groups.
The grant was approved by the national Health Disparities Service-Learning Collaborative funded by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Grants of the same amount will be awarded in the second and third year, pending a review of progress at the end of each year.
Last year, the
“This is an extremely important area for UAMS and Arkansas to address,” said College of Public Health Dean Jim Raczynski, Ph.D. “Despite major advances in health care and health status over the past decade, racial and ethnic groups remain less healthy, have shorter life expectancies, higher rates of infant mortality and chronic diseases, worse illness outcomes and less access to health care than their white counterparts.”
The disparities persist even when accounting for differences in socio-economic status and insurance coverage. The problem is due to a complex combination of physiological, economic, environmental and social factors.
“Grants for addressing this issue have been relatively small so far, but these projects are extremely important in demonstrating our commitment to helping eliminate Arkansas’ racial and ethnic health disparities and competing for larger amounts of funding,” Raczynski said.
“We will use these funds to develop a health disparities course and partner with community organizations so that public health students can gain real-world experience in assisting racial and ethnic groups to improve their health and access to health care,” Stewart said. “The students will combine their community service with the theories and concepts they’re learning in the classroom, which will help them apply those concepts in the field.”
As part of the grant the college will participate in the federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Public Service in January. The grant also will help the college develop a proposal for a UAMS campus-wide certificate program in health disparities.