The Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center (MLHRC) was founded in 1993 under the leadership of Aida L. Giachello Ph.D. in partnership with the UIC College of Medicine's Hispanic Center of Excellence and the School of Public Health . MLHRC first received a developmental grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish a minority research center on the Medical Treatment Effectiveness Program. Since then, MLHRC has developed the infrastructure to conduct studies on health and social disparities, develop training programs, and continue policy work.
Besides its role as an academic research center, MLHRC is also involved at the grass-roots level and committed to the Hispanic and Latino community in Chicago and the Midwest . MLHRC engages in community organizing and mobilization around the issue of health and provides the technical assistance to assist communities is establishing new organizations. MLHRC is building these partnerships in areas with high concentrations of Hispanics/Latinos in Illinois , Indiana , Iowa , Kansas , Michigan , Minnesota , Missouri , Nebraska , Ohio , and Wisconsin . MLHRC has also formed partnerships and engaged in community capacity-building through training. By doing this, MLHRC has built relationships at the local, regional, and national level. This has allowed MLHRC to expand research and training activities beyond the Midwest and into areas like the US-Mexico border where it partnered with the Pan American Health Organization.
MLHRC's research continues to address topics in minority population health that have previously received limited attention. Some topics include diabetes, obesity, asthma, injury prevention, and pre-natal care. In addition, MLHRC has developed education and intervention models that are now viewed as best practices in the field and implemented on a nationwide. MLHRC has conducted numerous local, national and international trainings for community health workers aimed at both increasing their capacity to address health disparities and also facilitate chronic disease prevention/management.
As MLHRC continues to work on pressing Latino health issues, it remains committed to its mission of improving the health of Latinos and the quality of health care they receive. MLHRC does this by approaching the solution from two sides; quantitative and qualitative research and community involvement at the grass-roots level.