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Current Programs

Over the last decade, the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (WFBMC) has developed and implemented large-scale outreach programs targeting racial and ethnic minorities and older adults. These efforts, using well-established strategies and expertise, have supported numerous clinical trials to improve health care in these under-studied groups.  

Translational Research Navigation

Translational Research Navigation at MACHE advances the conduct of population health research (also known as T4 research), focusing on broad-based, sustainable outcomes that influence health policy in underserved populations. 

The Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Program of the MACHE and the Clinical and Translation Science Institute (CTSI) aims to assist WFBMC investigators by increasing involvement of special populations in clinical studies. The program especially encourages research opportunities for: 

  • older adults (65 years of age and older) 
  • children and adolescents (17 years of age and younger) 
  • underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities 

The goal of the ISP program is to offer services to support clinical studies in the inclusion of special populations to:

  • Meet the health needs of patients across diverse populations.
  • Increase knowledge about the extent to which different subgroups might respond to prevention.
  • Diagnose and treat diseases and assure the safety and effectiveness of prevention. 

Program Services

Our well-established strategies include research-focused services:

  • Research Participant Navigation services supports non-English speaking participants in studies. The research participant navigator plays a key role as a liaison between the research team and the subject, guides study teams in the correct process of consenting non-English speakers, and provides extra sets of hands to support the study team with screening, recruitment and consenting of participants, patient management and other types of assistance involving special populations. The research participant navigator also helps guide non-English speaking participants throughout the research process by offering moral support and continuous interpreting, establishing trust, providing emotional support, and connecting participants to additional hospital and community resources. 

  • The Voucher Program provides financial support for the recruitment of special populations by making funds available for participant transportation, child care, elder care and study advertisement. These resources aim to help studies increase the participation and retention of special population participants. 

  • Consultation Services provides feedback on recruitment strategies for including special populations and reviews and advises on advertisement materials and media outlets. The MACHE team also provides feedback related to diversity sensitivity and offers strategies to increase the interest of special populations to participate in research.  

  • Language Services supports studies through document translation, on-site interpretation and the use of the Video Remote Interpreting system, which connects participants (and their family members) with live, on-demand interpreters for 20 spoken languages, including American Sign Language.  

  • Community Outreach and Education was established to create a presence in the community by participating in community events to educate the general public about the importance of participating in research, and to network with other community organizations to promote research participation.  

  • The Be Involved en Español project advertises in Spanish for studies that are specifically trying to recruit Hispanics. Studies that are part of the Be Involved en Español project have access to all MACHE services and have access to bilingual research staff to seamlessly include Spanish-speaking participants.

Health and Biomedical Science Pipeline Programming

Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) Education initiatives seek to train the next generation of highly competent, culturally diverse scientists and clinicians. These programs are integral to the mission of MACHE and help WFBMC establish and maintain partnerships with local and regional academic centers. 

Health Equity Research Opportunity (HERO)

HERO is a research collaboration program that provides opportunities for long-term relationships with senior faculty from the various Wake Forest School of Medicine departments, centers and partnering organizations to collaborate on projects addressing health disparities. The overall goal of the HERO fellowship is to provide underrepresented junior faculty with the experience and skills that will ignite their research pursuits focused on health disparities.

The eight-week summer research experience is accompanied by three two-day professional advancement workshops. These workshops are facilitated by faculty from Wake Forest School of Medicine and partner institutions such as Winston-Salem State University and North Carolina Central University. Participants are assigned reading materials for each workshop session and active learning exercises such as research proposals, group presentations and discussions.

Who should apply 
Underrepresented minority faculty who have a common interest in biomedical and education pursuits should apply.  

Early-career, post-doctoral faulty members will be recruited from Wake Forest University Health Sciences and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) such as

  • North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University
  • Johnson C. Smith
  • Winston-Salem State University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • Bennett College
  • Livingstone College

Medical Careers and Technology Pipeline (MedCaT)

The MedCaT Pipeline is an academic-community partnership between:

  • Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) 
  • Center for Native Health (CNH)
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) 
  • Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) 

This partnership builds upon the existing programming of each partner and develops new program components to address gaps, creating a structured pipeline to engage American Indian (AI) and Appalachian high school students with resources that support the pursuit of health and biomedical science careers. 

The MedCaT Pipeline works to achieve these goals by:

  • Increasing AI and Appalachian high school student knowledge of, and educational preparation to pursue, health and biomedical science careers.

  • Providing mentorship and scholarship opportunities for AI and Appalachian high school students during undergraduate health and biomedical science education or entrance into the workforce.

  • Increasing high school health science teacher knowledge and ability to implement interactive pedagogy through problem-based learning. 

  • Providing mentorship for high school health science teachers to enable them to better engage students in health and biomedical science education by using relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula and technology tools. 

MedCaT objectives are accomplished through year-round, culturally appropriate components, including:

  • Academic year learning labs facilitated by local community-based organizations.
  • An intensive summer academy on the campuses of Wake Forest University and Wake Forest School of Medicine.
  • Targeted mentorship for students and teachers.

Program highlights include:

  • Sixty-seven percent of seniors from the class of 2017 will be attending a 2- or 4-year college program and plan to major in a health or biomedical science field, with the majority in nursing.
  • An additional 20 percent will enter the health care workforce as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Physical Therapy (PT) assistant.
  • Approximately 75 percent of MedCaT students graduate high school with CNA I, Pharmacy Tech or EMT Basic licensure or certification. 

North Carolina American Indian Health Board (NCAIHB)

The North Carolina American Indian Health Board was formed by the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs in 2009. The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity is proud to serve as the fiscal agent for the NCAIHB. 

The mission of the health board is to promote quality health care and healthy lifestyles within American Indian families and communities in North Carolina through research, education and advocacy.

Our vision is to eliminate health disparities for American Indian communities in North Carolina so American Indians and communities can reach their full potential.

Student Internship Program

The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity Student Internship Program is available to undergraduate, graduate, medical and physician assistant students from Wake Forest School of Medicine and other academic institutions. 

Interested students should use our internship application to apply

Health Equity Education and Training

The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity is committed to providing health equity and training opportunities to internal and external stakeholders. We work closely with our 65 affiliate faculty members to increase multidisciplinary educational opportunities aimed at engaging faculty and staff within Wake Forest, in our partner academic institutions and beyond. We have also established a presence in the community by participating in community events to educate the general public about the importance of participating in research and by networking with other community organizations. 

Quick Reference

Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity


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525 Vine Street
Suite #150, 1st Floor
Winston Salem, NC  27101
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Last Updated: 10-03-2017
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