Office of Health Disparities Research

Addressing Health Disparities is Our Priority.

OHDR-Arizona(Research on health Equity And Community Health (REACH))

Research on health Equity And Community Health (REACH) is the Arizona branch of the Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research (OHDR). REACH collaborates with local, regional, national and international partners.

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Arizona transplant program reaches out to Hispanic population about organ donation

May 19, 2017 

The Transplant Department at Mayo Clinic's Arizona Campus is embarking on a research study to reach Hispanic communities to discuss the potential of kidney transplantation for patients who are experiencing end-stage renal disease.

The Mayo Clinic Hispanic Transplant Program launched in January, and has committed to make face-to-face contacts with Spanish-speaking patients at dialysis clinics throughout Arizona. Other outreach efforts focus on health fairs, chronic kidney failure support groups and events where patients and their families are present.

Amit Mathur, M.D., Transplantation Surgery, physician lead and principal investigator for the study, notes that the Hispanic population is close to 31 percent of Arizona's total population, representing approximately 2.1 million people.

"It's important to reach the growing Hispanic population, where there is a need for evaluation for possible kidney transplantation," says Dr. Mathur. "We need to provide culturally competent care and to engage the family early on."

Dr. Mathur says some of the issues that will be addressed by the program include cultural and religious issues and myths about organ donation. There are even further barriers to consenting to living donation, he adds. "Traditionally, there are lower rates of both deceased and living organ donation in the Hispanic population," Dr. Mathur says. "Our goal is to increase organ donation and serve more patients."

Jeffrey Welch, a social worker in Care Management, who is fluent in Spanish, is reaching out to Spanish-speaking patients in dialysis centers for face-to-face meetings with patients and families. Joining him in the effort is Sue Viall, director of Cancer/Transplant Outreach. With 126 dialysis centers located in Arizona, their focus will be on clinics with the highest percentage of Hispanic patients.

"My goal is to do outreach to Spanish-speaking patients at one dialysis facility per week, on two separate days, and to conduct a caregiver education class to family members," Welch says. He says the program may extend to other cities and towns in Arizona, and possibly New Mexico. 

Hispanic patients who participate in the program will come to Mayo Clinic to be evaluated for possible kidney transplantation, and can choose to have sessions in Spanish or English. Because the program will emphasize the value of living donor kidney transplantation, the patient and family will learn about the steps involved for the living donor process from Erik Castle, M.D., Urology, co-lead of the study. Dr. Castle also will address patients in Spanish. If patients progress through their evaluations, they and their families participate in further classes.

The Mayo Clinic Hispanic Transplant Program is modeled after the Northwestern Hispanic Transplant Program, working within the framework of Mayo's program in Arizona. The study is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. ViallSueWelchJeff

Call for Proposals Open: 4th Annual Arizona Health Equity Conference

4th Annual Arizona Health Equity Conference

Mark your calendars for the next Arizona Health Equity Conference on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Glendale Civic Center in Arizona. Call for Proposals is now open through August 11th, for breakout speakers and poster presenters! This statewide conference has attracted over 300 attendees each year, including clinicians, researchers, policymakers, public health professionals, community health workers, social workers, and non-profit partners. Mayo Clinic has led a 15 non-profit membered Planning Committee for the last 3 years and continues to now serve on its Planning Committee as a new organization leads for the next 3 year cycle, showing our commitment to reducing health disparities and promotion of health equity in our state. With over 30 speakers, 15 exhibitors, and a scientific poster sessions, every year continues to attract incredible participants highlighting the intersection between research, clinical care, prevention, and policy.  We hope to see you this year!

For questions : Chara Chamie ( & Farhia Omar (






Arizona Projects

Dec 10, 2014

Somali Tobacco Outreach & Research Initiative (STORI)

By OHDR Admin @ohdradmin
Scott J. Leischow, Ph.D. Senior Associate Consultant II, Hematology/Oncology Mayo Clinic’s campus in Scottsdale, Arizona Abstract Somalis are the fourth largest refugee population in the United States. [...]
Somali Tobacco Outreach & Research Initiative (STORI)
Oct 7, 2014

Race/Ethnicity and Insurance-Based Disparities in Financial Burden After Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT)

By OHDR Admin @ohdradmin
Researchers Nandita Khera, Ph.D., M.P.H. Sunny Kim, Ph.D. Julie McNulty, Ph.D. Edna Ramos Summary Financial health is emerging as an important component of cancer survivorship. [...]
Oct 7, 2014

Physical Activity and Healthy Weight for Latina Breast Cancer Survivors

By OHDR Admin @ohdradmin
Researchers Linda Larkey, Ph.D. Donald W. Northfelt, M.D. Rebecca Lee Summary Testing effects of Latin Dance vs. Meditative Movement with breast cancer survivors (compared to control group).

What's Happening

May 11, 2016

Somali Tobacco Outreach and Research Initiative

By Sumedha Penheiter @sumedhapenheiter
Researchers study tobacco use in Somali community where 36 percent smoke cigarettes. In a pilot project funded by the Office of Health Disparities Research, Arizona researchers have gathered baseline data on tobacco use in the Somali refugee community, with the ultimate goal of reducing tobacco-related health disparities. A team led by [...]
Somali Tobacco Outreach and Research Initiative
Apr 19, 2016

Researchers Partner with Navajo Nation on Smoke-Free Policies

By Sumedha Penheiter @sumedhapenheiter
Since the 1970s, exposure to secondhand smoke has decreased dramatically in the U.S. with implementation of smoke-free policies in many states and communities. However, these protections do not apply on tribal lands, where secondhand smoke continues to pose a health risk in indoor environments like workplaces and casinos. Mayo researcher Scott [...]
Researchers Partner with Navajo Nation on Smoke-Free Policies
Mar 1, 2016

NIH Commits $3.1M Grant to Support Groundbreaking Research to Prevent Diabetes in Latino Youth

By Sumedha Penheiter @sumedhapenheiter
A transdisciplinary team of Arizona researchers, including Gabriel Shaibi, Ph.D. (Mayo affiliate researcher in Health Science Research and member of the OHDR-Arizona Internal Advisory Team), who will serve as principal investigator, has been awarded a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [...]
NIH Commits $3.1M Grant to Support Groundbreaking Research to Prevent Diabetes in Latino Youth
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