The Charles R. Drew University/UCLA Project Export Center’s mission is to establish the knowledge base necessary to reduce diabetes, depression and other related health disparities among low-income African Americans and Latinos. This center will accomplish its mission by bringing new vitality to the field of health disparities research via in-depth community participation alongside academia.
The EXPORT team consists of physicians, researchers, and community leaders who are committed to serving this large, impoverished minority community. Project EXPORT is unique in its mutually beneficial partnership between Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) faculty and researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Schools of Medicine and Public Health — organizations that have nationally recognized research expertise and evaluation tools but often lack trusted ties with the community.
The CDU/UCLA Project EXPORT Center brings important strengths to the field of health disparities research. The Center is located in Los Angeles County, one of the most culturally diverse counties in the United States, and one with major concentrations of disadvantaged minority groups. Los Angeles includes low socioeconomic communities of Latinos and African Americans who suffer alarmingly high rates of morbidity and mortality. The area of South Los Angeles, where CDU is located is characterized by some of the lowest educational attainment, family income and insurance coverage rates in the entire country. A key Project EXPORT goal is to address the dramatic health/education disparities among Los Angeles’ Latino and African American communities, particularly those located in South Los Angeles.
The Specific Aims of the CDU/UCLA Export Center and the Cores responsible for carrying them out are as follows:
- To facilitate the integration and centralization of minority health and health disparities research and training across CDU and UCLA (Administrative Core);
- To promote methodologically rigorous research aimed at: a) promoting quality care, and effective health advocacy and health policy, and b) improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities for Los Angeles County African Americans and Latinos (Research Core and the FemAALES and STRIVE Research Subprojects);
- To build research capacity at CDU, and strengthen existing research training for CDU and UCLA students, residents, fellows and junior faculty committed to minority health and health disparities research (Education and Research Training Core); and
- To build novel partnerships with under-served predominantly Latino and African American Los Angeles communities and strengthen community capacity to partner in innovative research aimed at improving minority health and reducing health disparities (Community Outreach and Engagement Core).
Through this work, Project EXPORT is determined to build bridges in minority health where huge gaps currently exist. It will do so by training junior scholars and community leaders, educating both researchers and community members, and by implementing research programs within the Latino and African American communities of Los Angeles who experience a high burden of disease.