Chicago Health Center Network Receives $6.7 Million NIH Grant

Access Community Health Network to build community-led research center to help reduce racial disparities in health care

Dec 13, 2010, 12:00 ET from Access Community Health Network

CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) has received a $6.7 million Clinical and Translational Science Award grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to construct a community-based research center. The goal of the center's research will be to engage the community and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

Through its Roadmap Initiative NIH intends to transform how research is conducted by encouraging researchers to connect with communities. ACCESS is one of only three non-academic organizations to receive one of NIH's community-based research grants.

"When most people think about research they envision university researchers in lab coats looking through microscopes," said Donna Thompson, CEO of ACCESS, the nation's largest network of federally-qualified health centers. "We're turning that research model on its head by taking research out of the academic setting and bringing it into the community."

ACCESS' research center – the first-ever for a federally-qualified health center network – will be in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, where residents have high rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and will directly benefit from the research conducted at the center. ACCESS plans to break ground on the 17,000-square-foot research center in early 2011 and complete construction a year later.

"Health systems throughout the nation are already looking at ACCESS as an exemplary model for providing primary care services to vulnerable populations," said Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of California Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, and peer reviewer for the NIH grant. "This new research center will allow ACCESS to investigate innovative ways to reduce health disparities and improve the health of its diverse, local communities and translate the findings and lessons learned to underserved communities throughout the nation with similar demographics."

About Access Community Health Network

Access Community Health Network offers preventive services, medical care and consultation with specialists in nearly 60 community health center locations throughout Chicago, and suburban Cook and DuPage counties. Accredited by the Joint Commission, ACCESS health centers provide high-quality, affordable health care to more than 215,000 patients of all ages. Visit and follow ACCESS on Twitter at to learn more.

SOURCE Access Community Health Network