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Strategies for enhancing research in aging health disparities by mentoring diverse investigators

  • Nina T. Harawa (a1), Spero M. Manson (a2), Carol M. Mangione (a3), Louis A. Penner (a4) (a5), Keith C. Norris (a3), Charles DeCarli (a6), Isabel C. Scarinci (a7), Julie Zissimopoulos (a8), Dedra S. Buchwald (a9), Ladson Hinton (a7) and Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable (a10)...

Abstract

Introduction

The Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) program was launched in 1997. Its goal is to build infrastructure to improve the well-being of older racial/ethnic minorities by identifying mechanisms to reduce health disparities.

Methods

Its primary objectives are to mentor faculty in research addressing the health of minority elders and to enhance the diversity of the workforce that conducts elder health research by prioritizing the mentorship of underrepresented diverse scholars.

Results

Through 2015, 12 centers received RCMAR awards and provided pilot research funding and mentorship to 361 scholars, 70% of whom were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. A large majority (85%) of RCMAR scholars from longstanding centers continue in academic research. Another 5% address aging and other health disparities through nonacademic research and leadership roles in public health agencies.

Conclusions

Longitudinal, team-based mentoring, cross-center scholar engagement, and community involvement in scholar development are important contributors to RCMAR’s success.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: N. T. Harawa, Ph.D., M.P.H., RCMAR National Coordinating Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 911 Broxton Ave, 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA. (Email: nharawa@mednet.ucla.edu)

Footnotes

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Dr Pérez-Stable is currently at the Office of the Director, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.

Footnotes

References

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