“REACH Equity will do more than just research,” Johnson said “It is like other typical centers of excellence and other kinds of research areas. So it has a number of cores which will administer activities related to our themes and as part of the grant we submitted three research projects that we will conduct as part of the work of the center over the next five years.”
REACH Equity will have four cores: administration, education and training on research, investigation and community engagement.
The administrative core will make sure all of the activities are run appropriately, the investigation core will be focused on research and will administer a two-year career development award for new researchers and the community engagement core will develop partnerships with the community.
REACH Equity also will provide several trainings co-led by Simmons as part of a program in the research education and training core in which undergraduate, graduate, medical students and others can be trained to be mindful of health care disparities and how the system works to sometimes create those disparities.
The three research projects REACH equity will conduct as part of the grant are studies on implicit bias training intervention, communication coaching intervention for cardiology providers and the production of an app that will allow family members to report needs to their health care providers.
Johnson said REACH Equity would take on more research projects in the future.
Simmons said there is a large focus on the clinical encounter that is distinct from other centers focused on health care disparities in the United States. She said the center will address provider and patient communication, and make sure the encounter is something patients are actively participating in.
“We are just getting started,” Johnson said. “The overall theme of our center is to develop and test interventions that reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health by improving the quality of patients in our care and in the clinical encounter.”