Georgia Southern University’s Rural Health Research Institute (RHRI) has been awarded a $5.1 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designating the RHRI as a Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Rural Health Disparities.
The grant, one of the largest research grants recently awarded to Georgia Southern, was received by RHRI co-executive directors Bryant Smalley, and Jacob Warren. Smalley is a clinical psychologist in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Warren is an epidemiologist in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.
“We are honored to have been entrusted with advancing rural health by such a prestigious federal agency,” said University President Dr. Brooks Keel. “We are eager to enact the opportunities this grant provides to make a difference in the region.”
Funding for the new five-year project comes from NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and will allow the RHRI to enact a comprehensive rural health disparity elimination program spanning research, training and community outreach. The grant’s activities include developing and testing new rural-specific health promotion programs designed to improve diabetes, hypertension and prostate cancer outcomes; enacting a rural health disparities elimination summer training program for undergraduate and graduate students; implementing new mentoring programs for faculty wishing to pursue careers in rural health; and creating a new community capacity-building initiative to improve health outcomes throughout rural Southeast Georgia.