Doctor with patient and wife

Center for Health Disparities Research

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), based in Charleston, SC, established the Center for Health Disparities Research (CHDR) in 2005. Over the years, the Center has emerged into one of the leading centers of its kind. The CHDR focuses on research, training, and outreach surrounding racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and rural/urban disparities in health.

South Carolina has many rural communities where chronic health problems are compounded by poor access to medical care. The state’s rate for diabetes is among the highest in the country, and our citizens face many other challenges due to heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and stroke. Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health, seen throughout the United States and the world, are also visible in Charleston, providing our team with many ways of understanding the factors that perpetuate health care disparities.

Key Areas of Research

The center has built a collaborative multidisciplinary team of researchers to focus on three main areas:

  1. Health disparities
  2. Rural health
  3. Disease prevention

Specific research activities focus on chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health disorders, and stroke.