WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 24, 2010) - AcademyHealth announced today the launch of a new initiative to encourage students and fellows from minority populations underrepresented in the field of health services research (HSR) to explore opportunities in the field, particularly in regard to disparities research.
"Professionals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives bring their experience to bear in the research questions and policy solutions they investigate," said W. David Helms, President and CEO of AcademyHealth "Compared to the population as a whole, African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native American professionals are a disproportionate minority in the field of HSR. This new initiative aims to encourage young professionals from these populations to consider lending their expertise to the important questions of health care access, cost, and quality that the field of HSR and the discipline of disparities research are attempting to answer."
The Minority Scholars Program, which is supported by a grant from the Aetna Foundation, covers a range of activities to support the professional development of underrepresented minorities in the field of HSR and to help build the pipeline of disparities researchers. Among these is:
- The creation of a new scholars program for 15 students and fellows from underrepresented minorities to attend the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM), the premier professional conference for researchers studying HSR, including participation in a pre-conference methods seminar and the adjunct Disparities Interest Group meeting, all of which will be held June 26-29 in Boston. Scholars will also participate in mentoring activities such as the Meet-the-Expert Breakfast and be matched with a leader from the field for on-going mentoring. The call for applications opens February 24, 2010. Applications are available at www.academyhealth.org.
- A four-part webinar series on current issues in disparities research with a focus on translation and dissemination of disparities topics as well as analytic techniques for assessing disparities.
- Ongoing support for AcademyHealth's Disparities Interest Group meeting, which will feature two invited panel sessions selected from a call for abstracts, a poster session, and networking opportunities for meeting attendees.
"Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have been at the forefront of taking and supporting action to establish racial and ethnic equity in health care for the better part of a decade, and we are proud to support AcademyHealth and the Minority Scholars Program," said Anne C. Beal, M.D., M.P.H., president, Aetna Foundation, Inc. "It is a health imperative that we continue to develop the next generation of scholars who can grow our understanding of the root causes of health and health care disparities, so that appropriate actions can be taken to address them."
AcademyHealth is the professional home for health services researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners, and a leading, non-partisan resource for the best in health research and policy. AcademyHealth seeks to improve health and health care by generating new knowledge and moving knowledge into action.
About the Aetna Foundation
The Aetna Foundation is a national health foundation that promotes wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. Our giving is focused on addressing the rising rates of adult and childhood obesity in the U.S.; promoting racial and ethnic equity in health and health care; and advancing integrated health care. Originally founded in 1972 as the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc., Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $379 million in grants and sponsorships since 1980. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered nearly 2 million hours since 2003. For more information, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.