Now, researchers at the University of Michigan will examine the issue from an interdisciplinary perspective to help solve this problem. More than a dozen widely varied U-M schools and centers will be involved in the effort, from public health and medicine, to business and engineering.
"The whole issue of health care disparities is mostly unsolved. While there has been tremendous effort and a lot of money spent to address the problem, in my opinion almost nothing has been accomplished with all that investment. Individual niche programs are a Band-Aid that doesn't solve the problem," says Scott Ransom, D.O., MBA, MPH, director of the U-M Program for Healthcare Improvement and Leadership Development and scientific director of the U-M's Griffith Leadership Center.
"I believe the answer will require an interdisciplinary solution. That's what's unique about our effort. Business, information and engineering haven't looked at this issue at all, while social work, nursing, medicine and public health haven't looked at it together," says Ransom, an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the U-M Medical School and of Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health.
Ransom is principal investigator on this new three-year initiative, which received a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health as part of its Roadmap for Medical Research, a series of far-reaching initiatives designed to transform the nation's medical research capabilities and speed the movement of research discoveries from the laboratory bench to the bedside.