Research - Research Cores - Health Disparities Education

Health Disparities Education Core (HDEC)

Director:    Melanie Tervalon, MD, MPH

Many researchers point to physician training programs in cross-cultural communication skills as a key intervention strategy for reducing health disparities. The Health Disparities Education Core develops on line learning materials for health practitioners and researchers that advance the theoretical and practical application of work in the emerging field of nutritional genomics.  The HDEC creates lecture sessions, and follow-up facilitated small group sessions, in which presenters focus on a contemporary dimension of nutritional genomics, such as the role of race, ethnicity or culture in this field, the application and translation of bench knowledge into a contribution to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. The Cultural Humility model is the theoretical underpinning for the construction of the educational materials.

The goals of the HDEC are two-fold: (1) creating and implementation of a cultural competency/human genome curriculum for pediatric residents that strengthens their partnership with patients and communities and (2) demonstrate that this training results in improved adherence to optimal health care processes and better health outcomes.

The specific objectives of the HDEC are to:

  1. describe the concepts of nutritional genomics, culture, race, racism, ethnicity, cultural competence, cultural humility, health disparities, health inequities and their use in the biological, social sciences and community practice,

  2. recognize the content of bias, discrimination and stereotyping in academic work, research and community practice,

  3. identify and describe the application and consequences of using these concepts in biomedical and social science research and clinical practice,

  4. hear community opinions about collaboration, partnership, trust and participation in clinical research trials,

  5. begin to strategize solutions to the elimination of health disparities that join the leadership in the fields of biology, social sciences and community practice and

  6. adapt the content of this material with real skills and tools to your particular discipline or area of expertise.