Dr. Johis Ortega, associate dean for Hemispheric and Global Initiatives and the study’s Principal Investigator.

The National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH/NIMHD) has awarded a competitive five-year renewal grant totaling $1.35 million1 to the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) to educate a new generation of health disparities scientists from different backgrounds.

The key component of the project is a training program that will select 10 promising applicants each year (2019-2023) from nursing, public health and health science, and provide them with health disparities research training experiences at partner institutions in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru. Each participant, ranging from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels, will be paired with a faculty mentor drawn from one of seven institutions of higher health care education in these six participating nations. The foreign mentors represent an exceptional group of educators and scientists from a wide range of fields, including medicine, nursing, public health and psychology.

Funded under the NIMHD’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Training (MHRT) mechanism, the ultimate goal of this initiative is to help create a culturally competent health care workforce. This is crucial because of the current shortage of Hispanic, Black, and Native American researchers in the health professions.

“We will continue to prepare individuals from diverse backgrounds to conduct health disparities research throughout the hemisphere through hands-on opportunities with internationally renowned researchers focused on improving minority health and reducing disparities,” said Dr. Johis Ortega, associate dean for Hemispheric and Global Initiatives and the study’s Principal Investigator. We look forward to opening the eyes of tomorrow’s most promising health disparities scientists to new cultures, populations, and career possibilities.”

In addition to 10 weeks abroad, MHRT trainees will participate in a two-week Intensive Global Health Disparities Summer Research Institute, a one-week seminar on research dissemination and preparing for a career in HD research, and a writing workshop. They will be expected to continue working with their mentors after the program on scientific presentations and publications and on applying for graduate school and/or other health disparities research career opportunities.

1 This grant is supported by the National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T37MD008647. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the issuing institution and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.