The Center for Health Disparities Research at the Medical University of South Carolina is focused on eliminating racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and rural/urban disparities in health.
through excellence in all phases of our work and continually improving our programs and practices based on new knowledge.
to communities through development of health interventions that are effective and practical in the real world.
The National Institutes of Health defines health disparities as differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other health conditions that exist among specific population groups. These differences in treatment are not justified by the underlying health condition, or the preferences of patients.
At CHDR and HEROIC, we tend to focus on health disparities related to three core areas:
Disparities in health continue in the United States, even in an equal access system like the VA where many barriers to care have been addressed. Differences are shown to exist in disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality. In South Carolina, if you are a black, you are twice as likely to have diabetes compared to someone who is white, and you are almost one and a half times more likely to die from diabetes than someone who is white and a similar age. This provides a dramatic example of health disparities related to race, though there are many others that we seek to understand and erase.
1. Institute of Medicine. Unequal Treatment – Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Smedley BD et al. (Eds). National Academy Press, Washington, DC 2002.
2. S. Saha, M. Freeman, J. Toure, K. M. Tippens, and C. Weeks, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the VA Healthcare System: A Systematic Review. 2007, Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Health Administration. Health Services Research & Development: Washington.
3. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013 National Healthcare Disparities Report. AHRQ Publication No. 14-0006. May 2014.
4. J. Merchant, C. Coussens, and D. Gibert, Eds. Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment in Rural America. 2006, The National Academies Press: Washington, DC.