From Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Wake Forest establishes Maya Angelou Research Center on minority health WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest University School of Medicine has established the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health to develop methods to close the health gap between minorities and the rest of the United States population.
The medical school recently received two significant grants to assist in establishing the center: a grant of $500,000 from The Duke Endowment and a grant of $80,000 from The Winston-Salem Foundation. Wake Forest seeks to raise a $20 million endowment to operate the center. Angelou, a poet, author, civil-rights activist and Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University, serves on the center's steering committee. Also on the steering committee are Robert J. Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of B&C Associates Inc., an international public relations firm based in High Point, and Eldridge C. Hanes, vice chairman of the Encore Group, a giftware company with administrative offices in Winston-Salem. Brown and Hanes co-chair the center's national advisory board.
The center's national advisory board is made up of internationally known leaders including: · Coretta Scott King, Atlanta, Ga. - Civil rights and peace crusader and widow of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1968, she established the King Center, part of a 23-acre national historic park that hosts over one million visitors annually.
· The Honorable Andrew Young, Atlanta, Ga. - Chairman, GoodWorks International. Young is the former ambassador to the United Nations, has served three terms in the United States House of Representatives from the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia, and served two terms as mayor of Atlanta. He was co-chairman of the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.
· Henry Cisneros, San Antonio, Texas - Chairman and chief executive officer, American CityVista. Former secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
· Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Chapel Hill, N.C. - Physician, former chairman and chief executive officer of Glaxo Inc.
· Crandall Close Bowles, Charlotte, N.C. - Chief executive officer and president, Springs Industries Inc., Fort Mill, S.C.
· Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., Denver, Colo. - Scholar, Jungian psychoanalyst, award-winning poet and best-selling author, "Women Who Run With the Wolves," 1992.
· Levi Watkins Jr., M.D., Baltimore, Md. - Professor of surgery and associate dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
· Robert J. Wright, Dallas, Texas. - Chairman and chief executive officer, Medical Cities Inc.
· Peter Jannetta, M.D., Pittsburgh, Pa. - Professor of neurosurgery, Allegheny General Hospital.
Underrepresented minority Americans - African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and Alaskan Native citizens - are less likely than white Americans to live long and healthy lives. These same groups are also underrepresented in the biomedical research community as participants, investigators or practitioners. As a result, doctors know less about the prevention, expression or treatment of diseases in these groups.
"Wake Forest University School of Medicine is refocusing its efforts in order to address these health issues," said Richard H. Dean, M.D., president, Wake Forest University Health Sciences. "Through this new collaboration between Maya Angelou and the medical school, we will examine how we recruit and train medical students and researchers and increase opportunities in these areas, collaborate with other institutions and community organizations in how we attract volunteers for clinical trials and expand the scope of our research regarding the major killers of minorities in America. Our goal is full inclusion of all people in the scientific discussion of how we live, stay well and manage illness in this country."
In creating the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health, Wake Forest University School of Medicine will establish:
· Campus and community partnerships both with Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university, and with the local community to create a nationally recognized model for addressing racial and ethnic health disparities.
· Nationally recognized programs in underrepresented minority health education.
· Nationally recognized research on underrepresented minority health related areas and in the development of mechanisms for the translation of new research findings into efficient, cost-effective preventive health care for underrepresented minority populations.
· The school's leadership in the development and career advancement of underrepresented minority researchers, educators, clinicians and leaders.
"In establishing the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health, we will create a model that can be replicated to serve the health needs of other communities across the nation," said Dean.
The School of Medicine already has a broad range of leading research and clinical programs in the six major focus areas in minority health targeted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services: infant mortality; cancer screening and management; cardiovascular diseases; diabetes; HIV infection; and child and adult immunizations.
The programs range from basic and clinical studies on contributing factors for the development of hypertension and other vascular diseases in African Americans to a federally funded study designed to address cultural barriers to breast cancer screening. In addition, the Downtown Health Plaza of Baptist Hospital serves most of the uninsured children in Forsyth County and approximately half of the children with Medicaid coverage.
The racially diverse population of Forsyth County and the burden of disease and prevalence of risk factors in the community create an appropriate setting for the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health, as well as an urgent need for applying multidisciplinary approaches to issues of minority health
In addressing these health issues locally, the center seeks to enhance wellness, improve quality of life and reduce the burden of disease in underrepresented minorities in the nation through education and research and by disseminating and translating new research findings into effective and efficient health care approaches.
The center has recruited a strong regional board of advisors to assist in its efforts. Members include:
· Velma Watts, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Emeritus, Director of Minority Affairs Emeritus Associate Professor of Medical Education Emeritus Wake Forest University School of Medicine
· Richard Janeway, M.D., Executive Vice President Emeritus Wake Forest University School of Medicine
· Martha Wood, former Winston-Salem Mayor
· Rev. Serenus T. Churn Sr. Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church
· Jose A. Isasi, CEO Hispanic Group
· Ramon Velez, M.D., Professor Internal Medicine-General Internal Medicine Wake Forest University School of Medicine
· Beth N. Hopkins, Attorney Adjunct Professor, Wake Forest University
· Miriam Hernandez Hispanic Action Plan Office
· David Branch, M.D., Ophthalmologist
· Jean Irvin, Vice-Chairwoman Juvenile Justice Council
A search committee has been formed to identify an executive director.
Contact: Jim Steele (email@example.com) or Mark Wright,(firstname.lastname@example.org) (336) 716-4587