In an exciting launch today, the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute will study the root causes of health disparities across our region, and develop and test creative solutions. In this unique collaboration between the community and interdisciplinary university experts, stakeholders across the region will have a chance to problem-solve for equity in the region.
Many of the determinants of poor health in underdeveloped areas like Buffalo's East Side are all too well known: lack of access to health care, food deserts lacking access to fresh, nutritious foods, lack of safe exercise options, unemployment, environmental hazards including health risks in poor housing such as mold, lead paint, and dangerous decay, among others.
The negative impacts on the health of our neighbors living in these areas are also very well documented: higher mortality rates and co-morbidities across age ranges and risk factors, negatively impacting not just quality of life, but life itself.
Faculty and students from many disciplines will participate in the new Institute, including public health, nursing, pharmacy, architecture and planning, social work, law, management, and the medical school, lead by Timothy Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor.
Community organizations and not for profits will participate as well, including Cicatelli Associates, Inc., ECMC, Millennium Collaborative Care, NeuWater & Associates, Concerned Clergy of WNY, and Population Health Collaborative of WNY.
The commitment of these leaders and the securing of funding, including grants from the National Institutes of Health, could lead to breakthroughs that can also benefit similarly challenged regions across the country.
“As we continue our work to make the City of Buffalo a place of inclusion and opportunity for all, it is essential that all our residents have access to the health care and health tools necessary to achieve the healthy lifestyle they deserve,” Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said. "This new initiative, which will include UB staff and students, as well as numerous nonprofit, neighborhood and church organizations, will help us develop and deliver innovative health solutions to our most underserved residents, especially those who live on Buffalo’s East Side."