About the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity
The Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity is Ronny Bell, PhD, MS. The MACHE, named in honor of Dr. Maya Angelou (Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University), is addressing one of the most compelling demographic trends in modern American history-the increasing diversity of the U.S. population. Initially focused on African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians, the expertise developed at MACHE will position it as a key national resource to reduce the gap in health disparities for an increasingly diverse society.
National priorities for minority health issues, as outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provide the impetus for MACHE to work to enhance quality outcomes in six target areas: infant mortality, cancer screening and management, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and immunizations.
The MACHE is dedicated to the goal of achieving health equity by: conducting translational research to impact population health, developing sustainable and mutually-beneficial community partnerships, and delivering educational initiatives to diversify the clinical, biomedical, and public health workforce. Forsyth County, North Carolina, has a population that is more than 20% African American and has the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the U.S. Forsyth County and the greater Piedmont Triad region offer an appropriate statistical microcosm of minority populations for clinical research and designing community outreach programs. These programs will be applicable to minority populations in communities across the United States.
The Community Outreach Program aims to model for North Carolina and the broader community best practices and standards in transforming how health and wellness information is translated and delivered to communities, as well as assisting in providing oversight on how partnerships between researchers, community members, and health systems are making a difference for people's health and community centered-research priorities. The Faculty and Student Development Program aims to foster career development of minority faculty and students at WFSM and increase the number of college and pre-college minority students who join health care careers with the overarching purpose of advancing equity of health care for underserved and vulnerable populations. The Research Program aims to become a leader in health equity research, utilizing the resources of the faculty and staff of WFSM and collaborative partners. This program will advance the conduct of population-impact health research (also known as T4 research), focusing on broad-based, sustainable outcomes that influence health policy in underserved populations. The MACHE recently received a P60 Center of Excellence grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (P60MD006917; PI: Dr. Bell), focused on the work of all three of its programs in diabetes and obesity health disparities research, education and training.
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