The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS) developed the Center for Health Equity (CHE) to evaluate and provide solutions for the elimination of health disparities in underserved populations through research, education and building community linkages. Models to evaluate and reduce disparities will be created and evaluated across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic categories, and the findings will be used to recommend changes intended to improve health and disease-related outcomes and health care policy as it affects underserved populations. The Center is composed of an interdisciplinary team representing pharmacy, medicine, nursing, psychology, public health and social work. The creation of the Center is consistent with the mission and strategic plan of the COPPS, and it will provide an avenue for expanded research, student training, continuing education and community empowerment.
Conducting research, building a workforce to improve health in the underserved and strengthening community linkages are the major objectives. Through its many affiliations, the COPPS already has direct patient care responsibilities in underserved communities that include African-American, Hispanic and Haitian populations and is uniquely positioned throughout the State of Florida. Empowering communities to assume roles in health education is also a major focus and through effective intervention and research, models will be evaluated and reported to assess optimal procedures to achieve this. The COPPS currently has global affiliations, and it is poised to train professionals desiring to study problems associated with global health disparities as well.