Bridging the Gaps

health disparities
The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center uses innovative outreach methods—such as its grassroots community health advisors corps—to encourage lifesaving behavior change.

Despite the amazing advances in American health care in the past century, minority racial and ethnic communities have often been left behind, especially in the South. Since 2002, UAB’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) has been helping to reverse that trend by coordinating local and national efforts to eliminate health disparities and improve health care among racial and ethnic populations.

In one project, MHRC-trained community health advisors (CHAs) have helped reduce the gap in mammography rates between African-American and white women in Alabama’s Black Belt—even reversing the disparity in one targeted county. Another program trains CHAs to help women with cancer diagnoses access the health-care system, secure day care and legal assistance, and even find rides to doctor’s appointments.

Success stories like these have helped attract millions of dollars worth of grants—and partnerships with researchers at UAB and beyond—to the MHRC.


Read more breakthrough stories in UAB Magazine.