2021 Advancing Health Equity and Diversity Pilot Awards

The 2021 UW ICTR Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) Pilot Program will award grants to three UW investigators conducting health disparities research with underserved populations.

The AHEAD initiative is a program of the ICTR Collaborative Center for Health Equity and engages participants from multiple fellowship & postdoctoral training programs in the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) as well as other early stage investigators pursuing health equity research across the UW campus. Stephanie Budge, PhD, AHEAD Program Faculty Director, notes:

This year we expanded our guidance and prep resources for AHEAD applicants as a way to promote more participation by investigators at the earliest career stages. The best part of the AHEAD pilots is that it can be the very first funding award a researcher receives in their career. By intentionally providing extra resources during the application process, we were able to level the playing field a little bit! We’re so excited to support junior scholars and help them launch their independent research programs.

The 2021 projects are focused on Hmong, Burmese, Latina, and Intersex populations across the state of Wisconsin. Awardees are:

  • Tana Chongsuwat, MD, Postdoctoral Trainee, Family Medicine and Community Health, School of Medicine and Public Health
    Mentor: Megan Fitzpatrick, MD
    Research: Increasing Cervical Cancer Knowledge for Hmong and Burmese Communities through Community-Based Approaches
  • Kelsey Lewis, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Gender and Women’s Studies, College of Letters and Sciences
    Mentor: Jen Rehm, MD
    Research: Intersex Prevalence and Response
  • Bikki Tran Smith, PhD, Postdoctoral Trainee, Health Disparities Research Scholar Program, Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine and Public Health
    Mentor: Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, MPH
    Research: In Our Own Voice: The Narrative Experiences of Latina Immigrants in Navigating Access to Healthcare and Healthful Resources in Rural Wisconsin

Christine Sorkness, PharmD, Associate Director of CCHE, adds:

Christine Sorkness

We’re always pleased to see the depth and breadth of Wisconsin health equity research interests demonstrated by the AHEAD pilot applications and it is more challenging each year to narrow down the field and identify the ultimate awardees. Immense thanks to the particularly thoughtful and thorough interdisciplinary scientific review committee that convened to evaluate our 2021 proposals.

Thank you to all applicants and congratulations to the awardees and their mentors!

See more about the previously funded AHEAD pilot projects.