UR Deaf Health Disparities Group Wins National Excellence Award

April 19, 2011

From left to right: Antonio Tovar, NCC chair; Steven Barnett, Carlene Mowl, Thomas Pearson, John T. Reid, and Matthew Starr, from the NCDHR.

The National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) recently won accolades for putting community-based participatory research into action. The NCDHR was one of 11 research groups that won a best-practices award from the National Community Committee, which is associated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The purpose of the award was to recognize and stimulate excellence within the diverse group of CDC Prevention Research Centers across the country. The NCDHR was established in 2004 at the University of Rochester Medical Center with CDC funding. Its mission is to conduct the nation’s first comprehensive health studies within the underserved deaf and hard-of-hearing population, in collaboration with many local institutions and advocacy groups.

One of the guiding principles of the NCDHR has been to adhere to the premise that deaf people share a common language and culture, instead of the traditional, clinical model that focuses on restoring hearing loss. As a result, the NCDHR has been able to successfully promote health research programs in deaf communities throughout the Rochester, N.Y., area, and elsewhere.

Thomas A. Pearson, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H, is the principal investigator and director of the NCDHR. The award application was coordinated by Matthew J. Starr, M.P.H., communications and administrative core manager and community liaison at NCDHR. He accepted the award on April 12, 2011, on behalf of the entire NCDHR team in Atlanta at a CDC Prevention Research Center meeting.

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