Rush University Medical Center has been awarded a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish the Rush Center for Urban Health Equity. The aim of the Center is to find ways to promote changes to eliminate the disparities in heart and lung disease affecting inner city residents, in particular those who are low-income persons of color.
"Health disparities have persisted or worsened in the past two decades, despite efforts to narrow the gap. In Chicago alone, if the mortality rate for blacks was the same as for whites, then 4,000 fewer black people would die each year," said Lynda H. Powell, PhD, the director of the Center and the chairperson of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush. "We must find a way to change this situation."
The Rush Center for Urban Health Equity is based on the principle that continued documentation of avoidable deaths and disabilities from health disparities in observational studies in insufficient. Instead, the Center is dedicated to preventing health disparities by conducting rigorous behavioral clinical trials and testing interventions across the spectrum from children to the elderly. These interventions, if effective, will have an immediate impact.
The first three research projects will focus on heart failure, depression, and pediatric asthma with co-morbid obesity.
A clinical trial led by Powell and Dr. James Calvin, director of the Section of Cardiology at Rush, aims to reduce repeated hospitalizations in low-income heart failure patients by improving doctor's prescription of evidence-based medicine and patients' adherence to the medicines that have been prescribed.
A second study, the BRIGHTEN Heart (Bridging Resources of a Geriatric Health Team via Electronic Networking Heart) program will use "virtual" teams to coordinate care for older adults with co-morbid depression and metabolic syndrome. The study will be led by Dr. Steven Rothschild, assoc
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Rush University Medical Center