The Health Disparities Research Laboratory conducts research at the intersections of interpersonal health communication, chronic kidney disease, and organ donation and transplantation. Current work includes the development and assessment of an educational and communication skills intervention for patients with end stage renal disease who are awaiting kidney transplantation. The research team also partners with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger to evaluate an ongoing effort to bring healthy food options to local food pantries and has begun a line of research investigating the relationship between food insecurity and medical nutritional management of Type 2 diabetes, a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. The most recent project is Promotoras de Donación: Leveraging Lay Health Educators to Increase Donor Registration in Older Hispanic Women. This project collects the formative data needed to design an educational and behavioral communication eLearning module for promotoras (Hispanic lay health educators) and test the impact of the training on promotoras’ knowledge of organ donation, confidence discussing and promoting donor registration, and efficacy increasing rates of donor registration among mature and older Hispanic women.

Learn more about the Health Disparities Research Lab.


Heather Marie Gardiner

Social and Behavioral Sciences
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Ritter Annex (RA 954)