2023 - All Press Releases

Grassroots to green shoots: community-led research helps tackle health inequities around the world

Innovative programmes in care for the deaf, refugee health, HIV, mental health and bipolar disorder recognised as inaugural winners of Inclusive Health Research awards by Nature and Takeda.

London | Cambridge, US | São Paulo, 27 July 2023

The Inclusive Health Research awards — established by Nature Awards, part of Springer Nature, in partnership with Takeda — celebrate those who are driving a more inclusive approach to health research and, in doing so, promote a future of greater health equity globally. 

Last night, following a conference on health disparities in Brazil at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo led by Nature Medicine with support from Takeda, the 2023 winners were announced: 

  • HEAlth caRe needs of the Deaf (HEARD) project - A mobile app addressing the barriers deaf individuals face when accessing healthcare due to low health literacy and limited communication options. Uma Palanisamy, Monash University, Malaysia.
  • Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health: Power of Sharing Newcomer Stories Program - Student leaders using teamwork and intersectoral collaboration to support newly arriving refugee families supporting inclusion and future health equity research. Kevin Pottie, Western University, Canada.
  • More Than a Pill: Producing the story of adherence to ART for young women living with perinatal HIV - A documentary and artistic exhibition to spark conversations around how environments can help young women living with perinatal infections of HIV to thrive. Lynn Hendricks, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
  • Caring for Carers: a psychosocial supervision intervention for mental health practitioners - A project that evaluates a clinical supervision program for mental health and psychosocial support practitioners working with displaced Syrians in Northwest Syria and Türkiye, and Rohingya in Bangladesh. Ruth Wells, University of New South Wales, Australia.
  • Māori and Bipolar Disorder Research Project - A project that utilised a Kaupapa Māori, multi-methodology research design in partnership with three mental health service sites to explore the health profile, needs, and systemic factors impacting the wellbeing of Māori with bipolar disorder. Tracy Haitana, Department of Māori Indigenous Health Innovation (MIHI), University of Otago, New Zealand.

A library of case studies that demonstrate best practice in inclusive health research from the awards winners and other highly commended applicants can be accessed free on a dedicated web page.

On inclusive health research, Helena Jensen, Head of Grants & Awards, Springer Nature said: “Springer Nature has championed excellence in research for more than a century. We firmly believe that building real inclusivity into all life science research is an essential tool for increasing the quality and relevance of research that affects the everyday lives of us all.”

On the awards, Jensen added: “Our award winners perfectly demonstrate what is possible when researchers understand how collaborative approaches result in better research outcomes, as well as in more cost-effective, accessible solutions for everyone. Working with Takeda we have seen extraordinary examples of the breadth of the work being done to bring research scientists together with patient groups and community organisations to address unmet health needs and we are delighted to be able support these teams in sharing their approaches as widely as possible.”

Charlotte Owens, M.D., Vice President and Head of Takeda’s Center for Health Equity and Patient Affairs said: “Achieving health equity – where everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to reach their full health potential – is a big goal and we must start by addressing the root causes to create impactful, sustainable solutions. We are incredibly proud of our partnership and are pleased to recognize the great work that's being accomplished by the award winners to advance health equity around the world.”

The awards and the conference form part of an ongoing programme of activities on health equity delivered through Springer Nature and Takeda’s partnership. Together, Springer Nature and Takeda aim to build awareness on key issues through storytelling, convene thought leaders to identify solutions and encourage adoption of best practice. 

More on the partnership can be found here.


Notes to Editors

HEAlth caRe needs of the Deaf (HEARD) project and Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health: Power of Sharing Newcomer Stories Program each received a €20,000 cash prize. More Than a Pill, Caring for Carers and the Māori and Bipolar Disorder Research Project will share a €20,000 prize.

The funds must be used in line with the spirit and goals of this award to develop a more inclusive health research ecosystem. As such it can be used to support the development of the project towards positive impact.

Further information can be found on the awards page here.

The Nature Medicine conference took place on 26 July at the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital, São Paolo, Brazil. Speakers included Alceu Karipuna, Akari Institute; Christiani Vieiera Machado, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz); Juliane Oliveira, CIDACS; and Lorena Barberia, University of São Paulo.

About the Springer Nature Group

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About Takeda

Takeda is focused on creating better health for people and a brighter future for the world. We aim to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments in our core therapeutic and business areas, including gastrointestinal and inflammation, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, oncology, neuroscience and vaccines. Together with our partners, we aim to improve the patient experience and advance a new frontier of treatment options through our dynamic and diverse pipeline. As a leading values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, we are guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Our employees in approximately 80 countries and regions are driven by our purpose and are grounded in the values that have defined us for more than two centuries. 

For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com 

About the Takeda Center for Health Equity and Patient Affairs (HEPA) 

Takeda’s Center for Health Equity and Patient Affairs (HEPA) is gathering diverse perspectives from people around the world and developing a broad eco-system of partners to ensure that these voices are heard and that equity considerations are embedded into both our R&D and patient access activities. The Center collaborates with diverse partners, including patients, communities and organizations, as well as public and private organizations, to identify and address health inequities in communities.  Within Takeda, HEPA sits at the intersection of research and access activities, serving as a center of excellence to all business units. 


Sam Sule | Communications | Springer Nature