The Yale Global Health Leadership Initiative has been awarded a highly competitive research grant exceeding $1 million to reduce disparities in sepsis care and outcomes among African American/Black and Latino communities.
Grant R01 was awarded by National Institute of General Medical Studies, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Advancing health equity and social justice is one of the core values of the Yale School of Public Health. A detailed description of the new research initiative appears at Search BMC Health Services.
Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition in which the body is damaged due to an immune malfunction while responding to an infection. It is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. African-American/Black and Latino people with sepsis experience higher rates of complications, deviations from standard care and readmissions compared to non-Hispanic white populations, the researchers said.
The goal of the funded research is to develop and evaluate a leading coalition-based intervention that will help eight US hospital systems and their surrounding communities address structural racism and drive measurable reductions in disparities in sepsis care and outcomes, said Erika Linnander, director of Global Health Leadership Initiative and one of the principal investigators for the project.
“Any complex health outcome that requires the coordination of different parts of a health care system is perfect for an intervention in leadership and organizational culture,” Linnader said. “A culture needs to be cultivated where people can come together and do problem solving around these complex issues, especially related to racism.”
Over the next three years, researchers will develop and test the intervention using quantitative and qualitative data analysis to observe changes in organizational culture. The team will then examine the impact of change in organizational culture on reducing racial disparities related to sepsis by focusing on three outcomes: early identification and treatment, readmissions, and mortality.
Other principal investigators for the study are Yale School of Public Health Professor Leslie Curry and Dr. Dowin Boatright, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine.
The prestige of the R01 research grant is matched by its arduous application process. Linnander credited a new internal review process implemented by Dean of Research Melinda Irwin in the School of Public Health with helping the group’s success in securing the grant in the initial funding application.
“Our initial draft of the application was significantly strengthened by critical peer review, which helped us identify areas of the proposal that required further clarification,” said Linnander.
Curry agreed. “The reviews, especially taken together, provided very substantial criticism and detailed constructive recommendations for improvement. We absorbed every comment.”