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Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health Receives $209,000 Grant

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received a $209,552 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to create a health education program targeting North Carolina’s growing Hispanic/Latino population.

The Angelou Center has partnered with Que Pasa Hispanic newspaper and radio to broadcast a weekly health call-in radio program and publish a weekly health column. Que Pasa is the largest Hispanic media company in the state with three radio stations, 1380AM (Winston-Salem), 1470AM (Greensboro, Burlington and Mebane) and 1030AM (Raleigh and Durham). A fourth station in Charlotte is anticipated this fall. Its weekly newspaper is distributed throughout the state, free to the public.

The Spanish-language radio program, “La Clinica del Pueblo,” (The People’s Clinic), will be hosted by Jorge Calles-Escandon, M.D., associate professor of endocrinology at Wake Forest Baptist and Eva Gomez, R.N. an Hispanic patient educator at Brenner Children’s Hospital. It will air Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.

The half-hour educational program will include physicians, clinical staff and others from Wake Forest Baptist and the health care community at large. The column, with the same name, will be published on Wednesdays as well. Topics will include childhood health, safety, adult health and access to health care. A media campaign, including print, broadcast and outdoor advertising, will promote the project, which is scheduled to begin in September.

“The Hispanic Health Media Project will give us the power to reach thousands of the state’s Hispanics and Latinos with practical health information that we hope will improve the well-being of this largely immigrant population,” said Kristy F. Woods, M.D., director of the Angelou Center and professor of medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. “Listeners to the radio program will be able to call in with specific questions about health issues, whether related to the show’s weekly topic or not.”

According to the latest census figures, the state’s Hispanic/Latino population has increased by almost 400 percent—from 76,000 in 1990 to nearly 379,000 in 2000.

“Hispanics and Latinos in our state have a higher rate of poverty—27.4 percent compared to African-Americans at 25 percent and non-Hispanic whites at 8.5 percent. And, approximately 54 percent of the state’s Hispanic/Latino adults have no health insurance,” said Vanessa Duren-Winfield, M.S., research associate for the Hispanic Media Project. “Also, people in this population have a higher death rate from motor vehicle accidents and homicides.”

Duren-Winfield says that the project is designed to serve the state’s Hispanic/Latino population in four specific ways:
• Promote healthy lifestyle behaviors.
• Disseminate scientifically-sound and culturally-sensitive health information.
• Improve health care utilization.
• Provide a database of available local health care resources.

The Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health was established to close the gap in health, quality of life, and lifespan differences between minority populations and the general population. In addition, the center focuses on advancing research on health issues affecting minorities, developing health care approaches based on research findings, promoting medical career development among underrepresented minorities, and providing outreach programs and national symposia to promote these objectives.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was created in 1947 by the will of Mrs. William N. Reynolds of Winston-Salem. Three-fourths of the trust’s grants are designated for use in health-related programs and services across North Carolina and one-fourth for the poor and needy of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

For information about the Hispanic Media Project, contact the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health, 336-713-7600.

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Media Contacts: Jim Steele, jsteele@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.


About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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