Community Engagement Core
OPPORTUNITY | TARGET POPULATION | STRATEGY
Underrepresented Minorities in the Greater Houston Community
The Greater Houston Community (GHC) has 9 counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller. The ethnic breakdown of the Greater Houston Community is 37.3% Hispanic/Latino, 36.1% White, 16.9% Black/African American, 7.8% Asian, and 1.9% other. The GHC is considered one of the most ethnically diverse metropolitan regions in the U.S., made largely of underrepresented minorities (URMs).
Based on survey reports, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, obesity and dyslipidemia, in addition to the most recent COVID-19 infection are the top reported health concerns among URMs in the Greater Houston Community. These conditions affect ethnic minorities at a higher rate and are deadlier among ethnic minorities in the Greater Houston Area. Barriers to healthcare for minorities include healthcare costs, appointment scheduling/availability, cultural orientation, and household/other responsibilities among others. Minorities have low participation in clinical trials. Clinical trials offer opportunities to advance treatment options in diverse diseases that disproportionately impact ethnic minorities. Barriers to clinical trials participation include mistrust, little/no access to information about clinical trials/research, other demands, health insurance status, legal status, and language/cultural barriers. Treatment decision-making for unique populations not included in clinical trials remains a challenge in healthcare. Increased participation and diverse representation is key to closing health disparity gaps.
Community Engagement Core (CEC)
The Community Engagement Core (CEC) of Texas Southern University's Center for Biomedical and Minority Health Research (CBMHR) has partnered with faith and community-based organizations, healthcare institutions in the Texas Medical Center, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to address issues/barriers affecting minority health in the Greater Houston Community.
CEC will implement a multi-prong infrastructure to identify and address health-related concerns of GHC URMs, increase participation of GHC URMs in clinical research studies, and effectively communicate research findings to GHC URMs. These innovative initiatives will be tailored towards bridging GHC URMs heath disparity gaps.
Strategic partnerships to identify and address Health-related concerns of GHC URMs
- Access to Greater Houston Community Health profiles and Health Need Assessment data through partnership with Houston Health Department and Houston Methodist Hospital
- Host education seminars about health-related concerns led by experts and health educators from Baylor College of Medicine, Harris Health System, MD Anderson, Houston Methodist Hospital, and other Texas Medical Center institutions
- Work with partners to guide minorities on financial assistance programs, telemedicine technology, and health care resources
- Host focus group sessions and survey outreach events for participants to gain insight to URMs perspective on health-related concerns and CBMHR pilot research projects
- Develop activities to build trust and increase awareness about clinical research and participation with minorities in the Greater Houston Community
- Host clinical research education sessions to walk through the general clinical research process and address any questions/concerns
- Speakers will include key members of a clinical research team and support staff from Texas Medical Center Institutions
- Providing guidance to regional clinical trial locations as requested by community individuals
- Establish traditional and nontraditional channels to share research findings with the Greater Houston Community's Underrepresented Minorities
Use of mass, social, and print media to directly engage community members about research outcomes, including:
- TSU Community Impact Magazine
- Annual conferences
- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram handles: @CECTxSouthernU
- KTSU, FM 90.9, National Public Radio and FM 88.7
- TV broadcasts (TV8 and PBS)
- Community outreach events