. "4 Evaluation of Priority Setting and Programs of Research on Ethnic Minority and Medically Underserved Populations at the National Institutes of Health." The Unequal Burden of Cancer: An Assessment of NIH Research and Programs for Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1999.
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and was published in 1992 (National Institutes of Health, Office of Research on Minority Health, 1992), and six ''priority areas" for funding minority health and training initiatives were established on the basis of "continuing consultation with the minority community and experts within the ICs" (Ruffin, 1996), criteria for the prioritization and funding of research on specific diseases such as cancer are not explicit. Further, it is apparent that ORMH and its newly established advisory body will be able to more effectively leverage NCI's resources to support minority cancer research programs if its NCI analogue, OSPR, is afforded greater authority and responsibility in establishing and implementing a minority cancer research agenda, as will be discussed below.
Office of Special Populations Research, NCI
OSPR grew out of a report of an NCI Special Action Committee, an internal group of program, planning, and management staff from all NCI divisions formed to ensure that the cancer research needs of special populations were being adequately addressed (National Cancer Institute, 1996a). Reports were presented in 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996, with the last report recommending the abolishment of the committee and the establishment of a focal point within NCI's Office of Program Operations and Planning to provide leadership and to coordinate activities addressing the cancer research needs of special populations, including a multiethnic advisory committee made up of NCI staff that would replace the Special Action Committee. OSPR is also establishing an external liaison committee consisting of scientists, medical professionals, civil rights advocates, and others involved in minority health issues (O. Brawley, National Cancer Institute, personal communication, May 29, 1998). OSPR also collaborates with ORMH to establish research priorities, but OSPR lacks the appropriate funding mechanisms or program authority to exert influence over research priorities at NCI. OSPR and its advisory body therefore provides guidance within NCI, but without program funding or authority, it is relatively powerless in working with ORMH or acting independently to effect meaningful changes in the research agenda at NCI.
Director's Consumer Liaison Group, NCI
In 1997, the NCI director established DCLG to provide advice and make recommendations to the Advisory Committee to the Director of NCI. (The Advisory Committee is chaired by the NCI director and includes the chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board and the chairs and co-chairs of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors and Board of Scientific Advisors.) NCI's Office of Liaison Activities (OLA) coordinates and supports