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HHS ANNOUNCES ESTABLISHMENT OF MINORITY RESEARCH CENTERS

 HHS ANNOUNCES ESTABLISHMENT OF MINORITY RESEARCH CENTERS
 WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- HHS Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., today announced the establishment of six federally funded research centers in New York, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Albuquerque, N.M., and Honolulu to increase research efforts to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage illnesses among minority populations. Funding for the centers includes over $3 million for the first year, with an overall commitment of more than $19 million over the next five years.
 A principal focus of the centers' efforts will be on "outcomes" research. This involves study of variations in treatment for specific diseases and conditions to determine what treatments are most effective and are most likely to lead to favorable patient outcomes. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), which provided funds for the centers, is leading HHS' effort to improve the effectiveness of medical treatment and reduce or eliminate ineffective or inappropriate care.
 "As a whole, the nation's minorities have higher rates of heart disease, hypertension and many other diseases than whites," Sullivan said. "These problems are complicated by cultural and other factors often unique to a specific group."
 Among the health problems particularly affecting minorities, diabetes is 33 percent more common among African-Americans than whites. Certain American Indian tribes have the highest known prevalence of type II diabetes, a non-insulin-dependent form of the disease.
 AIDS affects proportionately more African-Americans and Hispanics than it does whites, and the rates are increasing. Among Hispanic women, the AIDS rate is eight times higher than among non-Hispanic women, and their children are six times more likely to be HIV- infected.
 There are a growing number of cancer cases among Asians and Pacific Islanders -- at least a third higher than among whites. In some Asian communities, tuberculosis is 40 times higher than in the general population, particularly for those persons 45 and older.
 "Ways of effectively preventing, managing or treating conditions in the general population often do not work as well for specific minority groups," Sullivan said. He charged the minority research centers with understanding the particular needs and disparities in health status among different minority groups in order to mold successful, effective approaches.
 According to AHCPR Administrator J. Jarrett Clinton, M.D., the centers will be staffed by clinical practitioners, epidemiologists, sociologists, economists and other professionals. The centers will produce and distribute health information for consumers and policymakers, in addition to conducting research and providing training for minority investigators interested in performing outcomes research. They are part of AHCPR's Medical Effectiveness Treatment Program (MEDTEP), which includes outcomes research, development of clinical practice guidelines and widespread dissemination of research findings and practice guidelines to health care practitioners and consumers.
 The MEDTEP Research Centers on Minority Populations are expected to result in an increase in the numbers of minority health services researchers. They also will increase participation by minority researchers in grant and contract activities supported by the Public Health Service, the Health Care Financing Administration and private funding sources. New research findings will help in the development of appropriate clinical strategies that provide the most effective care for minority populations.
 The new minority outcomes research centers are:
 -- Columbia University/Harlem Hospital Center, Urban Health Institute, New York. ($737,072 FY 92) Principal Investigator: Charles K. Francis, M.D., 212-939-1401 -- will study variations in treatment and outcomes for heart disease, hypertension, AIDS and tuberculosis and prevention of childhood injury among inner-city African-Americans.
 -- University of Texas School of Medicine, San Antonio ($735,956 FY 92) Principal Investigator: Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., 512-567-4424 -- will study treatment variations and outcomes among Mexican Americans for diabetes, substance abuse, depression and functional status in the elderly.
 -- UCLA/MEDTEP Center for Asians and Pacific Islanders, Los Angeles ($390,535 FY 92) Principal Investigator: Takashi Makinodan, Ph.D., 310-824-4301 -- will assess treatment variations and outcomes of breast cancer, including the psychosocial aspects of treatment among Asian-Americans; geriatric issues will also be addressed.
 -- Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Atlanta ($373,614 FY 92) Principal Investigator: Ernest H. Johnson, Ph.D., 404-699-3230 -- will examine treatment of AIDS, prenatal care, hypertension, heart disease and end-stage renal disease in African Americans.
 -- University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, N.M. ($392,236 FY 92) Principal Investigator: Christopher E. Urbina, M.D., 505-277-2165 -- will assess the effectiveness of mammography screening, in addition to outcomes related to type II diabetic therapies among American Indians.
 -- Pacific Health Research Institute, Honolulu. ($398,129 FY 92) Principal Investigator: Fred I. Gilbert Jr., M.D., 808-524-4411 -- will examine community interventions to reduce the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis, as well as the effectiveness of cancer treatment, type II diabetes and asthma among Asians and Pacific Islanders.
 -0- 9/9/92 R
 /CONTACT: Bob Isquith of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, 301-227-8370/ CO: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


DC -- DC022 -- 7724 09/09/92 17:45 EDT
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