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Bell Named Director of Angelou Research Center

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Ronny A. Bell, Ph.D., M.S., professor of public health sciences-epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, has been named director of the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health.
“After a nationwide search which attracted a large number of talented candidates, I am pleased to announce that Dr Bell emerged as the leading candidate for the directorship of the Angelou Research Center and has accepted the position,” said William B. Applegate, M.D., dean, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and interim president, Wake Forest University Health Sciences.
“He has been extraordinarily effective as acting director in the last year and has earned the deep trust of all of our faculty and staff. In addition, Dr. Bell is a noted national scholar.”
Bell will further the research center’s mission of health disparities research, community outreach and minority faculty and student development at Wake Forest Baptist.
“I am honored to serve in this capacity, and to share in Maya Angelou's vision in understanding and addressing health disparities in Forsyth County and across the country,” said Bell.
Bell’s primary research interests are chronic disease prevalence, risk factors and prevention with particular emphasis on ethnic minority populations. He also serves as co-director of the Health Sciences Research Master’s Degree Program at the School of Medicine.
A native of Robeson County, Bell is a member of the Lumbee Indian tribe. He received his bachelor’s degree in public health nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a doctorate in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in epidemiology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Bell and his wife, Natalie, live in Greensboro with their three sons.
The Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health was established to address racial and ethnic disparities in health status, health care quality and quality of life. It represents a new model for addressing these issues with collaborative initiatives not only at Wake Forest Baptist, but with local academic institutions and community entities.
The Angelou Research Center’s focus includes: multidisciplinary research on minority health issues, translating research into effective models of care, community outreach and promotion of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical sciences.
It was named in honor of poet Maya Angelou, Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
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Media contact: Jim Steele, (336) 716-3487,, Bonnie Davis,; or Shannon Koontz,, (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 1,154 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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