History and Major Accomplishments of the
UCLA National RCMAR Coordinating Center


The RCMAR Initiative was first funded in 1997, and the National RCMAR Coordinating Center (CC) was based at the Henry Ford Health System RCMAR in Detroit, Michigan, and was directed by Dr. Barbara Tilley. During this first RCMAR cycle, Dr. Tilley relocated to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and was allowed to bring the RCMAR CC to MUSC with her. For the RCMAR Cycle II 2002 competition, UCLA competed for, and received, the National RCMAR CC. MUSC successfully competed for a RCMAR Center and was funded as such from 2002 to 2007. The transition of the CC from MUSC to UCLA was smooth with Dr. Tilley who was still directing a RCMAR, serving as an available resource in the network during these transition years.

UCLA has been a very productive and effective CC and has successfully competed and received funding to continue as the National RCMAR CC for Cycles III (2007-2012) and Cycle IV (2012-2017). The UCLA CC was directed initially by Janet C. Frank, DrPH, and housed in the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine & Gerontology, a division in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Steven P. Wallace, PhD, at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, served as the RCMAR CC Co-Director. This leadership team worked together to build and expand the services of the CC from 2002 to 2013.

In 2013, upon the retirement of Dr. Frank from full-time work, the RCMAR CC Director position was transitioned to Dr. Wallace housed in the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Dr. Frank continues in a small, but supportive role as Director Emerita. In 2014, Dr. Wallace recruited Nina Harawa, MPH, PhD, into the RCMAR CC as Co-Director. Dr. Harawa was previously a RCMAR Scholar and is currently Associate Professor, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior; and Adjunct Associate Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

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Dr. Sidney Stahl, Chief (retired), Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health talks about the issues motivating the founding of the RCMAR program in 1997.

RCMAR Annual Investigator Meetings & Meeting Workshops

Each year members from all of the RCMAR sites convene for an annual meeting. Host sites rotate among the funded RCMAR sites. See below for a list of programs offered since UCLA became the national Coordinating Center in 2002.

Table 1: RCMAR Annual Investigator Meetings & Pre-Meeting Workshops
Event Date | Location Attendees
RCMAR II: 2002 to 2007
Annual Investigators Meeting
Host Center: Native Elder Research Center (NERC)
January 8-9, 2003
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO
Annual Investigators Meeting
Host Center: SC Cooperative for Healthy Aging in Minority Populations (CHAMP)
March 11-12, 2004
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
Annual Investigators Meeting
Host Center: Columbia Center for Active Life of Minority Elders (CALME)
June 2-3, 2005
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
New York, NY
“Catalyst for Community-Based Research: The Dreams and Science Behind Translational Research to Reduce Disparities”.
Host Center: Center for Aging in Diverse Communities (CADC)
April 3-4, 2006
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Annual Investigators Meeting
Host Center: Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elders (CHIME)
February 12-13, 2007
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
RCMAR III: 2007-2012
“Opportunities in Aging and Minority Health Research”.
Host: Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR)
May 8 – 9, 2008 University of Michigan and Wayne State University 53
“Improving Health Among Minority Older Adults Through Research”.
Host Center: Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (DEEP SOUTH)
April 20 – 21, 2009
University of Alabama at Birmingham
“Community Engagement in Conducting Minority Aging Research”.
Host Center: Penn Minority Aging Research for Community Health (Penn MARCH)
May 5, 2010 (workshop) “Tips for Success in Publishing on Minority and Aging Research”;

May 6 – 7, 2010 (meeting), both at University of Pennsylvania

“Innovation and Impact”.
Host Center: Native Elder Research Center (NERC)
May 19 – 20, 2011 at University of Washington, Seattle, WA 60
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”:
Host: Center for Aging in Diverse Communities | University of California, San Francisco
March 14, 2012 Writing Workshop to Improve Scientific Writing Skills (workshop)

March 15-16, 2012 (meeting) San Francisco, CA

RCMAR IV: 2012 to 2017
Annual Investigators Meeting.
Host: Center for Health Improvement of the Elderly (CHIME)
February 11 – 12, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
“Health Economics in Minority Aging Research”.
Host: University of Southern California Schaeffer Center
March 30-31, 2014
Los Angeles, CA
Annual Investigators Meeting.
Host: Latino Aging Research Resource Center | UC-Davis
April 28, 2015 Scientific Writing for Publication (workshop

April 28-29, 2015 (meeting), both at UC Davis

78 (pre-enrolled)
Annual Investigators Meeting.
Host: National Institutes of Health
April 26 – 27, 2016
Bethesda, MD
Annual Investigators Meeting.
Host: National Institutes of Health
April 12 – 13, 2017
Bethesda, MD
RCMAR V: 2018 to 2023
Annual Investigators Meeting.
Host: National Institutes of Health
April 17 – 18, 2018
Bethesda, MD

RCMAR R13-Sponsored Training Events

Early on, RCMAR leadership recognized the need for additional funding for Scholar professional development and to bring expertise within the RCMARs to additional researchers. During the first year as the RCMAR CC, leadership submitted an application for an R13 Training Grant on behalf of the RCMAR Centers. It was funded, and has been renewed successfully, since then. Because of this modest training grant, the RCMAR CC has been able to offer annual training programs on key minority aging research topics as pre-conferences to the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) meetings since 2003. Table 2 provides the list of R-13-sponsored training programs that have been planned, implemented and evaluated by the UCLA National RCMAR CC.

Table 2: R13-Sponsored Minority Aging Research Professional Development Training Programs
2003 San Diego, CA Maximizing the Potential of Minority Faculty through the Mentoring Process 53
Introduction to Assessing Health-Related Measures in Diverse Populations 77
2004 Washington, DC Development of Community-Based Partnerships in Minority Aging Research 69
2005 Orlando, FLA Approaches for Developing/Adapting/Evaluating Health-Related Concepts and Measures in Diverse Older Populations 71
2006 Dallas, TX Scientific and Professional Writing Skills Workshop for Junior Faculty in Minority Aging Research 57
2007 San Francisco, CA Addressing the National Academy of Science Research Agenda on Diversity Issues 43
2008 National Harbor, MD Two sequential half-day conferences:
Recruitment Strategies for Minority Aging Research and
Retention Strategies for Minority Aging Research

2009 Atlanta, GA Using, Adapting, or Modifying Existing Measures for Studies of Diverse Population Groups 65
2010 New Orleans, LA Making Your Research Count: Strategies for Informing Minority Aging Policy 73
2011 Boston, MA Developing Interventions to Address Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health 74
2012 San Diego, CA Introduction to Patient Reported Outcome Item Banks: Issues in Minority Aging Research 30
2013 New Orleans, LA Maximizing the Impact of Health Disparities Research with Older Adults: Strategies for Engaging Communities and Assessing Outcomes 47
2014 Washington, DC Cognitive Health Disparities and National Policy 79
2015 Orlando, Fl Well-Being Measures in Minority Aging Research and Policy Analyses 45
2016 New Orleans, LA Stigma in Minority Aging Research
2017 San Francisco, CA Reversibility and Mutability Research: Approaches to Reducing Health Disparities
2018 Boston, MA Stress and Resilience: Concepts and Measures for Minority Aging Research