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Gabrielle Harris, PhD, RN, CHER Postdoctoral Fellow, received a diversity supplement award from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for a mentored independent study within the CommunityRx-Cardiovasular Disease (CRx-CVD) project. CRx-CVD is an intervention led by Drs. Giselle Corbie and Gaurav Dave that uses electronic referral technology to automatically connect rural Black patients to resources that address health-related social needs and cardiometabolic health. Dr. Harris’ project will examine the mediating effect of racial residential segregation, a marker of structural racism, as well as community- and individual-level vehicle access on the association between the CRx-CVD intervention and stroke risk among working age (18-64 years) Black adults.

Segregation creates social and environmental conditions that adversely affect health, which may include vehicle access. Having access to a vehicle is essential for self-management of stroke risk, enabling travel to institutions that help people maintain their health. Yet, individuals who lack vehicle access tend to be those who are people of color, poor, and reside in rural areas. The CRx-CVD intervention may help improve patients’ self-management of stroke risk factors by increasing their resource self-efficacy, or confidence in finding community resources. However, segregation and vehicle inaccessibility could diminish the ability of digital tools to address patients’ health-related social needs. By combining survey, electronic medical record, and census-tract data with interview data from patients and community-based organizations, Dr. Harris hopes to gain an in-depth understanding of how structural and social determinants of health can aid and hinder health promotion efforts like the CRx-CVD intervention. This award began April 2022 and will go through the end of December 2023.