Media contact: Beena Thannickal
The Black Belt Community Foundation recently honored Edward Partridge, M.D., former director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, as its 2019 Black Belt Legacy Award recipient. Partridge was awarded for his tireless efforts in addressing cancer disparities among the Deep South’s underserved population.
Partridge’s clinical and research interests have always been in cancer control and prevention, community-based participatory research, gynecologic oncology, and minority health disparities. In fact, his efforts helped gain Alabama participation in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which allows women diagnosed with an abnormal mammogram to receive treatment regardless of financial means.
Partridge has launched many outreach programs in the Black Belt to promote cancer screening and to connect low-income patients to proper care. Under his leadership, the Cancer Center trained and supported more than 1,700 community health advisers — natural, non-medical helpers from within the community — to provide evidence-based interventions to promote healthy behaviors among the underserved.
Partridge has also taken on the challenge of improving African American participation rates in clinical trials. He has developed strategies to help patients overcome barriers in their communities and has implemented ways to help them navigate the health care system. Partridge has also partnered with historically black institutions, including Tuskegee University and Morehouse School of Medicine, to further bolster cancer disparities research.
The Black Belt Legacy Dinner is held annually to honor leaders throughout Alabama who have made a significant impact and demonstrated long-standing commitment to building a stronger Black Belt region. UAB President Ray L. Watts, M.D., served as this year’s event chairperson.
Funds raised through the annual Legacy Dinner help support community-based nonprofits working to increase graduation rates, improve reading levels, use the arts to teach math and much more.