UAB School of Nursing Assistant Professor Edwin Aroke, PhD, CRNA, has been selected as a 2019 Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) Scholar by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).
The HDRI’s goal is to support the research career development of promising minority health/health disparities research scientists early in their careers and stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science.
“The selection of HDRI Scholars is competitive, and I was excited to be selected,” Aroke said.
As one of 50 2019 Scholars, Aroke attended the NIMHD Summer Research Institute. The opportunity to be surrounded by other researchers focused on health disparities allowed for a collaboration of ideas, Aroke said.
“We had about 50 scholars there, and among them, research spanned from community participation and public health to those of us who are focused on symptoms,” he said. “It was great to see that span of research and how everyone is working to address the same challenges and opportunities of disparities from different perspectives.”
He added that while disparities are discussed in education and research, and addressed as part of larger projects, they are not oftentimes the sole focus of discussion, which the institute provided.
“My program of research is focused on chronic pain disparities, and through the Institute I was able to participate in lectures, small group discussions, and mock grant reviews that were focused solely on disparities.”
NIH and NIMHD program officials also consulted with researchers on grant application and ideas, which Aroke said helped answer questions and determine which grant awards are the best fit for some of his grant ideas.“Being an HDRI Scholar was a great experience, and I appreciate the support of my Chair, Dr. Allison Shorten, and my mentors, Dr. David Vance and Dr. Burel Goodin, who encouraged me to apply and attend,” Aroke said.