About the Center for Health Equity Research

graphic of diverse people under Health Equity header


CHER promotes health equity by engaging researchers and community partners in conducting rigorous and innovative public health research.


The CSULB Center for Health Equity Research was created through support from the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions Project (RIMI) in an effort to improve research infrastructure at CSULB.

Formerly the Center for Health Care Innovation, CHER was reconstituted into a new center in 2013 to better reflect the focus of our work and our commitment to health equality research.

Dr. Laura D’Anna served as the associate director for CHER for 6 years and became the director in August 2014.

Overview of CHER

CHER is located in the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Our research focuses on diverse, underserved, and high risk populations.

Center staff and affiliated faculty have extensive experience in community-based research with a focus on health equity, with much of our work in the area of HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and reproductive health.

CHER collaborates with public health departments and community based-organizations to bring health equity and inequities to light through research.

Interventions used in several of our HIV prevention studies (Project RESPECT, RESPECT-2, and Safe in the City) have been designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as evidence-based behavioral interventions (EBI) and have been included in the Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention. CHER faculty and staff have also worked on two other EBIs  (Safety Counts and Community PROMISE). There are 84 EBI interventions, and we are proud of the contributions made in this area by our Center and our University

The CSULB Center for Health Equity Research also hosts the CHER Institute (funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences), an annual week-long gathering of early-career faculty from minority-serving institutions of higher learning from across the country, pairing them with seasoned mentors to help better prepare them for NIH research support. The skills and collaboration gained in previous CHER Institutes have proven invaluable for attendees in promoting diversity and equity in community-based health research.