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Jeannette E. South-Paul, M.D. Jeannette E. South-Paul, M.D.

New Center to Bring Research-Based Care to Underserved Communities

PITTSBURGH, March 14, 2005 — In Allegheny County, African Americans have a disproportionately higher death rate from stroke, prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease as compared to Caucasians. The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences has created the Center for Primary Care Community-Based Research to address such disparities and improve the health of underserved communities in western Pennsylvania.

The Center for Primary Care Community-Based Research, led by Executive Director Janine E. Janosky, Ph.D., and Medical Director Jeannette E. South-Paul, M.D., was developed in response to the priorities outlined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap. Through the roadmap, the NIH is calling for research and research-based care to be taken beyond the university setting into communities, especially underserved communities.

The center will support projects that direct or facilitate assisting the removal of barriers to patient education with regard to disease prevention; foster adherence to prevention and treatment recommendations; utilize effective strategies to improve patient adherence; and promote and organize research networking and collaboration among primary care clinicians and researchers.

Outreach programs will focus on reducing stroke and prostate cancer in minority men, improving heart health in minority women and improving treatment compliance in patients with diabetes by bringing research studies, health screenings and educational interventions to the communities through health fairs and community health practices. These programs currently include:

Innovations in Reducing Stroke and Prostate Cancer in Minority Men - This study, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, will utilize a community-based intervention to remove barriers to patient education with regard to stroke and prostate cancer prevention while encouraging patient compliance with prevention and treatment activities.

The Minority Women’s Heart Initiative - An Office of Minority Health-funded study will provide educational programs on prevention and management of cardiovascular disease in communities with minority women who are at risk. Researchers will monitor the women to determine the success of the research activities.

Primary Care Physician Compliance with Treatment Modalities for Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in an Underserved Patient Population - Funded by the Merck Company Foundation, the study will evaluate community-based family practitioners’ compliance with best practice guidelines established by the American Diabetes Association.

The Center for Primary Care Community-Based research will bring together experts in community issues, clinical care, screening, public health, educational programs, regional policy and development, and research. Partners include the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Family Medicine; FM-Pittnet, a network of hospital-affiliated health centers that provide care to low-income populations with a special emphasis on minorities and the underserved; the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and a number of community-based organizations.

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