Florida is one of the most diverse states in the U.S. With this diversity, there are populations that have a high incidence of disease burden, including those from ethnic/racial, rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged and other medically underserved backgrounds.
To better understand health disparities and develop approaches to promote health equity in the state, the Florida Department of Health, including the Biomedical Research Advisory Council (BRAC), Office of Minority Health and the Florida Center for Universal Research to Eradicate Disease (FL CURED), convened a group of over 30 scholars and community stakeholders to develop the Health Disparities Research (HDR) Agenda for Florida.
Florida’s Health Equity Research Institute (HERI) was established to implement the recommendations from the HDR Agenda. The need for HERI arises from the lack of large multi-university, multi-disciplinary efforts to improve health in these populations. The overall purpose of HERI is to implement the HDR Agenda for Florida through proactive collaborations among academic institutions, health care providers, government organizations, community-based organizations and funding organizations. Through this effort, HERI will facilitate the design of broad-based studies to address health disparities in medically underserved populations and to evaluate the outcomes consistent with the following goals:
Increase the development of health innovations that improve the health of medically underserved populations.
Increase the translation, adaptation and implementation of evidenced-based health innovations in underserved populations.
Increase the pool of individuals from underrepresented groups for the health professions and biomedical research.
Increase external funding that improves economic development in the state.
Increased recognition of Florida as a leader in improved health outcomes for medically underserved populations.
Institutions that are a part of HERI include Bethune-Cookman University, Florida A&M University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Moffitt Cancer Center, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Miami, University of North Florida and University of South Florida.