Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships

Principal Investigators: 
Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
James M. Shikany, DrPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Badrinath Konety, MD, MBA, University of Minnesota

Community Partners:
National Football League
100 Black Men of America, Inc.
National USA Foundation, Inc.

Program Director: Sheikilya Thomas, PhD
Funding Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Grant Number U54MD008620


The Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS), a consortium of academic centers and community organizations, is a first-ever collaborative center working to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions to improve African American men's health through research, outreach, and training.

The effort is led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Minnesota, with mutidisciplinary teams of investigators and national experts in diverse fields. Community partners include the National Football League, 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and the National USA Foundation, who have strong relationships with African American communities. These relationships are essential in developing collaborative strategies to change the current health trajectory of African American men. 

Why a new approach?

Research on African American men’s health typically focuses on disease risk factors. A comprehensive interventional approach to eliminate the health risk has largely been ignored, until now.  

CHAAMPS researchers are investigating the socioeconomic, behavioral, and biological factors that drive and sustain the pronounced disparities in African American men, in such areas as unintentional and violence-related injuries, cardiovascular disease, prostate and other cancers, diabetes, and stroke. 

Clinical research on poor health outcomes in African American men often neglects the multiple, complex interplay of socio-environmental, behavioral, and bio-physiological influences responsible for differential health outcomes. By investigating the socioeconomic and environmental factors involved in African American men’s health, CHAAMPS takes a life-course approach, pinpointing critical periods in a man's life, such as youth/adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and old adulthood, when social context may be more salient in the way it affects physiology or shapes health behavior.  

This integrative approach seeks to understand how risk of disease is differentially acquired and manifested and how it can be eliminated.


2015 Pilot Projects Announced
CHAAMPS Community Engagement Webinar