Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities

Research Development Awards

Research projects that involve community partnerships can be difficult to get off the ground due to a lack of funding for the initial phase of the research. CEMHD has developed a University-funded grant program that helps resolve this problem by providing funds for pilot studies that employ community-based participatory  research (CBPR) methodologies. Each year, it awards several grants of $5,000-$6,000 for projects that show promise to develop into fully-funded, large-scale investigations.  Five pilot studies are currently in progress. 

2011-2012 Award Recipients 

Dr. Akiko Hosler (School of Public Health) is partnering with local health services organizations and  West Indian community groups on a project called, “Exploring Cyber and Community Approaches for Glycemic Control Among Indo-Guyanese with Diabetes in Schenectady: a Feasibility Study.” The project is an outreach and  assessment component of a larger School of Public Health study on diabetes in the Indo-Guyanese  community, where individuals have been found to have high rates of diabetes regardless of their weight.  Since barriers to diabetes awareness and care exist in all areas of life, a multi-faceted intervention effort is necessary. 

Dr. Hosler is investigating which cyber- and community-based tools work best to increase knowledge about diabetes and foster social support; there has been little research on which approaches are most effective for West Indians in small cities. She and six students have surveyed 900 people to assess needs, and preparations are now underway to conduct focus groups early next year. The study has produced a paper, “Elevated Diabetes Prevalence among Indo-Guyanese adults: Schenectady REACH Study,” which will appear in Preventing Chronic Disease in 2013.  

Drs. Jennifer Manganello and Janine Jurkowski (School of Public Health) are working with community partners to determine the best ways to provide health-related information to members of vulnerable populations. Their study, “New Technology and Social Media for Health Improvement: A Discussion with Mothers from Vulnerable Populations in the Greater Albany area,” involves conducting focus groups and health literacy assessments with groups of ethnically-diverse, low-income mothers of children under five. The researchers will ask the women about their access to media and technology, media use, and the sources of information on health and healthcare they prefer. The focus groups are set to begin in December. 

Dr. Toni Naccarato (School of Social Welfare) is partnering with local  service providers on a project entitled: “Enablers and Barriers to Obtaining and Maintaining Health Care for Youth who have Transitioned from the Foster Care System: A Pilot Study.”  She will be conducting focus groups and individual interviews with youth who have been in foster care, service providers and program administrators in order to  identify the factors that help or hinder youth in accessing health care after they age out of the foster care system in upstate NY.  Dr. Naccarato and a graduate student have developed a  survey instrument and  focus group guide, and were recruiting study participants in January of 2013. 

Dr. Paul Jenkins (Bassett Healthcare Network and the School of Public Health) is partnering with the Finger Lakes Clinic for Migrant Farmworkers on a project called “Community Collaborations for Farmworker Health.”  He will analyze data from focus groups and individual interviews with  the workers and their employers, and draw on medical data to identify high priority occupational health problems among migrant farmworkers in the Finger Lakes area.  Dr. Jenkins is in the process of getting the requisite permissions for the study. 

Dr. Lani Jones (School of Social Welfare) is working with local health clinics on a project entitled, “Exploring Disease Acceptance among Black Women with Diabetes and Lupus.”  During 2013, she will be conducting focus groups with black women diagnosed with diabetes and lupus, and doing individual interviews with health- care providers and community leaders. Dr. Jones’ goal is to increase our knowledge of the disease acceptance process so that culturally congruent behavioral interventions can be developed that will improve health outcomes among black women. 

Prior Award Recipients in Action:

Below, award recipients, Professors Horton, Miller, and Williams  present the preliminary results of their AIDS research students in an African Studies Classes. Click on images for larger views