About us

As communities become more and more diverse, obstacles to health and wellbeing created by language and cultural differences emerge. Finding ways to improve the availability of health services and eliminate health disparities for an increasingly diverse and mobile community is a commitment of the Binational/Cross Cultural Health Enhancement Center (BiCCHEC) at IUPUI.

Since 1980, Indiana’s Latino population has grown by 400 percent. It is estimated that as many as 20 Latino families relocate to Indianapolis each week. And projections show the numbers continuing to rise over the next 10-15 years. This situation provides Indiana with a special opportunity. Because its Latino population is still relatively small, the state has time to create culturally, financially sound, just, and enriching approaches that address the needs of a multicultural society. The BiCCHEC is taking a leadership role in promoting this opportunity through its translational research that produces programs, training, and applications that improve the quality of life.

BiCCHEC fosters multidisciplinary research collaborations that address the biological, cultural, historical, legal, behavioral and demographic issues that impact the health status of communities where Latinos are born and where they live in Indiana. BiCCHEC, with a commitment not only to research but also to teaching and service, develops and utilizes approaches and applications that are culturally relevant, practical, just, reciprocal, and always in partnership with communities.

The Center’s researchers work in the following areas:

  • Oral health
  • Nutrition
  • Behaviors and social determinants of health
  • Obesity and Type 2 diabetes
  • Health implications of the immigration phenomena
  • International service-learning, including:
    • Preparation of students for immersion experiences
    • Issues of cultural sensitivity
    • Diversity and global (vs. domestic) civic responsibility
    • Implementation of service projects responsive to community needs as part of service learning programs.
  • Promotion of community-oriented primary care, community service, education and advocacy following the model of community engaged scholarship