Health Disparities

Researchers and students at the University of Minnesota are helping to increase access and close the gaps surrounding health insurance, rural health, dental care, and more.

Community University Health Care Center

Faculty in the School of Public Health are working across campus and with community-based organizations the Health Equity Work Group. The school also offers a Health Equity Minor for students who wish to study health disparities and inequalities. The goal is to determine why such disparities occur in the first place, as well as find solutions to the growing rates of under-insured families nationwide.

In the Medical School, the Program in Health Disparities Research is working to promote health equity through collaborative research, education, and trusted partnerships. And the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team is addressing vascular dementia in tribal communities.

At the Center of American Indian and Minority Health, located on the Duluth campus, we’re working to make a positive impact on American Indian and Alaska Native health. In the College of Pharmacy, the Research for Indigenous Community Health Center is focused on identifying health barriers and protective factors to increase healthcare equity for Indigenous patients.

Rural health

Farm in MinnesotaThe health care needs of rural communities don’t always mirror those of urban areas. Accordingly, University of Minnesota researchers are also focused on improving health care in rural communities.

The mission of the University of Minnesota's Rural Health Research Center is to conduct high-quality, empirically driven, policy-relevant research that can be disseminated in an effective and timely manner to help improve the quality and fiscal viability of rural healthcare.

Community clinics

School of Dentistry community outreachThrough free or low-cost health care clinics such as the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic, the Community-University Health Care Center and the Pediatric Dental Clinic, patients receive the best possible care from clinicians they can trust.

Qualified School of Dentistry students also treat patients under faculty supervision at community-based clinics across Minnesota. 

Research spotlight

Charles Rogers PhDIn 2016, MN Community Measurement revealed that Somali immigrants (ages 50–74) have a CRC screening rate of 24 percent in Minnesota, which is significantly below the statewide average (71%) and the screening rate for whites (73%).

To address this problem, Assistant Professor Charles Rogers (pictured) led an in-depth, qualitative study of the barriers associated with colorectoral cancer screening among Somali men in Minnesota by employing focus group methodology.