Dr. Dedra Buchwald is a professor at the WSU College of Medicine.

Congratulations to ESFCOM Professor Dedra Buchwald (left), recipient of a new federal grant to create one of two Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research on Chronic Disease Prevention. The grant was announced Wednesday by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health. The other center will be created at Michigan State University.

For this grant, Dr. Buchwald and her co-investigator, Dr. Spero Manson, will develop innovative ways to work with American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to reduce health risks related to high blood pressure. All these communities experience elevated rates of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, for which prevention efforts focus on blood pressure control.

In the grant abstract, Drs. Buchwald and Manson say they will work with the communities to develop the infrastructure needed to ensure that community members are engaged at all levels of the research process. They also point to the incorporation of new technologies in their research program.

“Our approach harnesses technologies available in the settings where people live, work, and obtain healthcare,” they write. These technologies include “electronic medical records, text messaging, online grocery shopping apps, wearable physical activity monitors, and home blood pressure monitors.”

Their goal is to create new scientific collaborations and enhance existing relationships with healthcare researchers who work with these populations. Their work will promote “scientifically rigorous, culturally informed” investigations that respond to community needs and honor community values. The new Center will also benefit from a multidisciplinary team of researchers from across the nation, including Drs. Ka’imi Sinclair, Clemma Muller, and Sean Murphy of the College of Nursing and Dr. Amanda Boyd of the College of Communication. All are faculty members at Washington State University.