News Release

Monday, January 9, 2006

HHS Awards More Than $56 Million to Eliminate Health Disparities

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the awarding of $56.9 million by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD). These funds support the advancement of health disparities research and the elimination of health disparities among racial and ethnic minority and medically underserved communities.

“Eliminating health disparities as they affect racial, ethnic, and underserved populations is a critical goal of the department,” Secretary Leavitt said. “These funds are essential to support the innovative scientific solutions our nation needs to close the health gap in this country.”

The NCMHD was designated by the Congress to lead, coordinate, support, and assess the NIH research effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities as they affect racial and ethnic communities and medically underserved individuals.

“The NIH continues to lead the nation’s scientific discovery,” according to NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. “The innovative biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences research at NIH will help to identify cutting-edge diagnostics, treatments, and preventive strategies to address this public health crisis.”

“The NCMHD continues to strengthen partnerships between the NIH and institutions and individuals engaged in health disparities research to build the inclusive, collaborative biomedical and behavioral research enterprise we need to win the fight to eliminate health disparities,” said Dr. John Ruffin, Director, NCMHD. “Presently, the national reach of the NCMHD extends to more than 100 institutions and more than 600 individuals that have received awards to train for health professions careers, conduct health disparities research, build research capacity, and advance outreach efforts.”

The following fiscal year (FY) 2005 awards were made by the NCMHD:

  • New NCMHD Community-Based Participatory Research Program (CBPR) awards totaling $12 million have been made to 25 institutions. The CBPR aims to develop effective community-based participatory research programs, which will accelerate both the translation of research advances to health disparity communities and the elimination of health disparities. Key research areas in which NCMHD community partners will engage include cancer, cardiovascular diseases, child health improvement, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and obesity.
  • Awards totaling $15.9 million have been made to four institutions under the NCMHD Research Endowment Program for the purpose of facilitating minority health disparities research and other health disparities research. The activities of the institutions involve strengthening teaching programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences; establishing endowed chairs and programs; obtaining state-of-the-art equipment for instruction and research; and enhancing the recruitment and retention of student and faculty from health disparity populations.
  • New awards totaling $8 million have been made to five academic institutions under the NCMHD Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (Project EXPORT) Program. Awards support the establishment of new university partnerships; new partnerships between universities and health disparity community organizations; innovative basic and intervention research studies on breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), diabetes, cultural resilience, adolescent risk behaviors, cardiovascular disease; and training programs to increase the number of individuals from health disparity populations entering the health professions and conducting research on health disparities.
  • Awards totaling $10.7 million have been issued to 244 qualified health professionals under the NCMHD Loan Repayment Programs. These programs promote a diverse and strong scientific workforce, alleviating the financial barriers that often discourage many talented health professionals from health disparity, medically underserved and disadvantaged communities from pursuing a research career. The Loan Repayment Programs provide loan repayment of up to $35,000 per year to qualified doctoral degree professionals in exchange for two years of service in health disparities research or clinical research.
  • Awards totaling $5.4 million have been made to 24 institutions under the NCMHD Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program in partnership with the Fogarty International Center. The MHIRT Program supports innovative programs that offer international research training opportunities to qualified undergraduate, graduate, and health professions students who are from health disparities populations and/or are underrepresented in basic science, biomedical, clinical, or behavioral health research career fields. Awards will support research on subjects such as epidemiology of dengue fever, neurobiology, molecular and immunological aspects of tropical medicine and parasitology, virology, drug design and antibiotics, and public health and immigrant health. Students will travel and work with investigators in countries such as Mexico, Uganda, Ghana, Australia, Peru, Spain and South Africa.
  • New awards totaling $3.8 million have been made to five minority-serving institutions under the NCMHD Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Program. The RIMI Program focuses on building research capacity in predominantly minority-serving academic institutions that offer one or more associate, baccalaureate, and/or master’s degrees in the life sciences, behavioral sciences, and/or other health-related areas. 
  • Awards totaling $1.1 million have been made to six small business concerns under the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program. These programs are designed for small business concerns to engage in federal research with the potential for commercialization; and, to develop and facilitate cooperative research and development between small business concerns and research institutions in the United States, with the potential for commercialization.

A list of the FY 2005 grantees follows.

NCMHD Community-Based Participatory Research Program City State
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks Alaska
University of Arizona College of Public Health
Tucson Arizona
University of California
Los Angeles California
RAND Corporation
Santa Monica California
University of Colorado Denver/Health Science Center Aurora Aurora Colorado
Georgia State University Atlanta Georgia
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu Hawaii
Mountain States Group Boise Idaho
Northwestern University Evanston Illinois
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis Missouri
Institute for Urban Family Health New York New York
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York New York
New York University School of Medicine New York New York
Yeshiva University Bronx New York
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill North Carolina
Duke University School of Medicine Durham North Carolina
Cleveland State University Cleveland Ohio
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board Rapid City South Dakota
University of Texas Pan American Edinburgh Texas
University of Texas El Paso El Paso Texas
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle Washington
University of Washington Seattle Washington
Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee Wisconsin
NCMHD Research Endowment Program City State
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science Los Angeles California
Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta Georgia
University of New Mexico, School of Medicine Albuquerque New Mexico
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, School of Dentistry San Juan Puerto Rico
NCMHD Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities, and Training (Project EXPORT) Program City State
Loma Linda University Loma Linda California
University of Connecticut Storrs Storrs Connecticut
University of South Carolina at Columbia Columbia South Carolina
University of South Dakota Vermillion South Dakota
University of North Texas Health Science Center Fort Worth Texas
NCMHD Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program  City State
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham Alabama
University of Arizona Tucson Arizona
University of California Irvine Irvine California
University of California Santa Cruz Santa Cruz California
California State University Fullerton Fullerton California
San Diego State University San Diego California
Howard University Washington District of Columbia
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Tallahassee Florida
Florida International University Miami Florida
University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa
Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans Louisiana
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan
Alcorn State University Alcorn Mississippi
College at Old Westbury Albany New York
Cornell University Ithaca Ithaca New York
Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University New York New York
Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City North Carolina
Pennsylvania State University- University Park University Park Pennsylvania
University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras San Juan Puerto Rico
Christian Brothers University Memphis Tennessee
University of Texas El Paso El Paso Texas
Hampton University Hampton Virginia
NCMHD Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Program City State
California State University Los Angeles Los Angeles California
University of the District of Columbia Washington District of Columbia
Southern University Shreveport-Bossier Shreveport Louisiana
University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College Brownsville Texas
Norfolk State University Norfolk Virginia
NCMHD Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/SBTT) Program City State
Nora, LLC. Baltimore Maryland
Eva Pharmaceutical, LLC. Rochester New York
Polyglot Systems, Inc. Morrisville North Carolina
Point Vista Software, LLC. Eugene Oregon
Virogenomics, Inc. Tigard Oregon
C-Three Scientific Corporation Seattle Washington

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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