Commentary: Training and mentoring the next generation of health equity researchers: Insights from the field

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During August 30-31, 2017, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) hosted a two-day workshop with thought leaders and experts in the fields of implementation science, prevention science, health inequities research, and training and research workforce development. The workshop addressed critical challenges and compelling questions from the NHLBI Strategic Vision, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services' Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Participants discussed: best practices for designing and executing implementation research training programs; approaches to increase participation in implementation research to address health inequities; innovative training methods and models, including team science approaches; and best practices for developing and sustaining a cadre of mentors for individuals who conduct implementation research. As part of this workshop, the Saunders-Watkins Memorial Lecture, named posthumously for Dr. Elijah Saunders, a Baltimore cardiologist, and Dr. Levi Watkins, a Baltimore cardiothoracic surgeon, was established. Both men dedicated their lives to patient care, teaching, research, and community service. The lecture honors them for their pioneering efforts to advance health equity for medically underserved communities in the United States and around the globe, at a time when it was neither popular nor safe to do so. The lecture is also designed to stimulate a future generation of researchers committed to advancing health equity research and the elimination of health iniquities. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and James F. Fries Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and inaugural recipient of the American Heart Association's Watkins-Saunders Award, which recognizes excellence in clinical, medical, and community work focused on diminishing health care disparities in Maryland. This article captures the essence of that lecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-585
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Education
  • Health Care Disparities
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Mentoring
  • Translational Medical Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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