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HHS awards more than $14 million to support patient-centered outcomes research

Posted Sep 14 2010 10:01pm

Funds will support programs to help promote more informed health decisions and options that best fit an individual patient's needs and preferences.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health, Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, today announced the award of more than $14.2 million 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,” Dr. Koh said. 

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

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) 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, PhD, 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 (ARRA), which appropriated $1.1 billion to support patient-centered outcomes research.  Of that total, $400 million was authorized to be allocated at the discretion of the HHS Secretary for a variety of patient-centered outcomes research and related activities. These awards are one part of the overall HHS ARRA strategy, as described at www.hhs.gov/recovery and are funded from the funds allocated to the Secretary. 

Office of Minority Health (OMH) and NIMHD will jointly evaluate the scientific progress of the recipients of the grant awards following standard NIH policies and procedures.

“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 by NIH under its Comparative Effectiveness Research for Eliminating Disparities (CERED) Program were made to:

University of Alabama, Birmingham
$ 1,400,000
University of South Florida1,400,000
University of Hawaii at Manoa1,400,000
University of Illinois at Chicago1,399,995
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor1,396,894
University of New Mexico1,009,211
Mount Sinai School of Medicine of NYU1,400,000
Columbia University Health Sciences, NY1,399,981
University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences1,400,000

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, NY.

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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