Georgia State University’s Institute of Public Health received a $6.7 million grant from the National Center of Minority Health and Disparities (NCMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The 5-year grant, which began in December 2010, addresses health disparities among minority populations in metropolitan Atlanta. The Georgia State University Center of Excellence (CoEx) will use cross-cutting knowledge and interdisciplinary collaboration to address the environmental, psychological and social determinants of health. Additional funding to establish the Environmental Health core was received in September 2011.

Researchers from the Institute of Public Health, the Center for Healthy Development, and sociology will work along with additional faculty representing African American studies, geosciences, psychology, criminal justice, and social work from the College of Arts and Sciences. The CoEx consists of five cores and three research projects. The overall purpose is to conduct research on the additive risk factors, or syndemics, that amplify adverse health in disease burdened communities. The following are brief descriptions of the CoEx elements.

Administrative Core

John Steward, M.P.H.
Director, Administrative Core

The goals of the Administrative core are to establish an environment for high quality research, training, and engagement directed toward eliminating health disparities and improving minority health; provide leadership, planning, communications, and evaluation of CoEx programs.

Research Core

Richard Rothenberg, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Research Core
The goals of the Research Core are to assemble personnel and resources to oversee and facilitate research; acquire research data sets and make them accessible for analyses.

Training/Education Core

Kim Ramsey – White, Ph.D.
The goals of the Training/Education core are to implement activities aimed at increasing the number of minorities interested in pursuing careers related to health disparities and providing opportunities for training and mentoring in health disparities for underrepresented and minority students.

Community Engagement/Outreach Core

Mary Anne Adams, M.S.W.
Director, Community Engagement/Outreach Core
The goals of the Community Engagement/Outreach Core are to expand the commitment to work with Atlanta neighborhoods by continuing community-based participatory research projects; promote new initiatives in communities while continuing to strengthen existing programs; establish a Community Funding Group to seek future funding ; establish a Community Advisory Board ; work with this Board and the Research Training/Education Core to develop an annual conference on health disparities in the Atlanta area; participate in the development of a consortium of community-based groups from diverse geographic areas to focus on reducing health disparities.

Environmental Health Core

Christine Stauber, Ph.D.
Director, Environmental Health Core
The goals of the Environmental Health Cores are to develop a coalition of organizations, agencies and institutions focused on environmental health, justice, and disparities in the Atlanta area; build capacity to evaluate and mitigate environmental health risks specific to urban natural, physical, and built environments; incorporate a multidisciplinary approach evaluating the role of environmental exposures into current CoEx pilot projects; strengthen and expand research and mitigation activities focused on the environmental health priorities of the CoEx community partners; and develop an environmental health focus area in the current MPH and PhD programs.