2023 HERS Main Photo 4

The Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center (MHERC) is actively addressing the underrepresentation of minority researchers and healthcare professionals. Our training curriculum is strategically designed to attract and equip prospective researchers, guiding them from their undergraduate years through postdoctoral fellowships. This process establishes a continuous stream of dedicated researchers committed to achieving health equity. As we prepare to bid farewell to the summer season, we're delighted to provide a recap of some of our summer training initiatives.

2023 HERS Main Photo 3With over 570 visits since 2019, the Doc on the Spot Community Care Clinic has been a source of preventive healthcare for underinsured residents of Orrville, Alabama. As the program's current phase draws to a close, its impact for addressing healthcare disparities in rural areas is undeniable. 

Brenda Collins, an unwavering community liaison, has been a constant and reassuring figure, extending her assistance and support. Collins’ commitment shines as she shares, "Our community flourishes when we help each other; I’m passionate about encouraging others and showing acts of kindness to the patients.” 

EMOT ECON BHM 400x400The Emotional Well-Being & Economic Burden Research Network (EMOT-ECON), a collaboration between the University of Alabama at Birmingham Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is hosting their second annual scientific meeting.

During this two-day event—October 16-17—attendees will discover the latest research on the economic impact of disease from network members, while engaging in inspiring discussions with multi-disciplinary leaders in the field.

2023 HERS Main PhotoAn innovative, groundbreaking effort to improve communications between teens and law enforcement took place on July 20, 2023. The "Law in Your Community" event garnered the participation of enthusiactic teens and Bessemer law enforcement officials with the objective to improve relations between individuals aged 11 to 18 and the police force. The event featured hands-on training sessions covering federal, state, and local law.

Lasure LHSA High ResChiquita Brooks-LaSure—Administrator for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—visited the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to discuss health equity with subject-matter experts. With its long-standing history in health disparities and goal to achieve health equity, the UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center was selected to host visitors at the special event. During this multi-part panel, our nation’s leaders heard about the impact programs such as Grand Challenge winner Live HealthSmart Alabama are having in the community.

2023 HERS Main Photo

The 2023 UAB Health Equity Research Symposium, "Turning the Vision of Health Equity into Reality," was held at the Birmingham Hilton at UAB on April 20th. The event brought together over 200 researchers, practitioners, students, and community partners to address several themes surrounding health disparities and health equity.

HERS Giles ArticleEach April, National Minority Health Month is observed to raise awareness about the health disparities and premature mortality faced by racial and ethnic minority groups. The conversations had during this month not only shine a light on the important work being done to improve the health and wellness of these groups but also helps shape the policies, systems, and environments that can reduce such disparities to create health equity.

As the UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center commemorates this year’s National Minority Health Month, we prepare for the 16th UAB Health Equity Research Symposium (HERS)—the first in person since 2019. Formerly known as the Health Disparities Research Symposium, HERS is a day-long event comprised of poster sessions, oral presentations, and a keynote speaker.

Mona AAMCOn Saturday, November 12, 2022, Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH— Associate Vice President for UAB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Senior Associate Dean for Heersink School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and Director of the UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center—accepted the Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual conference in Nashville, TN. 

The UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center hosted its annual UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium on Thursday, September 8, 2022.

The virtual symposium was part of the Center's 20th Anniversary, celebrated throughout September. 

The session, which was moderated by Regina Benjamin, M.D., 18th United States surgeon general, included the following panelists:

MHERC Article LogoThere have long been significant differences in health across race, income, education, and geographic location. In Alabama and in the Deep South, the impact of these differences is seen everywhere, from the state’s largest cities to most rural areas. 

For 20 years, the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities research center has taken a comprehensive, science-first approach to improve the health of people in historically under-resourced areas—with efforts in research, training, and community engagement.

In November 2021, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuskegee University received a first of its kind $13.7 million grant to further inclusive excellence in research across both institutions. As part of that effort, the program is now recruiting 12 new early career research faculty members.

Ann Arbor June 17, 2022

Obesity increases the risk of health conditions such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. Recent findings have also revealed that obesity is a risk factor for hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. In a new supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, researchers identify the complex contributors to obesity and obesity-related health disparities and propose strategies for improving the wellbeing of populations impacted by these disparities.


Radx CEAL Article ImageNew York, NY, June 1, 2022 — The Vilcek Foundation and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation are pleased to announce that the 2022 Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare will be presented to Dr. Mona Fouad, MD, MPH.

Written by: Anne Heaney

The UAB Division of Preventive Medicine (DOPM) was awarded a grant from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reduce violent crime in Bessemer, Alabama and improve relationships between community residents and police officers.

On June 11, 2021, Tuskegee University in partnership with Alabama CEAL, hosted a virtual citizen forum "On the Vaccine Fence: Connecting Spirituality & Science to Make Informed Decisions," to answer questions and address concerns surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. 

If you were unable to attend, below is a full video of the Zoom session. 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center and the Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) will use funding from a recent grant to launch an intensive multi-year summer experience: UAB Research in Aging through Mentorship and Practice—Undergraduate Program (UAB RAMP-UP).

To reduce health disparities in older adults, diversity of research is imperative. Ensuring this diversity is maintained requires the strategic nurturing of pipeline training programs such as RAMP-UP.

RAMP-UP gives underrepresented and rural undergraduate students a team of mentors to support their educational achievements and career development. Each mentorship team consists of a personal advocate, academic mentor, and career coach.

Lori B Minority Health Feature WebFor those following along with our Minority Health Month researcher spotlights, we started the month by introducing you to Dr. Maria Pisu, who is pioneering research in EMOT-ECON (the relationship between the financial burden of disease and the effect it has on a person’s emotional well-being). Then, last week we showed you what Dr. Mona Fouad has been working on and the journey she took to get there.

Now, we want to introduce you to Lori Bateman, Ph.D., R.D., who is the principal investigator for YES! We Can Play. If you’re not familiar with the program, YES! We Can Play is working hard to solve a unique sports programming dilemma in Birmingham’s City Schools. In middle school, sixth-graders no longer have time for recess yet are ineligible to play on the sports teams offered to 7th and 8th-grade students. Additionally, many students don’t have access to the recreation or club sports that are available to wealthier families.

web fouad featureIf you’re following our National Minority Health Month series, you might remember that earlier, we shined a light on the work we’re doing in partnership with the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Schools of Medicine and Public Health & Health Professions.

Alabama CEAL is working to help demystify COVID Vaccines by addressing the myths and misconceptions surrounding them. Working specifically within our underserved populations, CEAL aims to help those disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to promote and facilitate the inclusion and participation of the underserved minorities, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded an effort for outreach and engagement. Leading that effort is Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH.

To get insight into Dr. Fouad’s journey to becoming the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Director and Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine, and Director of the Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center, we asked her to participate in a Q&A.

web emot econ feature dr pisuThroughout the pandemic, there has been a big focus on health disparities and the consequences they have on minorities. At UAB, we have world-renowned researchers that focus on determining why these disparities exist and ways to reduce the gap.

In the spirit of National Minority Health Month (April), we set out to help raise awareness for the different programs that operate out of the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center. First, we spotlighted EMOT-ECON—which pays attention to the financial burden of a disease and its effect on a person’s emotional well-being.

To help you learn more about the woman leading this program, we are interviewing Maria Pisu, Ph.D. and professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine.

HHK Run MapWith the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) Young Professionals Board opted to postpone its annual Harlem in the ‘Ham event and in favor of a more socially distanced option.

This past December, MHRC Young Professionals Board hosted the inaugural Holiday Hustle virtual 5K for Healthy Happy Kids (HHK).

Runners, walkers, and crawlers were invited to participate while wearing their wildest, zaniest, and most fun Holiday attire. This virtual event occurred over the course of a week. During this timeframe, participants could run at their own pace, in their own space.