October 15, 2021

NIMHD Provides Over $200 Million in Funding for Research in Chronic Disease Prevention and Treatment

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) pursuant to Public Law 116-260, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 has awarded funds to 11 research institutions to establish and support regional comprehensive research centers on the prevention, treatment, and management of comorbid chronic diseases that disproportionately affect populations with health disparities. These Multiple Chronic Disease (MCD) Centers received grants, totaling almost $205 million including funds committed over a five-year period, that will facilitate research on chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

Research projects from each MCD Center are expected to address determinants of health at two or more levels of influence (individual, interpersonal/organizations, community, and societal). In addition, interventions may address one or more of the following:

  • Prevention of chronic diseases by addressing risk factors and early stages of a condition (e.g., pre-diabetes).
  • Increasing access to or quality of health care to detect or treat chronic diseases.
  • Enhancement of treatment quality or adherence.
  • Self-management to manage chronic diseases and improve or maintain quality of life across different life course stages.

In addition, a Pilot Project Program provides research opportunities for post-doctoral fellows, early-career faculty, or other early-stage investigators, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce. Community engagement efforts of each MCD Center will facilitate the development and nurturing of bi-directional working relationships with consortium partners within the region to develop and disseminate relevant and actionable information and findings to the community.

To coordinate activities across all the MCD Centers, NIMHD has also awarded $4.5 million and committed $18 million more over a five-year period to establish a Research Coordinating Center (RCC). The scope of activities for the RCC is to:

  • Coordinate common activities and meetings.
  • Harmonize data as appropriate.
  • Agree on data sharing principles.
  • Facilitate cross-MCD Center research resources.
  • Provide opportunities for mentoring of early-career investigators.
  • Disseminate research project findings.

The 11 Research Centers are:

Southern California Center for Chronic Health Disparities in Latino Children and Families
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Contact PI: Dr. Michael Goran

1P50MD017344-01 – The Center will establish a regional and inclusive coalition of academic, clinical, government, and community stakeholders to address the co-occurring disparities in obesity, Type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and dyslipidemia in Latino families across Southern California. A comprehensive research strategy will increase the understanding and test innovative family-based solutions designed to address cultural values and issues relevant to the Latino population in Southern California.

Center to Improve Chronic disease Outcomes through Multilevel and Multi-generational approaches Unifying Novel Interventions and Training for health Equity (The COMMUNITY Center)
Columbia University Health Sciences
Contact PI: Dr. Mary Beth Terry

1P50MD017341-01 – The COMMUNITY Center will focus on reducing health disparities in chronic diseases in the New York City region through rigorous testing, disseminating, and sustaining interventions that incorporate the multiple levels of influence from individual, interpersonal, community, and societal approaches. Interventions will employ the community health worker model for enrollment and/or interventions and engage participants in services based on social determinants of health domains.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Cardiometabolic Health Equity (MACCHE)
Johns Hopkins University
Contact PI: Dr. Lisa Cooper

1P50MD017348-01 – The overarching goal of MACCHE is to test the effectiveness of comprehensive, integrated, and multilevel evidence-based strategies for improving cardiometabolic health outcomes among socially disadvantaged populations in Maryland. The Center will use community-based participatory research and patient-centered outcomes research principles to translate them into clinical and public health practice and policy.

Rutgers-NYU Center for Asian Health Promotion and Equity
Rutgers Biomedical/Health Sciences – RBHS
Contact PI: Dr. Xinqi Dong

1P50MD017356-01 – The Center will establish advanced interdisciplinary research on cardiometabolic disease in Asian Americans that will inform population health, clinical practice, and health policy at multiple levels. Community engagement efforts will expand research capacity with Asian community organizations through culturally appropriate, community-tailored, reciprocal education and training in biomedical and behavioral research to fully understand the health needs and barriers, challenges, socio-cultural context of conducting research in and with Asian communities.

The Center for Research, Health, and Social Justice (CRHS)
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Contact PI: Dr. Carol Cornell

1P50MD017319-01 – The goal of CRHS is to advance the science of chronic disease health disparities by using a social justice framework to inform the development and implementation of a robust agenda for advancing novel multilevel and transdisciplinary research in cancer and cardiovascular disease. The inclusion of an equitable academic-community partnership will ensure that the root causes of chronic disease health disparities are addressed and promote sustainable solutions for the population in the Northwest, Highlands, and Delta regions of Arkansas.

Deep South Center to Reduce Disparities in Chronic Diseases
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Contact PI: Dr. Andrea Cherrington

1P50MD017338-01 – The Center will focus on the prevention, treatment, and management of cardiometabolic diseases (obesity, diabetes, and hypertension) among African Americans and low-income populations in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana who suffer disproportionately from these health conditions. The Center will also focus on expanding and diversifying the region’s research workforce and promoting equitable collaborations between researchers and non-academic partners.

UCLA-UCI Center for Eliminating Cardio-Metabolic Disparities in Multi-Ethnic Populations (UC END-DISPARITIES)
University of California Los Angeles
Contact PI: Dr. Arleen Brown

1P50MD017366-01 – The UC END-DISPARITIES Center will focus on the clustering of interrelated risk factors that promote hypertension and diabetes, and their complications including atherosclerotic vascular disease and chronic kidney disease by implementing a multilevel community-academic partnered approach to improve cardiometabolic related health outcomes in Hispanic, African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and American Indian communities. To achieve this, the Center will examine social determinants of health, behavioral mechanisms, and health system factors while collaborating with key community-academic networks including health care systems and community-based organizations.

Chicago Chronic Condition Equity Network (C3EN)
University of Chicago
Contact PI: Dr. Elbert Huang

1P50MD017349-01 – The C3EN will utilize a comprehensive approach to the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions disparities by strengthening collaborations across community-based organizations, practice networks, and academic researchers. Specific research interventions that target obesity and diabetes will actively seek to cross boundaries of disease-specific management, professional training, community, and practice.

Center for Chronic Disease Reduction and Equity Promotion Across Minnesota (C2DREAM)
University of Minnesota
Contact PI: Dr. Michele Allen

1P50MD017342-01 – The C2DREAM will focus on cardiovascular disease and the related chronic conditions of hypertension and obesity in populations that experience health disparities, including immigrants and refugees across Minnesota. Using an analytical and implementation science approach, C2DREAM will promote innovative, multilevel interventions that target fundamental causes of chronic disease disparities and community engagement strategies to translate research results and knowledge into action.

Southeast Collaborative for Innovative and Equitable Solutions to Chronic Disease Disparities
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Contact PI: Dr. Consuelo Hopkins Wilkins

1P50MD017347-01 – The Center will partner with communities to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to address complex chronic disease disparities among African American and Latino populations in the Southeastern United States. Leveraging advances in technology and data science, research projects will be designed to advance knowledge in the prevention, treatment, and management of disparities in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and related conditions.

ACHIEVE GREATER: Addressing Cardiometabolic Health Inequities by Early Prevention in the Great Lakes Region
Wayne State University
Contact PI: Dr. Phillip Levy

1P50MD017351-01 – The ACHIEVE GREATER Center plans to implement a program to address multi-level risk profiles in African Americans with cardiometabolic risk factors who live in concentrated areas of poverty in Michigan and Ohio. Specifically, the implementation of collaborative care delivered by non-physicians, community health workers and pharmacists using a mobile health unit that relies on geospatial health and social vulnerability data to direct health services to communities in highest need, who may not otherwise engage with traditional health care settings.

The Research Coordinating Center:

Research Coordinating Center to Reduce Disparities in Multiple Chronic Diseases (RCC RD-MCD)
University of California, San Francisco
Contact PI: Dr. Edwin Charlebois

1U24MD017250-01 – As the coordination entity for the initiative, the RCC RD-MCD plans to implement a consortium-wide Common Data Element development, collection, integration, curation, analysis, and sharing process using existing well-developed national data coordinating and collection center resources and expertise. Through the establishment of a research education development network, the RCC will implement and maintain a variety of development opportunities for academic researchers, health workers, and other community partners via monthly webinars on chronic diseases, a yearly skills development workshop, and linkages to mentors across the MCD Centers consortium and the NIH National Research Mentoring Network. Best practices in community-engaged research will be shared with the MCD Centers, and summaries of important findings from the research of the MCD projects will be created and disseminated for populations that experience health disparities.

Page updated October 15, 2021