Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research Program (TCC)

Program Description

The Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research Program (TCC) supports regional coalitions of academic institutions, community organizations, service providers and systems, government agencies, and other stakeholders focused on priority areas in minority health and health disparities. Currently, TCC program grants focus on these target areas: health policy research, social determinants of health, men's health research, precision medicine research. Future TCC funding opportunities will target additional priority research areas.

Many diverse public and private systems affect health and the disparities in those health outcomes. Therefore, addressing health disparities requires a transdisciplinary framework that cuts across organizational silos and fosters an integrated approach across multiple disciplines: biology, behavioral and social sciences, environmental science, public health, health care, economics, public policy, and many other disciplines. It also requires strong collaborations between researchers and community organizations, service providers and systems, government agencies, and other stakeholders to ensure that contextually appropriate and relevant research is conducted and that findings can translate into sustainable individual-, community-, and systems-level changes that improve population health.

Collaboration at the regional level is particularly important and timely, because it provides opportunities for institutions and organizations to achieve a broader reach than is possible with isolated local efforts while combining expertise and resources in an era of constrained budgets. At the same time, it fosters applied research that is uniquely responsive to specific population-based, environmental, sociocultural, and political factors that influence health within a particular region.

Research topics of specific interest include but are not limited to the following:

Health Policy Research

  • Implementation and analysis of local, state, or national health or non–health-related policies that increase or reduce health disparities within a region (e.g., insurance coverage or reimbursement, zoning, public education)
  • Initiatives from community-based participatory research or other community-based efforts that translate into local, state, or regional policy change
  • Geographic, political, and sociocultural factors that predict the success or impact of policy initiatives to reduce health disparities within a specific region

Social Determinants of Health

  • Research that integrates broad social determinants such as adversity in early life, low social status, education, employment and working conditions, chronic stress, food security and nutrition, addiction, gender, culture, neighborhood and housing conditions, social networks or social exclusion, transportation, and their impact on population health
  • Use of health information technology and social media to promote health
  • Multilevel effects of neighborhood social capital and segregation on health status
  • Strategies to reduce the impact of racial and ethnic discrimination and chronic stress on health and health behaviors

Men's Health Research

  • Dynamics of men-specific health issues and challenges faced across the life course and the influences of early events on health outcomes later in life
  • Projects examining the role of fathers in maternal and child health and child development across health disparity populations
  • Collaborative strategies and interventions to better coordinate fragmented men's health awareness, disease prevention, and research efforts at the regional, state, and local levels

Precision Medicine Research

  • Development of new tools and analytic methods for integrating patient data with information about contextual factors acting at the community or population level to influence health outcomes
  • Development of pharmacogenomic and other precision medicine tools to identify critical biomarkers for disease progression and drug responses in diverse populations
  • Translation of pharmacogenomic discoveries into clinical practice including effective treatments
  • Investigation of facilitators and barriers to implementing precision medicine approaches in disparity populations
  • Understanding mechanisms that lead to differential health outcomes in common diseases in minorities and disparity populations

Multilevel Chronic Disease Prevention Research

  • Promote prevention research and related activities aimed at initiating and implementing multilevel interventions (individual, family/team/group, community, or higher levels) in community settings
  • Build strong collaborations between researchers, community organizations, health service providers, public health agencies, policymakers and other stakeholders for chronic disease prevention
  • Formulate novel and applicable theoretical framework, study design, data analysis plan, and assessment of community-based multilevel interventions
  • Identify, develop effective methods, systems, infrastructures, and strategies to disseminate research findings and to overcome barriers to the adoption, adaptation, integration of evidence-based multilevel interventions

Goals

  • Develop centers that break organizational barriers between multiple systems with a shared mission to improve health or decrease disparities
  • Create new partnerships and research hubs that can increase the reach and accelerate the translation of research findings
  • Innovate comprehensive cross-systems solutions in the field of health
  • Affect evidence-based policy change
  • Develop centers dedicated to a systems change approach to eliminate health disparities
  • Coordinate efforts of leaders from many fields to address the social determinants of health and health policy with more robust networks