The Center for Health And Risk in Minority youth and adults (CHARM) is an NIH/National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) funded comprehensive center of excellence for addressing disparities and chronic disease prevention in minority youth and young adults. The overarching goal of CHARM is to understand the influence of behaviors adopted in youth and young adulthood and other biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors present during this age period that act as precursors to chronic disease in racial/ethnic minority populations. Conducting high quality primary research in minority youth and young adults to understand the underlying mechanisms is critical to improving minority health and ultimately eliminating health disparities.
CHARM brings together investigators from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) (a premier safety net institution for San Francisco’s diverse population), San Francisco State University (a minority-serving institution with a large Latino student body), Northern California Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, University of California Berkeley, and Stanford University, as well as community partners like Youth Speaks and Youth Radio that focus on youth in the SF Bay Area. The approach is explicitly trans-disciplinary: linking investigators with clinical expertise in medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and public health with methodological experts in disparities research, genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, communication sciences, and health psychology. CHARM seeks to build capacity for health disparities research at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco State University (SFSU), through training and mentoring, and in particular by supporting the professional development of minority investigators.
The Center for Health And Risk in Minority youth and adults (CHARM) is dedicated to addressing health disparities and chronic disease prevention in racial and ethnic minority communities, with a focus on the late childhood, adolescent and young adult period.
To create a trans-disciplinary center for the study of minority health and chronic disease risk that brings together academic and community institutions and is dedicated to improving minority health in the diverse populations of the SF Bay Area, with a specific focus on studies in youth and young adulthood.
To generate new knowledge on the interplay between biological, behavioral, and social determinants of health and chronic disease risk in minority youth and young adults and to design novel, innovative, and targeted interventions to reduce chronic disease risk in minority communities in the SF Bay Area.
To partner with community organizations in the SF Bay Area to improve health literacy related to health promotion and chronic disease prevention in minority youth and young adults and to have a measurable impact on knowledge of chronic disease risk and tobacco use among youth and young adults in SF.
To build capacity for health disparities research in chronic disease, particularly among minority investigators, by utilizing and enhancing UCSF’s resources and to measurably increase the number of minority investigators conducting research at UCSF and SFSU.
The CHARM logo was developed in collaboration with Youth Radio, by interns Meles Gebru and Carlin Bynes, both 19 years old. They stated that the CHARM logo:
"...was inspired by the theme of growth and the Tupac Shakur song lyric: 'Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?/Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk with out having feet./Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,/it learned to breathe fresh air./Long live the rose that grew from concrete/when no one else ever cared.'"