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Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health Receives $450,000 Fannie E. Rippel Foundation Grant

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received a $450,000 grant from the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation.

The grant will be used to support health education initiatives across North Carolina through a project titled, “The People’s Clinic: A North Carolina Minority Health Education Collaborative.” The project will target health awareness and health literacy in minority populations including blacks, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos.

“This grant will allow our research center team to reduce communication barriers between medical centers and minority communities that prevent effective dissemination of health knowledge,” said Kristy F. Woods, M.D., director of the Angelou Research Center. “Coalitions involving the research center and community organizations have been developed including Que Pasa Media Inc., The Chronicle, the Cherokee One Feather and the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs. Importantly, this project will address racial and ethnic health disparities.”

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. It is a collaborative effort between Wake Forest University, its medical school, Winston-Salem State University, and Forsyth County.

The center’s focus includes 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

“Key among our goals is support for efforts to reduce or eliminate health disparities between majority and minority populations and with other at-risk populations, including people in underserved urban and rural areas,” said foundation president and chief executive officer, Barbara Vanderkolk Gardner.

“We are very proud to partner with the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health in this innovative endeavor.”

The foundation was incorporated in 1953 and has awarded grants amounting to more than $114 million.

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

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center 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 1,187 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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