In 1999, Congress appropriated funds for the creation of the mandated Center for Research on Minority Health (CRMH), the first of its kind in the nation. In 2011, the name of the center was changed to the Dorothy I. Height Center for Health Equity and Evaluation Research (DH-CHEER). The uniqueness of CRMH and DH-CHEER laid partly in their guiding principles, which emphasized advancement of the scientific research base pertaining to health disparities, involvement of the affected populations in determining research priorities, and communication of research findings to all stakeholders. The broad array of DH-CHEER research studies reflected the multi-faceted nature of health disparities and included such topics as childhood obesity, environmental and lifestyle influences on disease, and cancer survivorship. The goal of the CRMH/CHEER was to create a model for other health disparities center across the nation to replicate. CRMH/DH-CHEER was also devoted to training high school, undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with career interests in science and medicine; and to provide support to faculty members whose research involved health disparities issues.
In 2002, the CRMH and the Texas Program for Society & Health at Rice University joined forces to create the Health Disparities Education, Awareness, Research, and Training Consortium (HDEART-C) at that time numbering 7 institutions in the Texas Medical Center. Today, HDEART-C numbers 45 institutions, both nationally and internationally. In addition, to the workshop and other endeavors, since 2004, fellows who have trained with the CRMH/DH-CHEER or who have been impacted by the center have returned to present and mentor future generations at the annual workshop. Today, the efforts of CRMH/DH-CHEER enfolded into the goals and objectives of the HDEART Consortium. HDEART-C’s Academic Home is now Texas A&M School of Public Health.
With Dr. Jones’ retirement, HDEART-C still continues its efforts to eliminate health disparities, as illustrated by the holding of the 16th Disparities in Health in America: Working toward Social Justice Course and Workshop (aka Summer Symposium).