UC Riverside has received a $16-million grand from the National Institutes of Health to help reduce health disparities, particularly among Latinos who make up about half the region’s population, according to a statement issued Friday, Aug. 23, by the university.
The five-year grant will allow the university’s School of Medicine to launch the Center for Health Disparities Research — an effort that will bring together researchers in the environmental, biomedical and social sciences fields.
The Inland Empire is notorious for an acute shortage of physicians. There are only 35 physicians for every 100,000 people in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, home to about 4.3 million. The UCR statement says the region performs poorly compared to other regions in California, particularly when it comes to diabetes and coronary heart disease.
San Bernardino County ranks the second worstin diabetes-related deaths among the state’s 58 counties and Riverside County is the 10th worst in the state for heart disease-related deaths. Also, in San Bernardino County, Latinos have a diabetes-related death rate that is 50% higher than white people. In Riverside County, Latinas have the highest incidences of cervical cancer.