About Project Intersect

Project Intersect: Addressing Health Disparities at the Intersection of Race, Ethnicity, and Disability was a partnership between OHSU, the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University, the Institute for Disability Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, the Institute on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, the College of Arts and Sciences at Pacific University, and a national Advisory Council of people with disabilities and family members.

The project included several different studies to help us understand some of the problems and find out where more research is needed.  Our goals were to:

1) Identify current efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care and health promotion and determine to what extent adults with disabilities are included in these efforts. We did this by:

  • Reviewing abstracts of federally-funded grant research
  • Reviewing programs funded by several foundations that are very active in health disparities work
  • Contacting Offices of Multicultural Health in each state to learn about programs available at the state level

2) Examine quantitative evidence of disparities in health care access and quality related to the combination of race and ethnicity and the presence and characteristics of disability.

We did this by analyzing data from two national surveys:

  • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
  • Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

3) Identify existing information and generate new knowledge on barriers to health care experienced by members of underserved racial and ethnic groups with disabilities.

There were two steps to meeting this goal:

  • Review published research on barriers to health care
  • Hold focus groups with people with disabilities in underserved racial and ethnic groups to learn about their experiences with health care

4) Develop and disseminate recommendations on ways to improve access to and quality of health care and health promotion efforts for people with disabilities in underserved racial and ethnic groups.

To do this, we held a national conference to share our findings and discuss recommendations for addressing gaps and barriers.

For more information, please see our publications and presentations.