The mission of the Southeast Center for Research to Reduce Disparities in Oral Health (SCRRDOH) is to:

  • Promote early detection and prevention of head and neck cancer among low-income rural and minority individuals in Florida
  • Provide new resources for conducting targeted community-based interventions by multi-disciplinary teams from five colleges within the University of Florida as well as other highly regarded research univeristies such as the University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina.
  • Strengthen the partnerships among researchers, clinicians, and the community to speeed translation of research into practice.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 34,500 new mouth and throat cases will be diagnosed in the next year. In the U.S., there are more than 7,550 deaths per year from head and neck cancer vs. 3,670 for cervical cancer. Survival from head and neck cancer is one of the lowest among all malignancies; it has not improved in recent decades and remains about 58%.

The purpose of the Center’s first community-based intervention project is to apply scientific health promotion models to increase the likelihood that African American men obtain oral cancer screenings.

Applications will be sought from new and established scientists for studies addressing health disparities that will lead to community-based interventions. Working with health economists, we anticipate building an evidence base about the cost-effectiveness of new interventions that hold promise for reducing oral health disparities, including cost-effectiveness studies of early versus late stage detection of head and neck cancer.

The research conducted by the Center will affect public policy and result in long-term benefits among our most disadvantaged citizens.