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To promote health equity through collaborative researchinnovative education and trusted partnerships.


To eliminate health inequities in Minnesota and beyond.

The Program in Health Disparities Research, headed by Dr. Michele Allen, is housed within the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Overarching Goals

  1. Create a supportive academic home for outstanding health disparities researchers. (2016/17 Objectives 1.4, 1.5, 2.2)
  2. Engage communities in initiatives aimed at reducing health inequities. (2016/17 Objectives 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.2)
  3. Build interdisciplinary collaborations within the University of Minnesota and beyond to advance the understanding and elimination of health inequities. (2016/17 Objective 3.3)
  4. Conduct cutting-edge, extramurally-funded research that focuses on the independent and combined effects of biological, behavioral, social, community, and policy determinants of health disparities. (2016/17 Objectives 1.1, 1.2)
  5. Develop the next generation of health disparity researchers through high-quality mentoring and training. (2016/17 Objectives 1.4, 2.2)
  6. Support and expand diverse academic and community educational programs focusing on health inequities. (2016/17 Objectives 1.4 , 2.2)
  7. Promote an organizational emphasis on meaningful research with potential for high community impact. (2016/17 Objectives 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 3.1, 3.2)

Our Approach

Innovate-Invest-Impact: Improving health for allThe Program in Health Disparities Research is driven to improve health for all through research, education, community engagement and policy. We are dedicated to:

  • Innovative solutions
  • Investment in authentic partnerships
  • Making a meaningful impact

We also understand that improving health for all is a true team effort. Therefore, we are committed to conducting cutting-edge research in partnership with our local communities.


Through the Health Equity in Policy Initiative, Program in Health Disparities Research seeks to bridge the information gaps, which exist between underserved communities, researchers, and decision makers through policy initiatives that promote the health and safety priorities of its community partners.

PHDR Initiatives

Health Equity in Policy Initiative (HEPI)

Health Equity in Policy InitiativeHealth Equity in Policy Initiative (HEPI) is a component of the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota Medical School.


Marilyn S. "Susie" Nanney, PhD, HEPI Director 
Michele Allen, MD, MS, PHDR Interim Director


Our mission is to bridge persistent information gaps between researchers, communities and policy-making bodies, specifically related to health disparities. 


  • To leverage community and research for a collective voice to inform more equitable and effective health policies.
  • To support researchers in the generating of evidence to support health equity in all policy.
  • To engage communities in using research and personal stories to share concerns and recommendations with decision makers to support health equity in all policy.

Just Released - Economic Benefit of Achieving Health Equity in Minnesota

Citation: Allen M, Myers S, Ahmed H, Durfee T, Kent K, Moua V, Xu M, Wilcoxon, A, Nanney MS. (2018). Economic Benefit of Achieving Health Equity in Minnesota (Technical Report). University of Minnesota Health Equity in Policy Initiative. Available at https://www.med.umn.edu/healthdisparities/policy

HEPI Documents


Our team welcomes all opportunities to share more about the project process and findings. For inquiries, please contact phdr@umn.edu.