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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Texas A&M National Research Cooperative and Major Philadelphia Health System Partner to Combat Health Disparities

Main Line Health, a five-hospital teaching health system in suburban Philadelphia, recently became a member of the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health – an industry-university cooperative research center funded by the National Science Foundation and other health care organizations.

Kash Friday Letter[Photo: Dr. Bita Kash]

CHOT’s mission is to conduct and support research into major health care innovations in the areas of management, clinical care and information technology. As a member, Main Line Health will work with CHOT and will also leverage their new partnership between Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and Jefferson College of Population Health in Philadelphia to develop new and innovative ways to reduce health care disparities and close the gap in population health outcomes.

Despite spending more per capita than the vast majority of countries, health care disparities continue to persist among racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. In fact, studies show that these populations experience a lower quality of health services, are less likely to receive routine medical procedures, and have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities.

“The partnership between Main Line Health, CHOT and researchers at the Jefferson College of Population Health, will be highly effective in answering important health disparities questions in the U.S.,” said Dr. Bita Kash, CHOT director and associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. “We hope to advance our knowledge base in the field of population health outcomes and health disparities while gaining a better understanding of the important role healthcare organizations and health systems play in achieving population health targets.”

The first CHOT research project in the Philadelphia region will be led by Dr. Alva Ferdinand, assistant professor in health policy and management at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, and will focus on building a disparities-of-care predictive model for hospital readmissions that takes key market and geographic factors as well as the diverse populations served by Main Line Health into consideration. This unique population approach will allow Main Line Health to formulate evidence-based strategies toward closing health disparities gaps.