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HHS awards more than $14M for patient-centered outcomes research

Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD, has announced the award of more than $14 million for patient-centered outcomes.

Funds will be used to develop, implement and test strategies to increase the adoption and dissemination of interventions based on patient-centered outcomes research among racial and ethnic minority populations.

"A healthier nation must include our underserved and minority communities. We now have the opportunity to determine which interventions truly help diverse populations achieve optimal levels of health," Koh said.

Patient-centered outcomes research is designed to inform healthcare decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits and harms of different treatments. The evidence is generated from studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries and ways to deliver healthcare.

The National Institutes of Health's National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities awarded grants to centers of excellence at universities and medical schools in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico and New York, and the HHS Office of Minority Health awarded a contract to Westat, Inc., of Rockville, Md.

"Patient-centered outcomes research must become a critical part of our strategy as a nation to understand and eliminate health disparities. This joint initiative complements the work that we are currently doing and is a testament to the value of partnerships," said John Ruffin, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

The awards are part of the investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which appropriated $1.1 billion to support patient-centered outcomes research.

"Every citizen in our country deserves our best effort. With the help of the health information derived from these studies, we can take a step closer to achieving our goals and, at the same time, transform our communities into safer and healthier places for all people," said Garth Graham, MD, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and director of the Office of Minority Health.

Grant awards were made to:

  • University of Alabama, Birmingham, $1,400,000;
  • University of South Florida, $1,400,000;
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, $1,400,000;
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, $1,399,995;
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, $1,396,894;
  • University of New Mexico, $1,009,211;
  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine of NYU, $1,400,000;
  • Columbia University Health Sciences, New York, $1,399,981;
  • University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences, $1,400,000.

The NIH awards will focus on issues including breast and prostate cancer in underserved populations, cardio-metabolic issues in Native and Pacific people and health disparities in Harlem in New York City.

The OMH awarded $1,993,000 to Westat. The project will designate diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, including stroke and hypertension, and arthritis as the primary health conditions for which available and appropriate interventions will be identified from comparative effectiveness research. Interventions will be identified for dissemination and adoption among the racial and ethnic populations in two targeted geographic areas. These populations will include African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and urban American Indians/Alaska Natives.

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