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April 23, 2024

Hartford HealthCare launches ‘racial trauma’ research center

Contributed Hartford HealthCare's headquarters at 100 Pearl St., Hartford.

Hartford HealthCare announced Tuesday it has opened a new research center focused on the mental health effects of racial discrimination. 

The Center for Research in Racial Trauma and Community Healing will seek to better understand the psychological and behavioral consequences of discrimination and trauma to “advance healing and justice through the power of community.”

According to Mental Health America, “racial trauma refers to experiences related to threats, prejudices, harm, shame, humiliation, and guilt associated with various types of racial discrimination, either for direct victims or witnesses.”

In a news release, Hartford HealthCare said the new center will promote community involvement by actively engaging community members in science, research and mental health services.

“With research, education and community engagement, The Center for Research in Racial Trauma and Community Healing strives to create an equitable environment that provides the highest level of care for its patients, as well as the larger community,” the release states.

Hartford HealthCare said the center’s current research initiatives include:

  • Launching a “culturally affirming” parent support group for Black and African American parents through partnership with the Hartford Community Foundation.
  • Studying the mistrust and discrimination in reproductive care in partnership with UConn Health, and
  • Tapping artificial intelligence to analyze stigmatizing and biased language in electronic health records, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To mark the opening of the center, Hartford HealthCare invited representatives from the state and local community and civic organizations to a “community conversation” held at the Artists Collective in Hartford.

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