Health Disparity Research in Gadsden County

Health officials are hoping to use their findings to create healthier communities.

Health officials say Gadsden County residents have high rates of diabetes, hypertension and infant immortality.

Florida A&M and Harvard Universities have forged a partnership to research those health disparities in rural and urban areas in the hopes of finding solutions.

Dr. Cindy Hughes Harris says, "We have research going on. We're talking about programs for adolescents, for older adults, nutrition programs for people who are diabetic. One of the primary researches has to do with what is contributing to hypertension. That's a very big thing."

Angela Burgess, Project Choice Manger, says, "After retrieving the information from the county we'll compile it and share it with the residents of Gadsden County and let them know the outcome of their voice and what they feel their concerns are in addressing the health concerns in Gadsden County.”

Researchers are hoping to use the information and tap into federal funds to help residents in the African-American community.

Deborah Prothrow-Stith adds, "What we're saying is through this process, through getting Gadsden residents involved in research, we are putting together structure that will let them do research on lead, research on diabetes, and the community will get the money."

Organizers look forward to the findings, eventually decreasing health problems in the black community. The research is based on a four-year study funded by a $6 million grant.