A Special Evening
MHRC Honors Supporters
The UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) honored devoted supporters last fall with An Evening of Special Tribute at Café Dupont. Honorary chair Charles Barkley, along with Mona Fouad, M.D., director of the MHRC, and Ray Watts, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, thanked the many members of the Birmingham community who were assembled for helping the MHRC establish both UAB and the School of Medicine at UAB as a national leader in health disparities research, training, and outreach.
The evening began with a preview of the latest in a string of MHRC achievements, UAB HealthSmart. “HealthSmart allows us to offer all of the MHRC’s most successful disease- and obesityprevention programs under one roof,” Fouad said. “HealthSmart opened in March 2011, and in just six months provided close to 2,000 health screenings, fitness and nutrition classes, and health education talks to about 800 Birmingham employees and residents. That number grows every day.
“We hosted this more intimate gathering in honor of those who have been our most devoted supporters since the MHRC was founded in 2002,” Fouad continued. “For close to a decade, they have generously supported our work to end health disparities among minority and low-income families in our community.”
After Edward Partridge, M.D., co-director of the UAB MHRC and director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, presented five Health Disparities Research Awards and three Excellence in Mentoring Awards, Fouad presented the inaugural UAB MHRC Charles Barkley Health Disparities Philanthropy Award to Dudley Reynolds, president and COO of Alabama Gas Corporation. Reynolds served as the co-chair of the second annual MHRC Gala and, according to Fouad, “with his charismatic leadership, keen interest, and true commitment, he rallied his corporate peers to understand the importance of MHRC’s mission and to invest in it.” Reynolds continues to support MHRC programs with enthusiasm and optimism.
The 2011 Charles Barkley Health Disparities Research Award recipients were Olivio Clay, Ph.D.; Gareth Dutton, Ph.D.; Shantel Hebert-Magee, M.D.; and Dorothy Pekmezi, Ph.D. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Health Disparities Research Award went to Teresa Magruder, M.D. Receiving the 2011 Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentoring Awards were Andrea Cherrington, M.D.; Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D.; and John Higginbotham, Ph.D. School of Medicine dean Ray Watts, M.D., added, “UAB HealthSmart has the potential to change the course of obesity and chronic diseases in Birmingham, and through your support of the MHRC, you are helping create a healthier community and workforce and making a major positive impact on the health of our city.”