Four Projects Receive Diversity Chair Investigator Awards

An investigation into increased rates of kidney disease in the agricultural communities of California’s Central Valley.

A community partnership aimed at enhancing access for hypertension screening and treatment among African Americans in Santa Clara County.

Those are just two of the four projects that will receive the Department of Medicine’s 2020 Diversity Chair Investigator Awards, a new initiative focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and the elimination of health care disparities.

The Diversity Chair Investigator Award program, which was created by Department of Medicine Chair Bob Harrington and announced during this year’s Diversity and Inclusion week, provides four grants of $50,000 each to young investigators.

The program received 20 applications, which were then reviewed by a committee that included senior faculty investigators, members of our Diversity and Inclusion Council, staff, and leadership.

In a letter, Harrington called the winning proposals “exceptional.” “These projects address the needs of some of our most vulnerable populations and regions,” he said.  “My hope is that these innovative and inclusive approaches to research will contribute to a more equitable future for all of us.”

Meet the recipients:

Celina Yong, MD, MBA, MSc, assistant professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine)

Reducing Disparities in Novel Procedure Use: Using Scalable Technologies to Deliver Individualized Decision-making Support through Culturally Sensitive Peer Coaching

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine (cardiovascular medicine)

Identifying Reasons for Statin Non-adherence in a Real-World, Diverse Population using Natural Language Processing

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc, instructor of medicine (primary care and population health)

The Cut Hypertension Program – Enhancing Access for Hypertension Screening and Treatment among African Americans in Santa Clara County by Partnering with Community Barbers and Pharmacists

Shuchi Anand, MD, MS assistant professor of medicine (nephrology)

Kidney Disease in California’s Central Valley: Investigating the Disproportionate Risk in Agricultural Communities