Rutgers-led collaborative awarded $3.6M to build infrastructure for minority aging research

A collaborative led by the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research announced Tuesday it has received a $3.6 million, three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to increase the amount minority older adults in New Jersey participate in research.

“New Jersey ranks among the top states in the country for overall health, but it is also among the worst in health equity. For the state’s 1.3 million older adults, there are equally large disparities, especially among those who are black, Hispanic or Asian, and who too often are not being sustainably engaged in research,” Dr. XinQi Dong, IFH director and lead researcher, said.

The goal of the New Jersey Minority Aging Collaborative, which will begin in Newark, New Brunswick and Trenton, is to create an infrastructure to improve health equity in the state and fill the gap in minority aging research, Dong said.

“This award represents a substantial investment in the New Jersey diverse communities for reciprocal transfer of expertise and sustainable engagement of community and older adults in the research process,” Dong said.

The collaborative will bring together researchers to recruit and retain older minority New Jerseyans, particularly focusing on research in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, mental health, multicomorbidities, health policy, and health care provider interactions.

Community partners include Rutgers University’s three campuses as well as the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, the Asian Resource Center for Minority Aging ResearchRutgers New Jersey Cooperative ExtensionRutgers/RWJBarnabas Health, the Center for Asian Health at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at Rowan University‘s School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Trenton Health Team, and New Brunswick Tomorrow.

“Trenton Health Team is proud to partner with RU to make sure the voices and experience of our community members are reflected in this NIH project,” Gregory Paulson, THT executive director, said. “To create innovative solutions, research must be rooted in the community.”