Whereas the primary focus of AHRI is to eliminate health disparities, this focus like health itself is multi-dimensional. At the AHRI, we acknowledge such a wide scope, but apply an operational pathway to address disparities. The investigators at AHRI come from different backgrounds that collectively define health disparities. While we aspire to be one of the leading health disparities institute in the world by 2015, our methodology remains unique in achieving this primary goal. We belief that disease clustering or mapping allows one to examine not only the environmental determinants (disease and place) of disease, but the shared social and biosocial factors that define clustering and segregation. For example zip code studies utilized in geo-mapping often reflect disease distribution by race and ethnicity.
The AHRI divisions are structured in such a way that a well structured inter-disciplinary approach to health disparities understanding commences with geo or spatial determinants, and then translate this into racial/ethnic distributions/determinants of disease as well as other variables that define health disparities (age, income, access, utilization etc) in the US populations. However, narrowing health disparities is not the focus of epidemiology or geo-epidemiology mapping but involves specifically policy formulation and implementation to eliminate the identified disparities. At the AHRI, investigators provide the epidemiologic rationale for effective and data-driven health policy formulation.