The Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

In order to address health disparities in veteran populations, the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania have established the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP).

The mission of CHERP is to reduce disparities in health and health care among vulnerable groups of veterans. CHERP will build and sustain the VA's capacity to detect, monitor, understand, and reduce health disparities through support of research, education, policy making, and dissemination activities and through methodological advances that facilitate the research of others. Through a sustained focus on health disparities, CHERP will expand the VA Health Services Research and Development portfolio and complement the research capacity in existing Health Services Research and Development Centers of Excellence. Over the course of the next five years, CHERP will become a national resource for VA investigators pursuing research in the area of health disparities and will help the VHA meet it's national goal of reducing these disparities among vulnerable populations. This Center has five interrelated goals:

1. To increase the knowledge base by which health disparities are documented and understood, including identification of individual or patient, health care provider, and social and environmental factors.
2. To define aspects of the VHA that can reduce inappropriate health disparities, by improving medical practice, by improving patient interaction with the health care system, or by mitigating the effects of social or environmental factors.
3. To design and test interventions at the patient, provider, organizational, and environmental levels that reduce inappropriate health disparities.
4. To support academic research training, multidisciplinary collaboration, and community partnerships that build capacity within the VHA to reduce health disparities.
5. To improve practices relating to health disparities through effective dissemination of research results to targeted audiences of health professionals, patients, health policy makers, and the public.

CHERP directed by Michael J. Fine, MD, MSc and co-directed by David A. Asch, MD, MBA. They lead a partnership of two robust VA Medical Centers and their academic affiliates with strengths in health services research, epidemiology, economics, psychometrics, and quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

Related Links:
Job Opportunitites at CHERP
Pilot Funds Available for Health Disparities Research