The Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity has selected the inaugural cohort of Career Development Awardees – REACH Equity Center Scholars.

Targeting junior faculty, these two-year awards support mentored research projects focusing on the REACH Equity theme: addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health by developing and testing interventions that improve the quality of patient-centered care in the clinical encounter – a setting in which racial and ethnic disparities are well-documented.

Consistent with the REACH Equity’s goal of increasing diversity in the research work force, the program aims to select at least 50% of awardees from under-represented groups.

The four scholars are:

Photo of Isaretta Riley, MD, Medical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

  • Isaretta Riley, MD, Medical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Riley’s overall research goal is to develop clinical interventions to improve the health outcomes of adult African-Americans with asthma. Her REACH Equity project will refine and study a novel, patient-centered approach to remediate barriers to adherence to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).

Project Title:  AdheRence to Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma (ARICA)

Photo of Kai Sun, MD, Medical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology

  • Kai Sun, MD, Medical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology. Dr. Sun’s overall research aim is to understand and address key barriers to medication non-adherence in minorities with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Her REACH Equity study will develop and pilot-test a multi-level intervention directed at lupus providers, clinic staff, and patients to improve patient-provider communication and patient self-efficacy.

Project Title:  Reducing Disparities in Medication Adherence of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Photo of Sarahn Wheeler, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

  • Sarahn Wheeler, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Wheeler’s overall research aim is to eliminate racial disparities in preterm birth delivery (PTB), the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity resulting in life-long medical complications such as blindness, chronic lung disease and intellectual disabilities. Her REACH Equity project will develop and pilot-test an intervention to address patient-perceived barriers to adherence to 17-hdroxprotesterone caproate (17-P) injections, which reduces the risk of recurrent PTB by up to one third.

Project Title:  IMPaCT 17-P

Photo of Charles Wood, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

  • Charles Wood, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Wood’s overall research aim is to address racial and ethnic disparities in childhood obesity. His REACH Equity project will develop and pilot-test a feeding intervention in early infancy to prevent rapid weight gain in Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black babies.

Project Title:  Preventing Disparities in Obesity through Early Infancy Risk

 

The REACH Equity Career Development Award program is directed by Dr. Laura P. Svetkey MD, Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of REACH Equity. The mentored research program is supplemented by a career development program provided by REACH Equity that includes a core curriculum, a works-in-progress seminar series, and an annual disparities research colloquium. Prior to the end of the 2-year award period, each scholar is expected to submit a grant application for next-stage funding.

Dr. Kimberly S. Johnson, MD, Director of REACH Equity, said Duke selected these four scholars from an impressively competitive pool of applicants.  I am extremely excited about this outstanding, inaugural cohort of REACH Equity scholars.  Their work highlights the need to develop and test different types of interventions that address health disparities in the clinical encounter across disciplines, diseases, and age groups.  I look forward to working with them over the next 2 years of their REACH Equity support and beyond.

REACH Equity is a Specialized Center of Excellence, funded by the NIH through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIHMD) https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/

This is the first year the Career Development Awards have been offered through REACH Equity. The next Request for Applications is expected to be announced later this year for awards beginning July 1, 2019.

These four awardees will begin their time as REACH Equity scholars in July, 2018.

For questions, please contact Cheryl Miller (cheryl.j.miller@duke.edu), REACH Equity Program Leader, or Laura Svetkey (laura.svetkey@duke.edu), Director of the REACH Equity Career Development Award program.