About Us

Our Mission and Approach

Rush CEDHA, a Center of Excellence at Rush University Medical Center, addresses a clear and pressing national issue to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities among older adults.

What we do

The overall goal of CEDHA is to develop research teams with expertise across health disparities, aging, and common chronic diseases experienced among older adults, to educate older adults on strategies for healthy aging, and to train future generations on conducting culturally sensitive research.

Rush CEDHA is a collaboration between the Core Center at Stroger Hospital and the Community Outreach Intervention Projects within the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois, Chicago campus. CEDHA has 4 cores and associated research projects.

Administrative Core: oversees and coordinates the operational and financial components of the center

Research Core: conducts a longitudinal cohort study of adults over age 50, by collecting clinical and biospecimen data on the same individuals over time. Participants in the CEDHA Research Core are interviewed on a wide range of topics that are important for healthy aging, including cognitive, social, and other activities of daily living, stress levels, memory and thinking skills, motor function, personality factors, and health conditions. The data collected in the Research Core are shared with other investigators within CEDHA to test innovative hypotheses about the causes of health disparities in aging

Community Engagement and Outreach Core: engages and collaborates with communities of color to build capacity for understanding and eliminating health disparities through research and prevention

Research Training and Education Core: works to grow and expand the pipeline of persons interested in health disparities research by offering training opportunities within CEDHA and access to research mentors

Message From The Director

The demographic profile of the United States population is changing rapidly. Adults are living longer than ever before, and we are becoming much more diverse due to the growth of minority populations, especially in the older age groups. As a result, older minorities face tremendous challenges to healthy aging because of poverty, stressful life conditions, lack of neighborhood resources, and other social factors that are unevenly distributed across populations. The Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging (CEDHA) is a response to the growing burden of common diseases of aging and the disproportionate toll they are having on the older minority population. One common chronic condition that has become pandemic is the chronic infection, HIV/AIDS. Significant disparities exist in HIV for racial minorities, particularly African Americans, who comprise about half of the people infected with HIV and AIDS, even though they represent only an eighth of the US population. Because of effective therapies for HIV, survival for HIV-infected persons has increased dramatically. But even with the widespread availability of advanced treatment, disparities in mortality and morbidity for minorities continue to exist, and in some cases, have increased. Effectively combating this growing public health problem will require a dedicated team of professionals with different areas of expertise, working side by side with the community.

CEDHA represents a unique partnership between the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, at Rush University Medical Center, the Ruth M. Rothstein Core Center of Cook County Health and Hospitals System, and the Community Outreach Intervention Projects, School of Public Health of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Expertise in the Center covers a range of disciplines including, neuropsychology, neurology, clinical psychology, infectious disease, gerontology, biostatistics, immunology, cognitive neuroscience, epidemiology, nursing, and public health.

Over the next several years, we will work with our colleagues and the minority community to build an infrastructure for a research program that is focused on health disparities, that strengthens research training activities for our students and young investigators, and continue to nurture and enhance community engagement and outreach. We appreciate your support and welcome you to join us as we work to understand the intersection of aging, HIV, and disparities, so that ultimately we can improve not only the health of our minority populations, but for all of our aging adults.