Health Disparities in Texas
Published reports on health disparities in Texas have shown striking disparities in the health status, access to health care and risk factors between the racial and ethnic minorities and the general population in Texas. The racial and ethnic minority populations have a higher mortality rate from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, HIV and tobacco-related diseases. In 2000, there were only 41,000 health professionals serving these populations. Thus, there is an urgent need to train a large number of health professionals to serve the minority population in Texas in the near future. Additionally, training all health professionals in recognizing health disparities and educating minority populations regarding the risk factors would greatly alleviate the health disparities that exist currently and are expected to grow in the near future.
Establishment of Texas Center for Health Disparities
In 2005 The National Center on Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) awarded the University of North Texas Health Science Center a $7.25 million five year grant entitled “Texas Center for Minority Health, Education, Research and Outreach” to establish and run a comprehensive center of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT). UNTHSC has been a leader among the health science centers in Texas in training minority biomedical scientists and in developing innovative programs specifically tailored to Texas minority populations. As part of our commitment to combat the problem of health disparities and promote educational and training activities for underrepresented minorities, the University of North Texas Health Science Center has established the TCHD. In 2012, The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities awarded TCHD an additional $5.8 million five year grant to continue our work.
Mission:To prevent, reduce and eliminate health disparities in our communities through research, education and community relations.
Vision: To eliminate health disparities that exists in the social and ethnic minorities of Texas
1. Foster existing relationships and develop new relationships with URM institutions as partners for our EXPORT center.
2. Conduct research on health disparity areas that exist in Texas minorities such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, stroke and HIV.
3. Provide unique opportunities for minority students and faculty from URM institutions in health disparity research.
4. Promote education of students in health professions, health care practitioners and policy makers on the existence of health disparities and the need to combat the problem.
5. Serve as a resource for the minority communities to disseminate health information, promote community participation in health education and research, and to implement disease prevention activities.
In order to achieve these objectives in the award period, we have established four cores, and details of each of these cores are presented in the following sections: