Collaborative solutions to improve health outcomes & reduce health disparities
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RCMI CC’s senior management team serves to enhance the efficiency of interactions between the RCMI PIs, the NIH/NIMHD and other network stakeholders.

The Senior Management team takes the lead on timely action of emergent network issues and reports such actions to the RCMI CC Steering Committee. The Senior Management team acts upon recommendations of the Steering Committee and Key Function (KF) Leaders to ensure that relevant aspects of the Network’s strategic goals are implemented by network personnel, KF Committees and working groups. The Senior Management team meets weekly to address the priorities for the Network and develop short- and long-term action agendas. RCMI CC’s senior management provides direction and leadership for the Network’s key domains: project administration and coordination among sites (ACC), early-stage investigator development and mentoring (IDC), research resources to support scientific projects (RIC), and community engagement, which offer expertise, services as well as technical support for the Network’s collaborative initiatives and multi-site research study development and implementation.

RCMI CC Principal Investigators:

Elizabeth Ofili, M.D., M.P.H., Morehouse School of Medicine  

Administrative Coordinating Center (ACC)

Morehouse School of Medicine - Atlanta, Georgia

The ACC is located at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. The RCMI CC Project Director and staff of the ACC work closely with Network leadership to enhance and streamline overall RCMI CC management and operations. The ACC is highly involved in regular evaluations of network procesess and procedures and implements strategies to improve communication and performance of all Network participants.

Program coordination across all RCMI U54 Centers will increase research capacity and heighten competitiveness to advance the science of minority health and health disparities.

During the planning of the RCMI CC, the RCMI U54 PI/PDs engaged in a series of strategy sessions and needs assessments that have informed the activities of the RCMI CC administrative domain to align with the objectives of the administrative cores of the RCMI U54 Centers.

Investigator Development Core (IDC)

University of Hawaii at Manoa - Honolulu, Hawaii

Coordinating the mentoring and career development activities of RCMI U54 Centers, and engaging non-RCMI programs, will accelerate the research independence of new and early-stage RCMI investigators.

Approach. Comprising all RCMI U54 IDC Directors, the IDC Consortium will serve as the principal mechanism for maintaining active engagement of all RCMI U54 Centers to coordinate and leverage on-going mentoring and professional development activities. The IDC Consortium will harness the collective intellect and expertise of basic biomedical, behavioral and clinical researchers across all RCMI grantee institutions, as well as engage investigators from non-RCMI programs, such as COE, TCC, IDeA-CTR, ISPCTN, ADRC, RCMAR, CARC and JHS (see letters of support), to hasten the pace of transformative research that improves minority health and reduces health disparities. The IDC Consortium will also work closely with the RIC and CEC Consortia to deploy a Research Studio Program to assist new and early-stage RCMI investigators in preparing competitive NIH grant applications.

The IDC serves as the central coordination and communication hub to facilitate cross-institutional research projects. The IDC supports researchers who desire to accelerate the movement of basic and clinical science questions and community ideas from the conceptual phase through subsequent phases of funding, implementation, analysis and publishing. The IDC provides services to support research development and research implementation.

Research Implementation Core (RIC)

Jackson State University - Jackson, Mississippi

Expanding access to and sharing of research resources across RCMI U54 Centers will enhance collaboration and innovation, stimulate team science, and maximize research productivity.

The availability, operational efficiency and sharing of novel technologies are important for health disparities research. The RIC addresses this critical need at RCMI U54 Centers by providing a platform on which researchers can find the best instruments, meet and exchange scientific knowledge, and form productive collaborations. Hence, the RCMI CC will establish an RIC Consortium, comprising all RCMI U54 RIC Directors, to facilitate coordination and sharing of research resources and expertise to expand research opportunities and increase the capacities of RCMI U54 Centers to conduct innovative health disparities research, and to build a critical mass of minority investigators who have the technical skills and expertise to make significant contributions to advancing the science of health disparities.

The RIC serves as the technological hub for RCMI CC. The RIC provides an array of services in clinical data management, data collection, technology integration, statistical design and analysis, communication support, and project management to support inter-institutional collaborations and multi-site research projects. The RIC maintains a sophisticated technical environment comprised of industry-leading tools and applications seamlessly integrated to support collaborations and information and data sharing. The RIC provides support for FDA –regulated and non-regulated studies.

Evaluation and Tracking Core (ETC)

Xavier University of Louisiana - New Orleans, Louisiana

The development and implementation of a robust evaluation plan aimed at coordinating data-driven decisions, optimizing efficiency and effectiveness, and documenting productivity, successes and weaknesses of the key components of the RCMI Program as a whole represents a key value of the RCMI CC.

Since the evaluation of the RCMI CC is inextricably tied to the evaluation of the individual RCMI U54 Centers and key CC-specific functions, the RCMI CC proposes a strong collaboration with all RCMI U54 Centers by establishing an Evaluation and Tracking (ET) Consortium, comprising evaluators from each RCMI U54 Center, to: 1) Develop common data elements and performance metrics for systematic, broad-based evaluation of all key components and programmatic activities, through process evaluation and formative evaluation; 2) Work with NIMHD to analyze evaluative data for continuous improvement of the RCMI Program; and 3) Demonstrate the overall impacts through annual summative evaluation measurements.

Community Engagement Core (CEC)

Xavier University of Louisiana - New Orleans, Louisiana

Coordinating trusted bi-directional relationships between RCMI investigators and community organizations will advance health disparities research and improve health outcomes.

Establish a consortium of Community Engagement Core (CEC) Directors who will collectively harness the expertise, skills and effective engagement practices across the RCMIs. The consortium will facilitate and support each individual and collective community engagement efforts across the RCMI sites and communities with the goal of mitigating health disparities at the local and national level. The RCMI CC will: convene bi-monthly meetings of the RCMI U54 CEC Directors to discuss best practices for community engagement; facilitate broad access and collaboration with RCMI and non-RCMI community partners; foster sustainable relationships with community-based organizations; provide assistance with participant recruitment and retention through a Community Research Studio Program (CRSP); assist RCMI sites to involve the community in identifying health disparities research focus that are acceptable to the community and supported through the pilot project grants mechanism; monitor the impact of RCMI U54 CEC activities; organize a CEC workshop for the annual RCMI grantees conference.

Elizabeth Ofili, M.D., M.P.H.

RCMI CC - Principal Investigator
Director and Senior Associate Dean with the Clinical Research Center & Clinical and Translational Research
Morehouse School of Medicine and Science

Emma Fernandez-Repollet, Ph.D.

RCMI CC - Steering Committee Chairperson
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus


RCMI CC - Research Implementation Core
RCMI Program Director
CSET Associate Dean and Presidential Distinguished Professor
Jackson State University

Richard Yanagihara, M.D., M.P.H.

RCMI CC - Investigator Development Core
Department of Pediatrics
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Daniel F. Sarpong, PhD

RCMI CC - Evaluation Core
CMHDRE Director & Endowed Chair
Professor of Biostatistics
Division of Clinical & Administrative Sciences
Xavier University of Louisiana