The UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities (CRHD) takes a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to the inequities in health access and quality of care. This includes a comprehensive program for research, education and teaching, and community outreach and information dissemination.
The center builds on UC Davis’ long history of reaching out to the most vulnerable, underserved populations in the region. A comprehensive medical interpretive services program helps overcome limitations in access for those who don’t speak English. Its regional telehealth network provides a high-tech link between UC Davis physicians and smaller clinics around the state that cannot afford to maintain medical specialists on staff.
The center represents a major commitment to addressing community needs that goes well beyond the traditional service role of an academic medical center. It is a program designed not only to raise awareness and conduct critical research, but also intended to actually assist those communities whose needs have never been addressed and met by the traditional health-care system.
The center’s wide-ranging focus on health disparities includes an emphasis on improving access, detection and treatment of mental health problems within the primary care setting. It will also focus efforts on achieving better understanding into the co-morbidity of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, pain conditions, and cancer with depression.
The mission of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities is to promote the health and well-being of diverse communities by pursuing research, training, continuing education, technical assistance, information dissemination within a prevention, early intervention, and treatment framework that recognizes the unique cultural and linguistic contexts of these populations.
The CRHD is guided by the following strategic directions:
To build more awareness about access and quality of care issues within ethnically diverse populations.
To advance innovative investigations that help a better understanding about the causes and consequences arising from disparities in health care.
To expand opportunities for minority health and research training through a rigorous mentoring program in applied health disparities research.
To help leaders develop comprehensive strategies to improve their quality of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
To strengthen or establish collaborations with community-based organizations and other groups that will help increase organizational capacity.
The United States is the most technologically advanced country in the world, spending more resources on health care than any other nation, yet not all citizens have equal access to quality health care. For decades, health disparities in the US have been an ongoing public health challenge, especially for racial and ethnic minority populations. The Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care provides extensive evidence that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to receive lower quality health services than white Americans. On average, racial and ethnic minorities are in poorer health, suffer worse health outcomes, and have higher morbidity and mortality rates than their white cohorts and underserved minority and low-income populations experience disproportionately high (but avoidable) rates of preventable disease and premature death across many conditions. Such disparities can result in severe medical, social and economic consequences including increased mortality. It is in response to these inequities that the UC Davis Health established the Center for Reducing Health Disparities in 2005.