NIH Spends $388K to Eliminate Health Disparities among Taxi Drivers

By Melanie Arter | August 5, 2014 | 12:30 PM EDT

(AP Photo)

( – The National Institutes of Health gave $388,336 to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to eliminate health disparities among taxi drivers.

The grant estimates that “there are over 230,000 taxi drivers in the U.S., and 42,000 in New York City, where 84% are immigrant.”

“Taxi drivers are at great risk for poor health, with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) and overlapping cancer risk, due to stress, diet, sedentary lifestyle, environmental exposures, and poor health care access,” said the grant.

The goal of the proposal “is to create a robust community-based participatory research (CBPR) infrastructure that taps into the many assets of the taxi driver community, to work towards the elimination of health disparities in this large at-risk group.”

The specific aims include:

  1. “To develop a robust, enduring, fluid CBPR program with the large NYC taxi driver community, co-led by community and scientific research partners, with an active Taxi CAB (Community Advisory/Action Board), and Advisory and Steering Committees, to create a platform for co-learning, sharing resources and dissemination of outreach, education, service delivery, research, and policy action projects, to improve the cardiovascular health of this large at-risk community.”
  1. “To work with the Taxi CAB to use a mixed methods approach of focus groups, key informant interviews, questionnaires, social network analysis, and resource mapping to conduct a detailed analysis of the health-related priorities, needs and assets of the taxi driver community, and the potential points and methods of intervention.”
  1. And finally, “To design and pilot a CBPR CVD risk reduction pedometer exercise study, tailored to reflect the unique circumstances of the taxi driver community and capitalizing on assets such as their social networks and the window of opportunity of the airport holding lot.”

“Taxi Network has been developed through an ongoing, iterative process with the community, and builds upon extensive preliminary work in this area,” the grant said.

The project start date was Jan. 1, 2013 and ends Dec. 31, 2015. The budget start date is Jan. 1, 2014 and ends Dec. 31, 2014. contacted Francesa Gany, the project leader, but calls were not returned by press time.