The Health Disparities Research Group

The Health Disparities Research Group (HDRG) of the Center for Healthy Communities is a multidisciplinary assembly of faculty, students, and staff with a vision “to become an integral facilitator in eliminating health disparities through partnerships with our community”. HDRG generates hypothesis driven work from HDRG members and from the broader research community and provides support for Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR).

Through the CBPR dissemination effort HDRG provides leadership to consolidate and expand CBPR efforts at university and in the community. It is focused on educating interested faculty and community organizations on CBPR, bringing awareness to on-going CBPR efforts, and to disseminating this type of research at local, state, and regional levels. We know that developing a strong CBPR foundation within the University can be both mutually beneficial and critical to bridging the gap between the community and traditional academic research. By utilizing the strengths of CBPR practice, we have the opportunity to conduct more effective and impactful research studies, while also broadening active and dynamic partnerships between academia and community. 


HDRG’s CBPR Objectives:

1) Define an effective CBPR model and set of tools necessary to disseminate CBPR at Local, State, and Regional Levels.

2) Initiate structured documentation of the CBPR dissemination team process and predicted outcomes.

3) Define a process and outcome evaluation paradigm of HDRG experiences in a dissemination effort.

The HDRG is recognized within the broader University of South Alabama Community as a “Research Cluster” collaboration hub.  The HDRG Research Cluster Map provides a visual representation of HDRG’s multidisciplinary impact and can be viewed on the USA Office of Research and Economic Development website.

Publications Related to HDRG:

Arrieta, M. I. M., Hanks, R., & Bryan, N. B. (2008). Establishing a Multidisciplinary Academic Group to Address Health Disparities. Journal of the Medical Sciences, 335(4), 275–277.

Arrieta, M. I., Fisher, L., Shaw, T., Bryan, V., Hudson, A., Hansberry, S., … Crook, E. (2017). Consolidating the Academic End of a Community-Based Participatory Research Venture to Address Health Disparities. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 21(3), 113–134.



HDRG meets monthly at 1p.m. on the 3rd Friday of each month throughout the academic year.  These meetings are open to all who are interested to working to reduce health disparities in our community. Browse the minutes or watch videos from past meetings. Read blog articles reporting on HDRG meetings. For more information please contact Dr. Martha Arrieta.


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