Health Equity Core

What is Health Equity?

Chronic pain and fatigue conditions are more common and more severe among under-resourced populations. These include women, communities of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, those living in rural or frontier settings, and those who are incarcerated or without homes. Called health inequities, these differences in health are avoidable, unfair, and unjust.

Social and environmental factors contribute to health inequities in chronic pain conditions, including:

  • Implicit and explicit bias, stigmatization, and marginalization
  • Systemic racism
  • A lack of access or restricted access to resources like health insurance, a good primary care provider, nutritious food, clean water, non-polluted air, safe communities, decent housing, and transportation
  • A lack of representation, diversity, and inclusion in research and the development of interventions

Health equity will be achieved when every person can attain their full physical and mental health potential.

Our Mission

To advance health equity, our mission is to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within clinical care, research, and intervention development for chronic pain and fatigue conditions. Meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships between research investigators and representatives of under-resourced communities are necessary to accomplish this mission. We are committed to developing and sustaining multi-directional learning and resource-sharing across researchers, physicians, patient groups, and representatives of under-resourced communities.

What We Aim to Do

  • Include and empower representatives of under-resourced communities across the research life cycle, including the development of study aims, the design and implementation of studies and interventions, data interpretation, and dissemination of results
  • Provide information about evidence-based strategies that can improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of chronic pain and fatigue conditions with patient groups, caretakers, and other partners
  • Host training seminars on topics related to community-engaged research and the ethical and responsible conduct of research
  • Raise awareness of health inequities in chronic pain and fatigue conditions and community needs to address these inequities
  • Evaluate our objectives, processes, and progress to inform and advance best practices in community-engaged research for chronic pain and fatigue conditions
  • Mentor students and junior investigators in community-engaged research approaches for chronic pain and fatigue conditions

Contacts

Rachel Bergmans, PhD, MPH

Co-Leader
Mary Janevic, MPH, Ph.D.

Mary R. Janevic, PhD, MPH

Co-Leader
Keiyana Chambers-Peeple

Keiyana Chambers-Peeple

Community-Engaged Research Coordinator

Community Advisory Board Members

We are currently recruiting members for our Community Advisory Board! You may be eligible if you live in Michigan and fall into one of the following categories:

  • Someone living with chronic pain or fatigue
  • Caregivers for those living with chronic pain or fatigue
  • Someone with experience in community organization, leadership, or advocacy

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Keiyana Chambers-Peeple (kdchambe@med.umich.edu).

Resources

PainGuide.com - This website is an education and self-management resource supporting a patient-centric model of chronic pain care.

PASCguide.com - This website is a resource supporting a patient-centric model for those living with long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC).