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Ethnic, Minority & Multicultural Health SIG Update

Hayley S. Thompson, PhD, Ethnic, Minority & Multicultural Health SIG Chair

As of the writing of this article, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, stands as federal law. Yet, there is continuing opposition to its implementation in many segments of government and the general populace. Although controversial, many see this legislation as a critical part of the contemporary efforts to eliminate the longstanding racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in the United States. These efforts require evidence-based consultation and intervention to improve health outcomes among those who are medically underserved. SBM's Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health (EMMH) SIG strives to be in the forefront of preparing clinicians and researchers to be leaders in these areas. As part of our mission, we have proposed an exciting slate of events that should be of interest to all SBM members. The EMMHSIG Planning Committee includes Heather Honore Goltz, Jean Yi, John Wiebe, Sabrina Ford, Jamilia Sly, Sarah Miller, Cathy Meade, Quin Lu, Yendelela Cuffee, Rosalie Torres Stone, Kimlin Ashing-Giwa, and SIG Co-Chair, Frank Sotelo.

Under the leadership of Drs. John Wiebe, Sabrina Ford, and Cathy Meade, our SIG has proposed a timely pre-conference day course at our annual SBM meeting in Philadelphia titled, "Assessment Strategies and Methodologies for Research with Diverse Population." This course will present the evidence base for developing, adapting and translating research instruments, interventions and materials for diverse, multilingual and multiethnic audiences. Drawing from the current literature and the extensive backgrounds of the presenters, didactic and interactive examples will illustrate the application of an empirical base for developing instruments and interventions across diverse languages, literacy level and cultures. Specific topics that will be discussed include best practices for translating instruments, processes to simultaneously develop assessment instruments, statistical assessment of measurement invariance, and transcreation steps that take into account culture and literacy to enhance the saliency of an intervention.

The theme of rigorous methodology in disparities research will continue in our proposed symposium titled, "Peer Review of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in Health Disparities and Stakeholder Engagement in the Research Process." CBPR is a philosophical framework to research that focuses on relationships between academic and community partners to address health issues relevant to specific communities. However, few guidelines exist for regulation and oversight at the institution level (e.g., IRB, grants and contracts administration) and evaluation of research proposals using the CBPR framework (e.g., grant reviews, publications). In order to provide insight into these challenges, we have identified an experienced panel of researchers who have successfully used CBPR to address health disparities and are experienced in the grant review process. Presenters will address 1) internal/institutional considerations in CBPR (e.g., working with IRBs, grants management and resource sharing); 2) community engagement and resource sharing; 3) methodological rigor and best practices in CBPR proposal and manuscript writing; and 4) current standards in CBPR proposal and manuscript review. Research training is also a focus for the EMMH SIG. Along with the Education, Training, and Career Development Council, we have proposed to host a midday meeting that will focus on career development awards and funding opportunities from various national research entities including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the Veterans Administration Health Services Research and Development (VA HSR&D) Service, to support student researchers and junior investigators from diverse and under-represented racial, ethnic and sociodemographic backgrounds. The meeting will include a panel discussion led by representatives of NHLBI, with a focus on diversity supplements, the VA HSR&D Research Career Development Program, and NCI's Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program. We hope to facilitate networking between potential candidates for these awards and potential mentors. Potential candidates are encouraged to bring a 1-2 page summary of a potential proposal to the meeting and be prepared to discuss their ideas with program representatives and past award recipients. The panel discussion will be followed by roundtable discussions.

Finally, in a departure from years past, the EMMH SIG will hold its business meeting in the evening as part of an off-site networking and social event for its members. We will continue our tradition of presenting abstract awards to a student/trainee and an early investigator. We will also present an award recognizing excellence in mentoring to a senior faculty member who is also an SBM member, as well as elect new SIG chairpersons.

We hope that SBM members are as excited about these activities as we are. See you in Philadelphia!