The P&S Journal: Spring 1998, Vol.18, No.2
P & S News
Ethnic Aging and Research
By the turn of the century, Columbia researchers may discover new factors in determining how doctors diagnose and treat ethnic aging populations. A new resource in aging research, called the Columbia Center for the Active Life of Minority Elders (CALME), has been established as the only federally funded center on the East Coast for minority aging-related research.
The main goal of CALME, sponsored jointly by the Department of Medicine and the Morris W. Stroud III Center for Study of Quality of Life, is to provide opportunity, support, and guidance for young minority researchers interested in the field of aging.
“CALME will enable minority researchers to assume leadership roles, engage in rigorous research, and demonstrate pathways to bridge existing gaps in health status and care between minority and majority aging populations,” says Dr. Rafael Lantigua, professor of medicine and director of the new center.
The center provides young minority researchers mechanisms to enhance ties with leaders in the surrounding community and experts in the field of aging. CALME will be the site where statisticians, methodologists, and experts in the field of aging can share expertise with minority researchers. Minority investigators will gain and maintain access to elder populations for focused aging research. In return, the neighboring community will be more aware of ongoing research and will give feedback and guidance into the feasibility of conducting certain types of research.
CALME will bridge gaps between ethnic aging populations and University researchers by creating culturally sensitive strategies and measurement tools for use in elder minority populations.
“Before CALME there was no single entity to enable researchers to do this,” says Dr. Barry Gurland, the Sidney Katz Professor, director of the Stroud Center, and co-director of CALME.
CALME, funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Nursing Research, will develop national models in aging research that blend basic research with clinical treatment.