University News

Health Sciences Professor Awarded Grant to Launch New Fellowship Program

Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, an assistant professor in the University of New Haven’s Health Administration and Policy Department, is creating the Health Equity and Advocacy Fellowship to support research efforts around mental health care.

January 15, 2020

Image of Alvin Tran and colleagues.
Left to right: State Rep. Anne Hughes, State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, State Rep. Dorinda Borer, State Sen. Saud Anwar, Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, State Rep. Robin Comey.

University of New Haven health administration and policy professor Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, has been awarded a President’s Discretionary Grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation, an independent and private foundation dedicated to improving health equity in the state – that he will use to launch a new student-centered fellowship training program.

This is the first time the Connecticut Health Foundation has funded a project at the University.

"The fellowship will be a valuable opportunity for students to learn how to become effective changemakers in their community."Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH

Tran is the first faculty member at the University to receive grant funding from the foundation. He will use the support to create the Health Equity and Advocacy Fellowship program, which will be operated under the School of Health Sciences and Tran’s WeEmbody Lab, a research working group he launched last fall. The fellowship will give University of New Haven students the opportunity to engage in important research opportunities and advocacy initiatives around mental health care.

Image of Alvin Tran.
Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH speaks at a recent Suicide Prevention Summit held at the University of New Haven.

"Helping to ensure lawmakers have access to – and understand – the latest evidence-based research is essential to creating policies that help reduce gaps in mental health care for racial and ethnic minorities," says Tran.

Throughout the program, students will develop policy briefs and fact sheets using a team-based approach, and formulate a dissemination plan to distribute key information on health issues to decisionmakers to support their policy and legislation development efforts.

Other activities will include health advocacy trainings, a speaker series that will bring experts in health equity from across the country to campus to engage in small group discussions with students, and a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators.

"The fellowship will be a valuable opportunity for students to learn how to become effective changemakers in their community," Tran adds.

During the 2019-2020 grant period, the Health Equity and Advocacy Fellowship program aims to recruit up to eight University of New Haven students. Recruitment for the fellowship will begin early in the spring semester.