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Health Equity Research Center (HERC) A WSU Grand Challenges Initiative

About HERC

HERC is a center of excellence for conducting innovative research on the determinants of health disparities across biological, behavioral, family, and community levels, and for creating partnerships with communities and health systems in the design and evaluation of interventions in a culturally sensitive and scalable manner.

Persistent and damaging health disparities due to poverty and discrimination represent a crucial problem at the intersection of 2 WSU Grand Challenges: Opportunity and Equity and Sustaining Health. The Grand Challenges Reallocation grant awarded by the University in 2015 to support HERC’s health equity research activities has enabled development of new and robust collaborations among the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Medicine; and the Department of Human Development in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, and to forge partnerships with community-based organizations statewide.

Our partners include the Institute for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) and the Northwest Health Education and Research Outcomes Network (NW HERON).

HERC is contributing to WSU’s land-grant mission and helping to advance the University’s Drive to 25 initiative by providing a foundation for large, multi-disciplinary endeavors to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities throughout Washington and beyond.

HERC is directed by Paul Whitney, professor of psychology, associate vice president for International Programs, and former senior associate dean for strategic initiatives in the College of Arts & Sciences, which serves as the Center’s administrative home.

HERC is one of 6 major Grand Challenges projects invested in by the Office of Research and Office of the Provost in 2015. Learn more about these projects.