Center for Health Equity & Engagement Research

Image: Lori A. Bilello, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.H.S.
Lori A. Bilello, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.H.S.
Co-Director, Center for Health Equity and Engagement Research
Image: Fern J. Webb, Ph.D.
Fern J. Webb, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Center for Health Equity and Engagement Research

The Center for Health Equity and Engagement Research, or CHEER, aligns with UF Health’s strategic priority to facilitate research that leads to greater health equity. The center is housed within the Office of Research Affairs and the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, or IDEA, at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

CHEER is a central hub for research and community engagement activities that focus on improving equity, especially among underserved populations. It provides access to resources and expertise that foster research and education efforts to empower residents, clinicians, organizations and communities.

Key objectives include:

  • Educating and training interested clinicians in health equity research.
  • Engaging patients and other stakeholders in developing and implementing a research agenda that addresses barriers to health equity.
  • Fostering a network of clinicians and researchers to collaborate on research related to IDEA.
  • Providing a clearinghouse for proposed projects from researchers in Jacksonville and Gainesville, as well as from other organizations interested in working on health equity with our patient population.

CHEER builds on a longstanding university commitment to promote health equity research using patient-centered and community engagement models. CHEER’s research focus is to:

  1. Better understand social determinants of health and underlying causes of health inequities that impact patients and the community.
  2. Design and evaluate interventions to mitigate those.

For more information, contact the CHEER team at or 904-244-3193.