Office of Health Disparities Research

Addressing Health Disparities is Our Priority.

Annual Retreat

2018 OHDR Annual Retreat

Featuring Keynotes by Kimberly Jacob Arriola, PhD, and Pernessa Seele, PhD.

Tuesday-Wednesday, August 7-8, 2018

What are the attitudes of diverse populations toward genetic research results?

Do patients who are American Indian face unique barriers to kidney transplantation?

Is it difficult to recruit minorities for research studies?

This Retreat brings together staff from across Mayo Clinic to discuss health disparities, to learn about resources and research at Mayo, and explore opportunities for collaboration.

 This year’s Keynote, who kicks off Day One, will be Kimberly Arriola, PhD, Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Public Health, and Researcher, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University. Day One also includes scientific presentations, health disparities programmatic updates, and an important session entitled, “Increasing Participation of Underserved Populations in Research.” Day Two includes an enterprise-wide health equity update, with leadership from all three shields, and a unique engagement session entitled, “Healthcare Modes of Delivery as a Means of Reducing Disparities.” For this session, OHDR is pleased to feature, among other presenters, Pernessa Seele, PhD, founder and CEO of The Balm in Gilead, Inc., which works to reduce health disparities of people of the African Diaspora through partnership with their faith institutions.

The retreat will also feature opportunities to learn about:

  • OHDR pilot studies:◦“Exploring Attitudes Toward Return of Genetic Research Results to Family Among Diverse Populations”
    • “Social Network Analysis for Health Behaviors Among Hispanic and Somali Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease”
    • “Perception and Reality: The Characterization of Skin Lesions, Attitudes Towards Malignancy, and Body Awareness in Hispanics”
    • “A Pilot Study on the Barriers to Kidney Transplantation and Kidney Transplant Outcomes in American Indians”
  • Health disparities research resources and funding mechanisms
  • Faith-based ministries as drivers of health
  • Role of telemedicine, virtual reality health platforms and mHealth (mobile-technology assisted health) in addressing health disparities
  • Efforts across Mayo’s Research, Practice and Education shields to address health disparities


2017 OHDR Annual Retreat

Featuring Keynote by David R. Williams, PhD

About our 2017 Keynote Speaker:

Dr. David Williams is the Norman Professor of Public Health at Harvard University, and a renowned research in health disparities and social influences on health.  He is the developer of the "Everyday Discrimination Scale," currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies, and in 2016 he was named the most cited health disparities researcher in the past thirty years, with three publications in the top 100 cited health disparities articles worldwide.

VIDEO:  Learn More About Dr. William's work:  CLICK HERE
Award video capture

VIDEO:  Watch Dr. William's TedMed Talk How Racism Makes Us Sick:  CLICK HERE


The Office of Health Disparities Research (OHDR) Annual Retreat is a gathering of Mayo Clinic researchers, clinicians, educators, administrators, and leaders from across the institution and from a variety of disciplines, to share knowledge, germinate new ideas, network with one another, discuss health disparities research priorities, and develop working health disparities research collaborations.  The event is open to Mayo Clinic personnel only.

2016 Retreat Gallery

Keynote:Eliseo Perez-Stable, M.D.

Director of the NIH's National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)










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