FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.) and Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) announced they have reintroduced the John Lewis National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Endowment Revitalization Act. The legislation would increase investments in schools conducting critical research into minority health disparities.
“This legislation moves us closer to ending the disparities in public health between minority communities and other Americans. We need to understand why people in minority communities are more likely to get certain illnesses and how we can prevent that discrepancy. This legislation will fund the research that will help us find solutions,” Congresswoman Barragán said.
“In Georgia, minority academic institutions are conducting critical research,” Congressman Carter said. “Morehouse College in Atlanta is a shining example of this. I’m very glad to reintroduce this effort as we work to ensure institutions like Morehouse are able to continue their important work.”
The John Lewis NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act was reintroduced after Barragán, Carter and the late-Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) introduced it in the 116th Congress. The bill would allow the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to resume providing grants for critical research into minority health disparities. The Research Endowment Program at NIMHD provides funding to the endowments of academic institutions across the country, such as Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in California’s 44th Congressional District.
The goals of NIMHD’s Research Endowment Program include:
- Promoting minority health and health disparities research capacity and infrastructure;
- Increasing the diversity and strength of the scientific workforce; and
- Enhancing the recruitment and retention of individuals from health disparity populations that are underrepresented in the scientific workforce.
Because of funding shortfalls, those endowment grants began to slow and schools that had received NIMHD grants for 10 years were no longer eligible. As a result, the critical research being done at these institutions was underfunded. This bill allows those school to resume their eligibility.
“Restoring eligibility would allow the University to continue its historic focus on research to close the gap between the burden of illness and premature mortality experienced more commonly by communities of color, as well as other medically underserved populations, as compared to the nation as a whole. It would also help to grow and enhance the University’s capacity and infrastructure for health disparities research within the Urban Health Institute,” Charles Drew University said in a statement supporting the legislation.
“During the COVID health emergency, where communities of color are once again disproportionately affected, research into health disparities is more crucial than ever,” Congresswoman Barragán said.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington