Hurricanes Irma and Maria (2017) have devastated the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin/St. Maarten, Barbuda, Dominica, and many others. Beyond the immediate need for life sustaining supplies, the local health and well-being infrastructures will require long-term support to rebuild and resume the care of millions of Caribbean people.
To aid in the rebuilding effort, The ECHORN (Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network) Hurricane Relief Fund and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven are raising funds to help local, Caribbean nonprofit organizations meet the health and well-being needs of their communities. Organizations could use funds to replace destroyed or lost medical supplies, coordinate outreach to rebuild client databases, upgrade facilities to solar power or other renewable energy sources, physically relocate to a new space, or rebuild other vital resources that were lost after the storm.
These nonprofit organizations and many more like them will need a great deal of support to meet the needs of their local citizens. ECHORN is committed to these communities over the long term to help restore the necessary health and social services infrastructure for the well-being of all who live there.
To make a secure, online credit card donation to The ECHORN Hurricane Relief Fund, please CLICK HERE. Contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. No funds will be used to support ECHORN or CFGNH personnel or research activities.
Yale University is please to announce the establishment of the Yale Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research Focused on Precision Medicine (YALE-TCC). The YALE-TCC is a coalition of research institutions and stakeholder member organizations focused on African descent and Hispanic populations living in the Eastern Caribbean. The YALE-TCC proposes a research portfolio that combines multiple types of data to improve our ability to identify who is at risk for hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Through the coordinated activities of the YALE-TCC, the ultimate goal is to identify and test culturally relevant and low resource interventions to reduce the population burden of hypertension and type 2 diabetes and to inform clinical care delivery to individual patients at high risk for these diseases and their consequences.
For more information on disparities-focused precision medicine research at NIH click here.
Members of the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network presented posters at the 2016 Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting held in Hollywood Florida. Dr. Carol Oladele presented data from the ECHORN Cohort Study examining social networks.
ECHORN welcomes Dr. David Williams to the Faculty Advisory Board (FAB). Dr. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. Internationally recognized as a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health, Dr. William’s research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism and religious involvement can affect health. He has played a visible, national leadership role in raising awareness levels of the problem of health disparities and identifying interventions to address them.
Dr. Williams is a native of St. Lucia and has worked with Dr. Nunez-Smith, ECHORN Principal Investigator, on other related projects before joining the FAB. ECHORN looks forward to the contributions and expertise he will bring to the network.
Data from the emerging ECHORN Cohort Study (ECS) was presented by ECHORN: Barbados Principal Investigator, Dr. Peter Adams, at a public lecture on February 4, 2016. Preliminary data from the ECS showed large numbers of adults across the four islands falling under the body mass index classification for overweight and obese. Findings were featured in the Barbados “Saturday Sun” and “Daily Nation” newspapers on February 6 and 8 respectively and on Barbados television stations.
Masters in Public Health and Masters in Science students from the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico are gaining hands-on experience in community research by collaborating with ECHORN: Puerto Rico. Students help to recruit and enroll participants from various communities into the ECHORN Cohort Study. This collaboration is possible through the Research and Teaching Assistantship Program for Graduate Students. Students are fully trained and are approved to participate in the study by the University of Puerto Rico Institutional Review Board.
ECHORN: US Virgin Islands was recently featured in the St. Thomas Source column, Undercurrents. Undercurrents explores issues, ideas and events developing beneath the surface in the Virgin islands community. The article highlights efforts of the research team and emerging data from the ECHORN Cohort Study. Follow this link to read the article.
Four policy delegations, led by ECHORN Site Principal Investigators, participated in the Global Leadership Institute (GHLI) Forum for Change. The goal of the Forum was to support multidisciplinary delegations in developing local strategies to improve the delivery of high quality care for people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) across the health care delivery system, including improvements in health systems capacity, policy, and planning for NCDs. For more information click here
ECHORN welcomes Dr. Giselle Corbie-Smith to the Faculty Advisory Board (FAB). Dr. Corbie-Smith is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Social Medicine and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), School of Medicine. She is also the Director of the Center for Health Equity Research at UNC. Dr. Corbie-Smith has been nationally recognized for her scholarly work on the practical and ethical issues regarding engaging communities of color in research to address racial and ethnic health disparities. In relation to this work, Dr. Corbie Smith also serves as the Director of Community Academic Resources for Engaged Scholarships (CARES) services at the UNC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute.
Dr. Corbie-Smith, who has Trinidadian roots, worked extensively with ECHORN Principal Investigator Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith on other projects before joining the FAB. ECHORN looks forward to the contributions and expertise she will bring to the network.
We are proud to announce that ECHORN trainees Gerneiva Parkinson and Rebecca Lakew were both awarded research fellowships. Gerneiva, a medical student at Yale School of Medicine, recently received the Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship, which supports one-year fellowships to study topics that significantly impact morbidity and mortality in an international setting. For the fellowship, Gerneiva will be conducting a research project in Trinidad and Tobago focused on mapping the BRCA1 gene. Her mentors for the project are Marcella Nunez-Smith, Principle Investigator at ECHORN, and Dylan Narinesingh, Medical Director at the Trinidad and Tobago National Radiation Center.
Rebecca, a graduate student at the Yale School of Public health, was awarded the Downs International Health Student Travel Fellowship, which supports health-related research in low- and middle-income countries. Rebecca will use the award to conduct a summer research project in Trinidad and Tobago on the impact of alcohol use on households and families. Throughout the course of her fellowship, Rebecca will be working with ECHORN principle investigators Marcella Nunez-Smith and Rohan Maharaj.
We look forward to sharing future updates on the progress of both of these exciting projects.