As a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center of Excellence, CCHE is committed to increasing the number of investigators, particularly minority investigators, engaged in health disparities/health equity research who are successful in academic appointments and achieving independent funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies. To achieve this goal, we offer a Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) on an annual basis.

In partnership with the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park, the Collaborative Center for Health Equity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers an intensive week-long “research boot camp” focused on increasing the number of investigators, particularly minority investigators, engaged in health disparities/health equity research that are successful in tenure track academic appointments in schools of public health, medicine and other health and behavioral health science disciplines, assisting them in achieving research funding through the NIH.

This year we will showcase several translational research efforts underway here in Wisconsin. Each has a health equity/disparities focus and is being conducted in partnership with diverse community partners. We also highlight exciting community-based participatory research initiatives exploring individual decision making about participation in biomarker research projects. We will introduce several of our community partners who reside in both rural and urban settings of Wisconsin. Importantly, the Institute is also designed to foster professional networking for participating scholars and to create a collaborative learning environment for both Institute scholars and faculty.

Presentations by health equity researchers from UW, other academic settings and NIH; visits to community partner research sites; tips for mentor selection and alignment, work/life balance, manuscript development and grant writing and mock study sections.

To ensure that attending scholars obtain the most from their Institute experiences, we will select from all applicants a cohort of up to 30 Scholars (15 from within/15 from outside of Wisconsin) that is diverse across academic levels and disciplines, community experiences, career objectives, and current roles. Applications from minority fellows, junior faculty or post doctorates in health, social and behavioral sciences addressing research in minority health, health disparities and health equity are especially encouraged. The HELI program is free; limited support for travel and accommodations is available.

HELI Scholars will be expected to contribute to the Institute’s success by: (1) Participating in scheduled events; (2) Providing a brief structured introduction about their work and research interests; (3) Actively sharing in discussions; and (4) Thoughtfully considering opinions and information shared by other Scholars and faculty.

In turn, we will offer Scholars a variety of excellent presentations by experts from UW, other academic institutions, and the NIH. We will provide multiple learning opportunities, as well as access to potential resources to enhance each Scholar’s ability to conduct successful health disparities research. Special emphasis will be on utilizing translational research resources and working successfully on collaborative community-academic research teams. Through this experience, we hope that Scholars will establish long lasting relationships with new colleagues and that, together, new interdisciplinary teams of translational researchers will advance health equity solutions for all communities.