REACH Equity reaches across campus to B&B

Recent Updates

Nov. 13, 2019

The Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity) is a multidisciplinary center on health disparities that seeks to develop and test interventions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health by improving the quality of patient-centered care in the clinical encounter across settings, diagnoses, stages of illness, and throughout the life course. Dr. Olsen serves as the Core Leader for the Measures, Methods and Analysis (MMA) Subcore. Fellow faculty member, Dr. Roland Matsouaka, and BCTIP intern Tyler Chung are also part of the MMA subcore. While the MMA subcore supports the research needs with the traditional assistance with study design, conceptualization of research projects and analytic methods, what is unique in REACH Equity is the level of interaction the subcore has with the other cores and amount of mentoring that is taking place on an inter-disciplinary level. For example, both Dr. Olsen and Dr. Matsouaka serve as reviewers and mentors for the career development and research scholar awards. “I particularly value the opportunity to work with junior investigators at the beginning stages of their research, to help their research include principled statistical approaches right from the start” said Dr. Olsen
Dr. Kimberly Johnson, Director of Research Equity, said "As part of our application, we proposed to establish a Measures Methods and Analysis Subcore  because of the importance of sound statistical input to the success of the Center's projects and aims. The MMA was not a required component of the Center as are some of our other cores like the Investigator Development Core. The MMA is an invaluable resource, providing mentorship and input across the Center's internally and externally-funded  projects, touching awardees from undergraduates to senior faculty.  In addition to statistical input, like all faculty, the MMA faculty are engaged as full partners in the execution of all of the Center's aims, including those that are not specific to statistical analysis. Our work benefits from the diverse ideas of a multidisciplinary group of faculty, and the MMA is an important part of that."
REACH equity has three ongoing projects: 1) Development and Pilot Testing of an Implicit Bias Training Intervention for Providers to Advance Equity in Healthcare, 2) the Effect of a Clinician Communication Coaching Intervention on Racial Disparities in the Quality of Communication in Clinical Encounters and 3) the Effect of a Needs-targeted Intervention on Racial Disparities in Unmet Needs of Patients and Families in the Intensive Care Unit.  Dr. Matsouaka noted: “While health disparities in health and healthcare across racial and ethnic groups are well-documented, very few programs take a frontal approach to mitigate these inequities, propose meaningful solutions, and make a difference. The REACH Equity, through its projects and activities, aims at tackling these issues by developing and testing interventions that aim at reducing these inequities in the medical community. This is what makes it fascinating, compelling, and fun to work with the team of REACH Equity researchers and collaborators.”
Given the importance of increasing the diversity of the disparities research workforce, one of the center goals is for at least 50% of awardees to come from under-represented groups. In addition, currently all projects and cores pair a senior researcher with a junior under-presented minority (URM) researcher. Research Equity scholars receive under the Center’s umbrella of collaboration, fellowship, and supplemental mentorship, regular meetings with Center faculty and interactions and support from REACH Equity Cores.  The subcore meets regularly with the scholars and other subcores.  
Visit the website to learn more about this Center.