Health Equity: Reducing Disparities in Underserved Populations

Objectives of the Center for Public Service Communications (CPSC) include:

  • Improving quality of and access to health information that meets needs of minority, underserved and disenfranchised individuals and communities
  • Developing and elaborating new methods for the collection, management and electronic interchange of information on health disparities
  • Developing programs and strategies to strengthen the capacity of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities to health information to reduce disparities and improve the health of their communities
  • Improving the quality, quantity and access to linguistically & culturally appropriate health materials by health professionals and consumers

Highlights of CPSC Experience

Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN)

Founder and director of national initiative to provide health information to refugees and immigrants and health professionals working in the field of refugee health. Funded through competitive peer-reviewed National Library of Medicine grant and with support from the Office of Minority Health and Robert Wood Johnson

Engaging Indigenous Peoples in Disaster Risk Reduction

Coordinator for Indigenous session at the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction Global Platform, Geneva, May 2013 designed to promote discussion of risk reduction among indigenous and non-indigenous community leaders. Authored White Paper on same issue for the 2013 session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Working with the Pan American Health Organization to convene Hemispheric Consultation on Disaster Risk Reduction 2013.

Interactive Health Equity Atlas (iHERA) – GIS Mapping of Health Disparities

Project manager for iHERA, a community oriented GIS initiative with pilot programs at the Seattle Indian Health Board/Urban Indian Health Institute and the Native Hawaiian health organization, Papa Ola Lokahi.

Improving Health Care in Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Communities

Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians President’s Task Force on Health Information and Technology; goal to improve access to health information in Indian Country and Native communities (2002-2007)

Improving Environmental Health Programs in Minority Health Institutions

Advisor and consultant to the National Library of Medicine-sponsored Environmental Health Information Outreach Partnership (EnHIOP), whose focus is to improve environmental health programs, reduce health disparities and improve the biomedical, bioinformatics, and information technology capabilities in minority health institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Interactive Health Equity Atlas – GIS Mapping of Health Disparities

Project manager for the Interactive Health Equity Atlas (iHERA), a multi-phase initiative to enable communities to map their health status and vulnerability.

World Health Organization Worldwide HINARI Assessment (12 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas)

Principal Investigator for HINARI program offering free access to full text online versions of 2,500 plus leading biomedical and healthcare journals to research and academic institutions, medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy schools, national governmental ministries, departments and policy units in 104 of the world's poorest countries.

Role of Libraries in HIV/AIDS Prevention (Cameroon, Africa)

Conducted assessment, on behalf of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, on the role of libraries in disseminating HIV/AIDS prevention information in Cameroon (as a model for other countries in Africa)

Symposium on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Information for Refugees and Immigrants 

Convener/chair, Symposium on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Health Information for Refugees and Immigrants, Co-sponsored by the DHHS Office of Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and hosted by National Library of Medicine (July 2003)

Assessment of Telehealth Capabilities of Minority Health Professions Schools

Principle Investigator for assessment of health applications of telecommunications and information technology within/among minority health professions schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (separate studies), funded by National Library of Medicine and the Office of Minority Health (1998).

Improving Medical Screening for Migrants and Refugees (2000-2001)

Project Implementation Manager for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Georgetown University initiative to improve medical screening for refugees, reduce public health impact of migration-associated tuberculosis in the US and assist and improve global TB control efforts

Benefits of Telehealth for Underserved Populations: Barriers and Opportunities

Convener and chair of symposium, funded by a grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and the Agency for Health Care and Policy Research, involving leaders of national advocacy groups for minorities and other underserved groups and government, academia, and private sector to discuss benefits and challenges of using new information technology tools to access health information and services for children and the elderly, minorities, inner city and rural poor, and persons with disabilities.

Africa Malaria Research Information Network

Consultant to National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine and Multilateral Initiative on Malaria with the objective to improve the ability of malaria scientists to conduct and share scientific research throughout Africa

Center for Public Service Communications
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