Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities

Health Disparities Researcher Development Projects

Reaching Out to a Minority Community to Promote Use of Reproductive Healthcare Services

Annis Golden, Ph.D.

This project focuses on communication between a non-profit community-based provider of reproductive healthcare services and low income African American women in the community. The goals are to identify content and channels for communication by the healthcare provider that will result in increased utilization of the provider’s services by the African American community. Using interviews and focus groups, with both current users of the health center and non-users, the study will document community members’ perceptions of the healthcare provider, their interpretations of messages used in the provider’s recent communication campaigns, and impediments they perceive to using the provider’s services.

2006 Progress Report

Capitalize on Community Project

Hayward Derrick Horton, Ph.D.

Capitalize on Community (CoC) is a five-year research and community outreach project that employs community forums, focus groups and one-on-one interviews to attempt to understand the nature of the disconnect between three important entities in black and Latino communities: HIV service providers, faith-based leaders and the population most at-risk of HIV/AIDS. The specific goals are: 1) to understand the factors that facilitate or impede effective HIV prevention in black and Latino communities; 2) to determine the extent to which HIV service organizations and faith-based leaders collaborate in their HIV prevention efforts; and 3) to determine what program and/or policy changes are necessary to enhance existing HIV prevention programs in the Albany Capital District.

2006 Progress Report

Enhancing Psychosocial Competence Among Drug-Abusing Black Women

Lani V. Jones, Ph.D., MSW

A systematic and extensive study of positive mental health paradigms that seeks to enhance the functional capacity of Blacks with co-occurring disorders of drug abuse and psychiatric disabilities will ultimately result in better services, less treatment disparity, and improved system cultural sensitivity. The psychosocial competence framework offers a unique opportunity to work towards these goals, given its potential applicability to African-American service recipients. I propose a program of work that includes the implementation of preliminary pilot studies to examine the effectiveness of a culturally responsive group intervention aimed at reducing depressive symptoms and enhancing psychosocial competence among Black women with drug abuse/dependence disorders. This research has four overarching goals:

  1. To develop a working treatment manual,
  2. To examine the instruments for measuring psychosocial competence enhancement symptoms and sample all the relevant domains,
  3. To conduct preliminary pilots to better understand the utility of the intervention and its applicability, and
  4. To provide an effective mechanism for communicating research-based information to leaders, providers, and consumers to improve access to and the quality and effectiveness of mental healthcare for Black women.

2006 Progress Report

Social Determinants of Chronic Disease Related to Screening Practices among Latinas

Janine Jurkowski, Ph.D., MPH

In New York State, Latinos comprise 15.1% of the population and their numbers are growing in small cities. It is known that Latinos living in the U.S. experience health disparities compared to other groups. Latinas are less likely to obtain risk factor screenings for two of the leading causes of death, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes, compared to non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black women. Research on the reasons for this is relatively scarce and as a result, current health promotion campaigns targeting these women will be limited in their efficacy. The goals of this project are to

  1. Better understand social and cultural determinants of CVD and diabetes-related screening behaviors in the words of Latinas,
  2. Translate these words into a survey instrument for guiding future health promotion efforts, and finally,
  3. Develop community partnerships necessary for future participatory action research to address health issues among Latinas living in Albany and Amsterdam.

Four 90 minute focus groups will be conducted in collaboration with Centro Civico in the community. The focus group questions are guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Health Belief Model, both of which are commonly used in public health research.

2006 Progress Report

Identification of Barriers to HIV/AIDS Care for African-Americans in the Capital District

Robert Miller, Ph.D.; Dwight Williams, Ph.D.; and Edwina Dorch, Ph.D.

Identified key informants are answering open-ended questions related to the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health care services. The specific objectives of this research are to determine if compliance with physician prescribed AIDS health care regiments varies (is greater) with certain ethnic identity profiles and concurrently less with other profiles. If this turns out to be the case, the same instrument that is used to reveal a Black American ethnic identity profile can be used by physicians to make risk assessments about the patients future degree compliance with their prescribed health care regiment. Additional questions are intended to reveal structural and systemic barriers; provider behavior; personal responsibility, satisfaction and dissatisfaction; race; gender; sexual orientation; treatment settings; and other, to be defined hindrances to care. The cite of the research is the Whitney M. Young, Jr., Health Center, an urban based diagnostic and treatment facility with HIV/AIDS services offered through the CHEER Department (Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Education, Empowerment Resources). The CHEER Department serves as the agency coordinator for a New York State funded program, Gay Men of Color Alliance (GMOCA). GMOCA is a psycho-social support group for those individuals who identify as bi-sexual, transgendered and gay men of color who are affected and infected by HIV disease.

2006 Progress Report

The Voices of Wellness's Self-Management Program for Arbor Hill, West Hill, and the South End

Sandra Austin, Ph.D.

The Albany African American Clergy for United Empowerment (AACUE) was founded in 1998 and is a nonprofit organization with a mission of addressing health (social, economic and political) issues which impact people of color. AACUE is sponsoring a diabetes self management program in four churches in three communities through eight workshops for 90 participants. The four churches are Metropolitan Baptist Church (located in the Arbor Hill Section of Albany), Mt. Calvary Baptist Church (located in the South End Section of the City), Macedonia Baptist Church (located in the West Hill Section of the City) and Union Baptist Church (located in the South End Section of the City). Each minister is providing leadership for an Implementation Team in his church. Participants are church members who are predominantly Black North Americans. Three surveys are being used: (1) the Diabetes Care Profile; (2) the Diabetes Empowerment Scale; and (3) the Diabetes Self Care Measurement. Each survey is being administered in the first and last workshops at each church. T-Test will be used to analyze the data gathered.