NIMHD Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2018

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Director's Message

Dr Eliseo Perez Stable

As we close out this year and look ahead to bright new beginnings in 2019, we remain unwavering in our commitment to improving minority health and reducing health disparities. This year, we have increased engagement with communities across the nation, as well as heightened collaboration with agencies and medical organizations addressing health disparities. We are setting our plans for the coming years, and we will release the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan focused on minority health and health disparities in a few months. 

NIMHD is proud to participate with other NIH Institutes and Centers in providing mentorship through the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP). The MRSP provides a 1-year residential research experience at NIH for students selected to engage in a unique intellectual environment. Although a majority of the students elect basic science labs or clinical projects in the NIH Clinical Center, we have seen an increasing number of scholars in the past 2 years elect population science, community-based research, and social and behavior-oriented labs at NIMHD; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The program is currently accepting applications for the 2019–2020 class. I encourage 2nd-, 3rd-, or 4th-year medical, dental, or veterinary students with an interest in studying minority health or health disparities to apply. Selected scholars will begin their fellowship in July/August 2019.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 adults does not get enough sleep or has lower-quality sleep. Lack of high-quality sleep can increase risks of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression, in addition to daytime tiredness. NIMHD recently convened a workshop in collaboration with NHLBI and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research to examine the role of sleep in minority health and health disparities. Additionally, our staff participated in the 2018 Research Conference on Sleep and the Health of Women. We should approach sleep as many of us have approached physical activity: Schedule regular times, focus on quantity and quality, and find a way to make it a sustainable daily practice.

The fiscal year 2019 budget increase has offered us an opportunity to build up existing programs, establish some new initiatives, and continue to work toward advancing the science of minority health and health disparities while promoting health equity and reducing health disparities. I look forward to the coming year and to sharing our exciting new updates!

Press Releases

NIMHD selects recipients for the William G. Coleman Jr., Ph.D., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award

Dr. William Coleman Jr.

NIMHD has selected the third annual awardees of the William G. Coleman Jr., Ph.D., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award. This competitive award program is designed to support 1-year innovative research projects contributed by postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, and staff clinicians within the NIH Intramural Research Program .... Read more.

NIH supports study of health risks and resilience following Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Post-hurricane photo of fallen palm tree

Nine new awards will help researchers examine the health impacts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, following the physical damage and community-level hardships left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 .... Read more.

NIH and Prostate Cancer Foundation launch large study on aggressive prostate cancer in African American men

African American man

The largest coordinated research effort to study biological and non-biological factors associated with aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men has begun. The $26.5 million study is called RESPOND, or Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress .... Read more.

Research Spotlight

NIMHD Celebrating Excellence

People clapping their hands

NIMHD highlights exceptional grantees who have achieved recognition in minority health and health disparities research. Visit our new webpage on NIMHD Celebrating Excellence.

Recent Features

Fresh Food for the Osage Nation: Researchers and a Native Community Work Toward Improved Food Resources and Food Sovereignty 

Osage children at a farm

Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and Assistant Chief Raymond Red Corn had a vision for their Osage—or Wah-Zha-Zhi—tribe. Their vision was to achieve food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture for the Osage Nation, a Native American tribe living in rural northeastern Oklahoma …. Read more.

NIMHD Research Helps Improve Diversity and Inclusion in the All of Us Research Program

Group of diverse people

NIMHD has helped shape the Precision Medicine Initiative from the very beginning, providing expertise on community engagement and health disparities. Input from NIMHD’s Nishadi Rajapakse, Ph.D., and research from principal investigator Consuelo Wilkins, M.D., M.S.C.I., has informed the All of Us Research Program’s commitment to prioritizing both diversity and inclusivity …. Read more.

New Wearable Ultrasound Treatment Can Reach Rural Populations With Joint Pain

Veteran wearing ZetrOZ ultrasound device on right outer knee

Pain is among the top reasons that people go to a doctor. It affects quality of life and can lead to depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. Medications are often the first-line treatment for pain, but they can also cause serious side effects. Alternative treatments exist but are not available to all populations, especially rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged people …. Read more.

NIMHD Scientific Programs Officer Rosario Inducted into U.S. Public Health Service

LT Adelaida Rosario receiving her USPHS graduation certificate from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams

On May 25, 2018, LT Adelaida M. Rosario, Ph.D., NIMHD program officer in Community Health and Population Sciences in the Division of Scientific Programs, was inducted into the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), a team of more than 6,500 health professionals who support care to underserved and vulnerable populations across the nation …. Read more.

Oregon Medicaid Program Sets the Stage for Health Equity

Multiracial team of doctors placing hands on top of each other

As the Affordable Care Act gave states incentives to expand their Medicaid programs, Oregon decided to go one step further. The state adjusted its Medicaid program with a new goal: reducing health disparities between White and minority enrollees. The most significant part of this plan was introducing coordinated care organizations (CCOs), which Oregon did in 2012 …. Read more.

Recent NIMHD Activities

2nd NCI Symposium on Cancer Health Disparities

Multicolored head silhouettes

On October 25–26, the NCI Cancer Health Disparities Interest Group held their second symposium on cancer health disparities. The sessions included presentations on recent advances in understanding of the causes of cancer health disparities in the United States and globally, as well as discussions on disparities in cancer outcome and survivorship, and strategies to reduce these disparities. Anna Nápoles, Ph.D., NIMHD scientific director, provided the keynote address "Cancer Health Equity: What It Will Take." 

2018 Research Conference on Sleep and the Health of Women 

Dr. Rina Das presenting at the podium at the 2018 Women's Sleep Conference

NIH hosted the 2018 Research Conference on Sleep and the Health of Women on October 16–17. NIMHD sponsored a session entitled “Sleep Health for Minority and Health Disparities Populations.” Participants included health professionals, caregivers, mothers, veterans, members of women’s health organizations, and others. They discussed sleep as an imperative factor for good health, with a focus on sleep deficiency and sleep disorders in women. View the videocast

National Academy of Medicine Election

Open book on table with feathered pen, in front of a bookshelf

The National Academy of Medicine recently elected 85 new members, including NIMHD's National Advisory Council member Giselle Corbie-Smith, M.D., M.Sc., Kenan Distinguished Professor of social medicine and medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Center for Health Equity Research, UNC School of Medicine; and NIMHD grantee Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., Olemberg Family Professor, chairman of neurology, and senior associate dean for clinical and translational science at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Read more.

NIMHD Director’s Seminar Series 

Dr. Amelie Ramirez

On October 4, the NIMHD Director’s Seminar Series featured a presentation by Amelie Ramirez, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., professor and interim chair of epidemiology and biostatistics and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Ramirez spoke on “Engaging U.S. Latinos in Community Advocacy for Health Equity.” View the videocast.

2018 Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science Conference 

Dr. Rada Dagher standing in front of poster

The 2018 Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) Conference occurred on October 3–5 at the National Academy of Science Building. NIMHD economist Nancy Breen, Ph.D., and health policy analyst Marcia Gómez, M.D., coauthored a poster, “Residential Segregation and Mortality From the Leading Causes of Death, Metropolitan Counties, 1999–2016,” presented by Ernest Moy, M.D., M.P.H., executive director of the Office of Health Equity at the Veterans Health Administration. NIMHD scientific program officer Rada Dagher presented a poster on racial/ethnic disparities in physical working conditions and discrimination experiences among U.S. workers; she also represented NIMHD at a roundtable session, “Funding Opportunities for Population Health Scientists.” 

U.S. News and World Report: Healthiest Communities Series

Shadow of kid on swing in the city

NIMHD Director Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable participated in an interview highlighted in the U.S. News and World Report's “The Relationship of Race to Community Health,” published on September 25 as part of the Healthiest Communities series. Read more

Genomics and Health Disparities Lecture Series 

Headshot of Dr. Esteban Gonzalez Bouchard

On September 18, the Genomics and Health Disparities Lecture Series included a talk, “Making Precision Medicine Socially Precise,” presented by Esteban González Burchard, M.D., M.P.H., distinguished professor in pharmaceutical sciences and a professor in bioengineering and therapeutic sciences and medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. View the lecture.

Headshot of Dr. John Carpten

On August 30, John D. Carpten, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Translational Genomics; and director, Institute of Translational Genomics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, presented a talk entitled “Towards Understanding the Role of Population Diversity in Cancer Genome Science” at the NIH Main Campus. View the lecture.

Listening Sessions Report for the NIH-Wide Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan

Community members sitting at listening session with Dr. Eliseo J. Perez-Stable at the podium

NIMHD is establishing the 20182022 NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Minority Health and Health Disparities, which will set the direction and goals for minority health and health disparities research across NIH for the coming years. Between March and May 2018, NIMHD held 7 community listening sessions with more than 400 individuals in 21 states, seeking input on the three primary thematic areas of the Strategic Plan: scientific research, research-sustaining activities; and outreach, collaboration, and dissemination. Read the listening sessions report.

Workshop Examines the Role of Sleep in Health Disparities

Group photo of workshop participants

NIMHD, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research recently held a workshop, “The Role of Sleep in Health Disparities: Causes and Health Consequences.” Participants included a diverse group of academic researchers from two fields—sleep and health disparities—to strategize on how to integrate research to understand the causes of sleep disparities and how to intervene …. Read more

On the Blog

Reducing Health Disparities and Enhancing Diversity in Aging Research

Headshot of Dr. Richard Hodes

Reducing health disparities and increasing diversity in the research workforce are key priorities for the National Institute on Aging (NIA). As Director of the Institute for the past 25 years, I have seen enormous growth in NIA’s health disparities and diversity programs …. Read more.

Health Literacy: Why It Matters for Minority Health and Health Disparities

Headshot of Dr. Sherine El-Toukhy

A basic principle of effective communication is to know the audience.This principle is especially important for patient-provider interactions that involve risk and diagnostic information, preventive measures, and instructions on medication regimens. But a message said is not necessarily a message understood .... Read more.

Tackling Health Disparities Among Latinos in the United States

Dr. Mariana Sanchez and Dr. Mario De La Rosa

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) provides an opportunity to reflect on how the histories, cultures, and contributions of Latino Americans have enriched our nation and society. As the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, numbering nearly 58 million, Latinos are the principal driver of demographic growth, accounting for half of the national population growth since 2000 …. Read more.

Three New Research Areas Added to NIMHD’s Language Access Portal

Infocard of NIMHD Language Access Portal

Are you looking for health information in languages other than English for your local community or patient population? As the communications director for NIMHD, I’m excited to share the latest health topic release on our Language Access Portal (LAP) …. Read more.

Guest Blog Post: Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science

Headshot of Dr. Christine Bachrach

Recently, the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) published a blog post summarizing the inaugural NIMHD Director’s Seminar Series presentation by Ana Diez Roux, M.D., Ph.D., dean and distinguished university professor of epidemiology in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Read more about this talk, “Challenges and Opportunities in Health Disparities Research.” 

Funding Opportunities and Notices

  • Health Disparities and Alzheimer's Disease (R01)
  • Emerging Directions for Addressing Health Disparities in Alzheimer's Disease (R03)
  • Mechanisms of Disparities in Etiology and Outcomes of Lung Cancer in the United States: The Role of Risk and Protective Factors (R01/R21)
  • Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research – Institutional Research Training Program (T32)
  • Increasing Uptake of Evidence-Based Screening in Diverse Adult Populations (R01)
  • Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) (U54 Clinical Trials Optional) (U54)
  • Limited Competition: RCMI Research Coordination Network (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (U54)
  • Short-term Mentored Career Enhancement Awards in Mobile and Wireless Health Technology and Data Analytics: Cross-Training at the intersection of Behavioral and Social Sciences and STEM Disciplines (K18 PAR-18-881/PAR-18-882)



Recent Staff Publications


Upcoming Conferences and Events

  • January 22, 2019: NIMHD Director's Seminar Series—Sandro Galea, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., Boston University School of Public Health“Health, Not Healthcare: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health”
  • February 4, 2019: National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NACMHD) 50th Meeting