Grantees Focusing on African Americans
Implementation and Dissemination of Gabby, a Health Information Technology (HIT) System for Young Women, Into Community-Based Clinical Sites (R18) (2017-Current)
Brian William Jack, M.D.
Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine
This project aims to improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies and to reduce disparities in birth outcomes for African Americans. Gabby is an online animated character that simulates face-to-face conversation and engages women in an empathic dialogue to educate them about their health risks. This low-cost, user-friendly, evidence-based, scalable intervention is culturally adaptive and can be used across a range of healthcare and community settings to improve the health of young African American women. In a randomized control trial, it significantly reduced participants’ risks. This study will implement Gabby in real world settings by recruiting six Healthy Start sites and six community health centers, to determine whether the intervention can provide evidence to support wider dissemination, potentially nationwide. The project was recently featured in a Boston University publication called The Brink. In addition, Dr. Jack and his team have published articles about the project in The Lancet Digital Health and in BMC Health Services Research.
Promoting Early Utilization of Palliative Care for African Americans Using Culturally Informed Patient Navigation (K08) (2016-Current)
Fabian Johnston, M.D., M.H.S.
Johns Hopkins Medicine
This project aims to improve end-of-life palliative care for African American and low-income individuals. As the first study to apply the cultural navigator program in palliative care to African Americans, this project will determine the palliative care needs and preferences of African Americans with advanced malignancies and how effective culturally tailored patient navigators can be for this population. A pilot test will be conducted of a culturally tailored patient navigator intervention to assess the feasibility, acceptability, cost, and impact of patient navigation for African American and low-income patients with advanced malignancies. Findings from this project can be used to improve hospital outcomes, experiences, and quality of care for these patients.
Evaluating Geographic Variation in Breast Cancer Surgical Outcomes Among Black Women in the U.S. South (R36) Dissertation Grant (2020-Current)
Mya Lee Roberson, M.S.P.H., Ph.D. candidate
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health
This project aims to reduce mortality associated with early-stage breast cancer among African Americans living in rural and urban areas of the U.S. South. The project will examine temporal trends in incident mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery and will assess whether the difference in prevalence of mastectomy versus breast-conserving surgery between urban and rural areas is mediated by distance to radiotherapy and use of surgeons with low procedure volumes. In addition, complication rates will be calculated, and costs associated with complications after surgery will be calculated. This project will provide a better understanding of patterns in surgical treatment of breast cancer and resulting complications for African American women residing in urban and rural areas. Once modifiable system factors are identified and better understood, more efficient delivery of high-quality healthcare can be provided, and patient safety can be improved for this vulnerable population that is especially burdened by breast cancer.
Improving African American Glaucoma Patient Involvement in Visits and Outcomes (R01) (2017-Current)
Betsy Sleath, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy
This project aims to reduce observed racial disparities by improving the outcomes of African Americans with glaucoma and to reduce subsequent glaucoma-related blindness. It involves an intervention that includes a glaucoma question prompt list and a video intervention to improve glaucoma medication self-efficacy and adherence, as well as control of intraocular pressure. This project will determine if the coupled interventions can successfully improve care related to glaucoma screening and treatment for African American patients. If the interventions prove effective, they can be scaled up and used by eye care providers to reduce the observed disparities between Whites and African Americans in glaucoma treatment and medication adherence and to reduce glaucoma-related blindness.