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July 27, 2015   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Assistant professor will explore health disparities…
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Trina Salm Ward is a faculty member in UGA’s School of Social Work and its College of Public Health. Photo by Andrew Tucker

Assistant professor will explore health disparities research at NIH campus

Laurie Anderson

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By Laurie Anderson | July 27, 2015
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Trina Salm Ward, an assistant professor in the UGA School of Social Work and an assistant professor of health promotion and behavior in the College of Public Health, will participate in an intensive two-week course on health disparities research at the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, during the first two weeks of August.

Admission to the course, which is sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, is highly competitive. Last year 94 out of 340 applicants were chosen to participate.

"I am committed to health equity, and this course seemed like a great way to build my skills in that field at the scientific, practice and policy level," said Salm Ward, whose research interests focus on maternal and infant health disparities.

Health disparities are preventable differences in health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NIMHD Translational Health Disparities Course integrates various disciplines to better understand the health challenges of particular groups of people, including but not limited to African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, the rural poor, and sexual and gender identity minorities.

The course examines the determinants of health for these and other populations from public policy, human rights, social and behavioral science, and biological and genetic perspectives.

In addition to lectures and panel discussions, participants work in teams on real-life case studies and meet NIH staff engaged in health disparities research.

"I am thrilled at the opportunity to learn from internationally recognized experts in health disparities science," said Salm Ward, who also coordinates the dual master's degree program in social work and public health at UGA. "I know I will learn a lot and plan to apply what I learn to my work to improve maternal and infant health here in Georgia."

 

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