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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.

Our Operating Values

Social Justice and Racial Equity

We seek to create systems change that centers and champions diverse and marginalized
perspectives. Our commitment to social justice and racial equity guide our decisions regarding
hiring, programs and activities, partnerships, and budget priorities.

Community-Centered Partnerships

Communities are at the center of what we do. We nurture equitable and mutually beneficial
community-driven and community-centered collaborations based on integrity, authenticity,
transparency, and fairness.

Translating Community Knowledge into Action

We believe community expertise and knowledge are integral (essential) to eliminating health
disparities. Through collaborative research and dissemination, we co-produce knowledge that
generates meaningful action to advance health equity.

Strategic Plan

10 strategic initiatives for a 3 year plan

In the first year we have started with the following 5 initiatives: 

1) Establish and act consistently with PHDR operating values

2) Deepen PHDR cohesion between its board, faculty, and staff

3) Visibility, Convening, and Connecting: Elevate PHDR visibility within the university and Medical School 

4) Dissemination: Become national leaders in Community-centered Dissemination

5) Research: Expand interdisciplinary extramural funding


We will continue to work on the current initiatives in addition to remaining initiatives for years 2-3:  

6) Visibility, Convening, and Connecting: Connect PHDR and communities through community-engaged research 

7) Community engagement, Support, and Partnerships: Utilize community-engaged research to promote health equity in communities and support communities in capacity building

8) Provide training and workshops for community and academic partners in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Community-centered Dissemination (CCD), and other health equity topics

9) Develop and implement a policy plan that promotes and embodies health equity. 

10) Better understand and evaluate the impact of PHDR programs and activities 



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.

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.


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.