On May 10 the University of Connecticut hosted the first The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Research Day at its UConn Hartford campus. This research day is a part of a series of events centered around TRHT and is sponsored by UConn’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion.
The cross-campus event featured research posters from UConn Health students, staff, and faculty that center on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Also, the event’s plenary talks featured UConn Health faculty and students.
The work of several faculty and students of The Cato T. Laurencin Institute for Regenerative Engineering shined at the TRHT inaugural research day.
The Cato T. Laurencin Institute at UConn School of Medicine has many programs and initiatives that revolve around solving health disparities. The institute reports on the scholarly progress of work to understand, address, and eliminate health disparities based on race and ethnicity.
Helen Wu, Ph.D., member of The Cato T. Laurencin Institute and associate professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Gualberto Ruaño, MD, Ph.D., assistant director for Special Projects at The Cato T. Laurencin Institute presented a number of posters in conjunction with students working at the Institute.
Sandro Cloiseau and Reiner Gonzalez, UConn students enrolled in The Cato T. Laurencin Institute Young Innovative Investigator Program (YIIP) presented their research in the domain of identifying and combatting health disparities.
The first poster was entitled: Successful Reduction of HBA1c in Older Blacks and Hispanics with Type 2 Diabetes. This study was aimed at examining associations between physical activity (PA) intensity levels and glycemic control in a home-based intervention program.
The second poster was entitled: Household Structure and food habits of Black and Hispanic Individuals during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Hartford, CT. They found a lack of access to nutritious and adequate food in the Hartford region.
The third poster was entitled: Building a Virtual Program to Improve Food Literacy in Health Professional Learners in Saint Lucia: Successes and Lessons. This was the first evaluation of food literacy knowledge among health professional students, reporting lower sugar and sodium guideline knowledge before training.
The final poster that was presented was entitled: Evaluating Experiential Food Literacy Learning in Young Black and Hispanic Individuals in a Community Setting. The study focused on households with children aged <8-18.
Other UConn Health participation at the event included a plenary talk delivered by Christopher Steele MD, MPH; Henry Siccardi MD, MPH; and Reiner Gonzalez, BS. Their session was entitled: From Burnside to Bedside: Overcoming Racism’s Impact on Healthcare.
Also, the Urban Services Track of CT AHEC at UConn Health presented their poster entitled Training in Culturally Competent Primary Care Delivery by Helen Wu, Biju Wang, Petra Clark-Dufner, Ellen Ravens-Seger, Robin H. Pugh Yi, and Bruce Gould.
In addition, UConn School of Nursing shared The Development of a Protocol to Assess Barriers and Facilitators to End-of-Life Care Among Blacks in an Urban Setting. The poster was presented by assistant clinical professor Amisha Parekh de Campos, PhD, MPH, RN, CHPN.
“The scholarship at our inaugural TRHT Research Day was comprehensive and has significant implications for how we move forward with education and providing equitable care to the people we serve,” shared Dr. Jeffrey F. Hines, UConn Health’s Chief Diversity Officer. “The discission and conversation following the presentations was indicative of the importance of this work. We look forward to the future work of our UConn Health faculty, staff, and students in this space.”
The TRHT Initiative is made possible by the American Association for Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF).
For more information on UConn’s TRHT visit: https://diversity.uconn.edu/TRHT.