Welcome to The Sullivan Alliance site for the U.S.-Caribbean Alliance for Health Disparities Research (USCAHDR)
We developed this international consortium to respond to The Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Report, U.S. Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the Public and Private Sector. USCAHDR includes the NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH-NIMHD), The Sullivan Alliance, and The University of the West Indies.
USCAHDR conducts research to address knowledge gaps about global heath disparities. Our goals are to:
- Explore the similarities and differences in health disparities between English-speaking U.S. and Caribbean populations of African descent,
- Advance the global health disparities research agenda in real and timely ways, and
- Enhance the professional development of U.S.-Caribbean researchers and scientists.
This partnership has created lasting relationships that will establish permanent, productive avenues to address the many, ongoing health disparities seen across the globe and specifically within the Caribbean region.
The project has focused on epidemiological research in order to advance understanding of the relationships among health factors such as: history-ancestry, language, indigenous health practices, life styles, and socioeconomic status. Our findings coincide with those of the CARICOM 2007 Port of Spain Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and show which countries are doing well, and which are doing less well in reducing mortality from NCDs.
USCAHDR findings can be used to help assess both the impact of policy measures taken in response to the Port of Spain Declaration and the challenges that different countries face in meeting the 2025 targets on NCDs (as part of the WHO Global Action Plan).
Reach (U.S. & Caribbean)
The USCAHDR team has completed robust scholarly activity that has resulted in new publications:
Our list of peer-reviewed research publications continues to grow:
- Cause-of-Death Disparities in the African Diaspora: Exploring Differences Among Shared-Heritage Populations
- Trends in longevity in the Americas: disparities in life expectancy in women and men, 1965-2010
- Female Gender Is a Social Determinant of Diabetes in the Caribbean: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Disparities in diabetes mellitus among Caribbean populations: a scoping review
- Disparities in cardiovascular disease among Caribbean populations: a systematic literature review
- Disparities in hypertension among black Caribbean populations: a scoping review by the U.S. Caribbean Alliance for Health Disparities Research Group (USCAHDR)
The USCAHDR team includes scholars and researchers from a wide range of disciplines associated with health disparities and the social determinants of health.
Louis W. Sullivan, MD
E. Nigel Harris, MPhil, MD, DM
Vice Chancellor Emeritus
University of the West Indies
Claudia R. Baquet, MD, MPH
Marshall Tulloch-Reid, MBBS, MPhil, DSc, FACE
University of the West Indies
And an extensive and talented project research team:
Nadia Bennett, BSc, MBBS, DM
Aurelian Bidulescu, MD, MPH, PhD
Brigitte Collins, MSc
Trevor S. Ferguson, MBBS, DM, MSc, FACP
Damian Francis, MSc
Ian R. Hambleton, MSc, PhD
Christopher Hassell, PhD
Anselm Hennis, MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRCP
Christina Howitt, MSc
Marlene MacLeish, EdD, Program Director
Shelly McFarlane, PhD(c), MPhil
Madhuvanti Murphy, MPH, DrPH
T. Alafia Samuels, MBBS, MPH, PhD
Natasha Sobers-Grannum, MBBS, PGDip, MPH
Dominic Trépel, PhD
Nigel Unwin, MSc, DM, FRCP, FFPH, PhD
Rainford Wilks, MBBS, DM, MSc, MRCP, FRCP Edin
Lynda Williams, PhD
Novie Younger-Coleman, MSc, PhD
The USCAHDR team met in Alexandria, VA for its Year 5 Steering Committee meeting.
At the 28th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development - Health (CARICOM), USCAHDR leadership, Dr. Sullivan, Dr. Nigel Harris and Dr. Alafia Samuels had the opportunity to highlight our continued progress for the CARICOM attendees (including leadership from PAHO, ministers of Health, other senior government officials from many Caribbean countries, and senior leaders from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH).
Ms. Stephens presented a poster on USCAHDR research findings during the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Sullivan also attended, joining a panel discussion reflecting on the 30th Anniversary of the Heckler Report, the landmark study of minority health disparities in the United States.
USCAHDR convened in Alexandria, VA for its annual Steering Committee meeting.
Dr. Sullivan discussed emerging health disparities reduction research from the Caribbean and its relationship to U.S. populations of African descent at Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine (IAMMM) in January.
Dr. MacLeish and Ms. Irene Stephens participated in a poster session during the 2014 Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees’ Conference at National Harbor, Maryland. View the Poster
Dr. MacLeish presented an overview of the U.S.-Caribbean project and related research gaps among populations of African descent during a research and data collection workshop at the 2nd United States Conference on African Immigrant Health (USCAIH) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In 2014, USCAHDR launched a website to enable U.S. and Caribbean researchers and others to access project information and data.
Dr. Trevor Ferguson presented a paper entitled “Educational Health Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Jamaica: Findings from the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Surveys” at the University of the West Indies Faculty of Medical Sciences 22nd Annual Research Conference, in Kingston, Jamaica. The paper highlighted changing patterns in educational health disparities among men and women for the years 2001 and 2008 and that those health disparities were largest for diabetes mellitus and overweight/obesity. The paper was well received and stimulated robust discussion.
Dr. Sullivan and Program Director Marlene MacLeish, Ed. D. have spoken and presented at the Puerto Rico conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico
USCAHDR program activity commenced with a three-day site visit to the UWI campus in Kingston, Jamaica. Principal Investigator Louis Sullivan, MD, accompanied by Steering committee member Dr. Claudia Baquet and Project Director Marlene MacLeish presented to the other members of USCAHDR.
The USCAHDR team has identified a number of striking findings from its novel analyses of mortality datasets reaching back to 1965 and including current (2013/14) data. Most significantly, the project analyzed Anglo-Caribbean vs, African-American life expectancy, mortality trends, and the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
In addition, our researchers, comparing data (2000 forward) of White Americans with that of African-Americans, found changes in mortality and life expectancy based on region, as well as reduced disparities in mortality from cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
We are continuing to analyze the relative contribution of different causes of death to the trends outlined above, and we are pleased to share these latest findings – and our new meta dataset – with researchers who wish to apply for access.
You can reach us via US Postal Mail, email, phone, fax or via web form by visiting our contact page.
We are grateful for the professional and financial support provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.