Chronic illnesses are major sources of morbidity and mortality in racial/ethnic minority populations. The youth and young adult period offers considerable opportunities for prevention and improvement of health across the life course, but is currently relatively understudied. The Center for Health And Risk in Minority youth and adults (CHARM) is dedicated to chronic disease prevention in racial/ethnic minority communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on youth and young adults.
The Center for Health And Risk in Minority youth and adults (CHARM) is dedicated to chronic disease prevention in racial/ethnic minority communities, with a focus on the late childhood, adolescent, and young adult period. Chronic Illnesses (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, obesity) are major sources of morbidity and mortality in minority populations. Although relatively understudied, the youth and young adult period offers great potential for improving minority health because
(1) many chronic conditions develop at younger ages among minority populations necessitating an earlier focus on prevention,
(2) behavioral risk (e.g. smoking, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle) may be malleable during this period and change likely to persist into adulthood,
(3) young adults are at particular risk for limited access to healthcare.
CHARM brings together investigators from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), SF General Hospital (a safety net institution), SF State University (SFSU -a minority-serving institution), as well as other collaborators and community partners that focus on youth. Our aims are: (1) To create a transdisciplinary center for the study of minority health and chronic disease risk that brings together academic and community institutions and is dedicated to improving minority health in the diverse populations of the SF Bay Area, with a specific focus on studies in youth and young adulthood; 2) To generate new knowledge on the interplay between biological, behavioral, and social determinants of health and chronic disease risk in minority youth and young adults and to design novel, innovative, and targeted interventions to reduce chronic disease risk in minority communities in the SF Bay Area; (3) To partner with community organizations in the SF Bay Area to improve health literacy related to health promotion and chronic disease prevention in minority youth and young adults and to have a measurable impact on knowledge of chronic disease risk and tobacco use among youth and young adults in SF; (4) To build capacity for health disparities research in chronic disease, particularly among minority investigators, by utilizing and enhancing UCSF's resources and to measurably increase the number of minority investigators conducting research at UCSF and SFSU.