Although scientific and technological discoveries have improved the health of the U.S. population overall, racial/ethnic minority populations, sexual and gender minority populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, and underserved rural populations, continue to experience a disproportionate burden of disease and risk factors, unmet health care needs and other adverse health conditions.
As the Nation’s steward of biomedical and behavioral research, the National Institutes of Health has devoted considerable resources to characterize the root causes of health disparities, uncovering a complex web of interconnected and overlapping factors (i.e., biological, behavioral, environmental, and societal). As an important next step, research is needed that capitalizes upon knowledge about causal pathways to directly and demonstrably contribute to the reduction of health disparities. Of importance is research that moves beyond an exclusive focus on the health status of individuals to examine and address how larger systemic factors cause, sustain, or minimize health disparities in communities, regions, and the Nation as a whole. Disparities in health care are a clear contributor to disparities in health outcomes. Differences in health care utilization patterns and quality of care indicators between populations affected by health disparities and the general population have been well documented. More work is needed to understand how best to eliminate these inequities by understanding the causal mechanisms and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. In addition, with the emerging Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, differences in health care utilization patterns and quality of care need to be reevaluated and interventions to reduce health disparities generated by this pandemic and improve minority health need to be developed and evaluated.
The purpose of this FOA is to encourage health services research that can directly contribute to the improvement of minority health and/or the reduction of health disparities, while taking into consideration the interaction between system-level healthcare, individual clinical care and social determinants of health, including the role of structural systemic factors, place and neighborhood factors. The focus of this FOA is on all services provided in the healthcare setting where individuals from health disparity populations seek care with a clinician for preventive services, chronic disease management, urgent symptomatic care, emergency care, and hospital care. These health services do include tele-medicine or virtual or remote encounters and home visits.
Applications are due on March 17, 2021.