US Network Racial Health Equity - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Project


Vast gaps exist in access to healthcare and quality care between racial and ethnic groups in the United States (US), particularly between White populations and Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations. Eliminating health disparities is fundamental to the well-being, productivity, and viability of the nation.

Objectives and activities

Our objective is to create a national consensus on centering racial health equity in systematic reviews.

  1. The ongoing national conversation on structural racism has created a sense of urgency and momentum around the longstanding problem of racial health inequities in the United States.
  2. Several relevant lines of inquiry are underway. Recent efforts have focused on how systematic reviews address racial health equity. Reporting guidelines (PRISMA-Equity) and frameworks (Progress-Plus) offer perspectives that can be adapted and built on for considerations specific to racial health equity.Objectives and activities

Over the long term, this effort will support systematic reviewers by establishing standards to improve the methods, conduct, and reporting of systematic reviews specific to racial health equity. These standards will provide decisionmakers with robust and relevant information to help reduce racial health disparities, draw attention to lacunae in primary research, and help to improve primary research. Our short-term activities of compilation and dissemination of crucial resources will benefit systematic reviewers who seek to address racial health equity.

This landscape review asks two key questions (KQs):  (1) Do systematic reviews that explicitly address racial health inequities engage with stakeholders? If so, how? (2) To what extent do systematic review methods documents offer guidance for engaging with diverse stakeholder to address racial health inequities?

Stakeholder engagement & diversity reflected in the genesis, staffing, and focus of the project.



Principal Investigator:  Dru Riddle (Texas Christian University [TCU]).

Project Manager and primary point of contact with RWJ and among research teams: Tiffany Duque [MPH, RDN, Cochrane Senior Officer]

Co-Principal Investigators:

Meera Viswanathan:  PhD (Fellow, RTI International [RTI], Director [RTI-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [RTI-UNC] Evidence-based Practice Center and Director, RTI-UNC US Cochrane Network Affiliate).

Vivian Welch: PhD, (Editor-in-chief and Chief Executive Officer of the Campbell Collaboration, and Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, Canada).

Patricia C Heyn: PhD, FGSA, FACRM (Deputy Director of the Cochrane Colorado Affiliated Center).

Damian Francis: PhD, (Assistant Professor, Public Health and Director, Center for Health and Social Issues, Georgia College; Founder and Co-Director, Cochrane Caribbean).


Our goals align well with the Foundation’s goals of expanding the evidence base needed to advance health and racial equity.

 Award was $1Million for the 1st year.