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Annu Rev Nurs Res. 2007;25:119-59.

Promoting research partnerships to reduce health disparities among vulnerable populations: sharing expertise between majority institutions and historically black universities.

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  • 1Center for Health Disparities Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, USA.


This chapter focuses on promoting cultural competence in research and the care of vulnerable populations by establishing inter-university nursing partnership centers for health disparities research between historically Black universities and minority-serving institutions and research-intensive majority institutions. The Hampton-Penn Center to Reduce Health Disparities (HPC), an inter-university collaborative center funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) P20 funding mechanism, is discussed as the exemplar. The mission of the Hampton-Penn Center is to promote culturally competent research on health promotion and disease prevention and the examination of how culture, race and ethnicity and their interactions with the health care system and the larger society influence health outcomes and the occurrence of health disparities. The history, goals, and conceptual model underlying this collaborative effort between the University of Pennsylvania and Hampton University Schools of Nursing are described as are the accomplishments and lessons learned to date. Based upon the Hampton-Penn experience, recommendations for similar collaborations to reduce health disparities among vulnerable populations are made in three major areas: (a) increasing the study of the multi-system level factors that contribute to health disparities among vulnerable populations, (b) promoting the development of culturally competent research on health disparities, and (c) promoting the recruitment and training of health researchers who are themselves members of vulnerable populations.

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