Across the Foundation’s priority areas, our grantees are working to improve the health of the public through innovative research and programs. The Foundation awards up to 40 grants on a rotating schedule each year.
Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research
The relative lack of minority nurse researchers and increasing evidence of racial disparities in both access to and provision of health care services prompted the Yale University School of Nursing to join with the Howard University Division of Nursing in 2000 to offer an intensive summer internship for a group of Howard undergraduate nursing students.
Initially funded by the Yale School of Nursing, the internship program was held in New Haven. In 2002, The National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities agreed to fund the Yale-Howard program for another five years. The centerpiece of the program has been a six-week summer program that involved junior nursing students from Howard in ongoing research activities at Yale.
By the time the final year of funding began, the Yale nursing faculty had hosted 34 Howard nursing students, all of whom have presented their work at scientific meetings. Many have published with their faculty mentors and two-thirds have either completed, are enrolled in, or in the process of applying to graduate school.
The new Macy Scholars Program broadens the existing program to reach students in other fields, such as liberal arts, psychology, pre-medicine, pharmacy, and/or public health, as well as nursing, with a goal of recruiting a minimum of 10 students a year. The Macy Scholars will spend six weeks at Yale in the summer between their junior and senior years in a program similar to that of the Yale Howard Nursing Scholars Program. The main difference is that the Macy Scholars will be drawn from different disciplines and will be matched with interdisciplinary research teams at Yale.
Core areas of study include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and HIV/AIDS; the five major causes of preventable and treatable morbidity and mortality among people of color. Faculty members will be chosen for their ability to work with and mentor underrepresented and/or disadvantaged students with a goal of achieving a 2:1 mentor/mentee ratio.
The grant funds the first two years of a program the partners hope to expand to other historically Black colleges and universities.