Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities

Who We Are

The University at Albany has been awarded a significant public engagement award from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities to offer transdisciplinary training to students pursuing any Ph.D or Dr.Ph. 

CEMHD (Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities), is a collaborative effort focusing on minority health disparities in the smaller cities and towns of New York. We work toward eliminating health disparities by developing capacity in faculty at the University at Albany and partnering with community groups to identify their health concerns and the sources of disparities, and then plan, implement and test strategies to alleviate them. CEMHD is a partnership among community groups, hospitals, state and county health departments, the State of New York and the University at Albany.


CEMHD's focus on minorities and under-served populations in the smaller cities and towns of Upstate New York is premised upon the notion that health disparities found in these areas differ from those in the larger cities, and that the appropriate solutions will also differ. Since most of the research on minority health disparities, and the programs that have resulted from it, has focused on populations in large cities, relatively little is known about the distinct causes of poorer health among minorities in smaller cities. Therefore, another reason for our geographical emphasis is to fill in a gap in the research and to initiate and test the appropriate solutions.

Center News

UAlbany Leads Landmark Public Engagement Initiative to Address Minority Health Disparities
$10 Million Endowment Grant from NIMHD Positions University as the Leading Northeast Hub for Health Disparities Education and Research

The endeavor is being supported by a $10 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) endowment grant spearheaded by UAlbany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD) with support through NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).

The project aims to increase the number of graduate students, faculty and researchers in health disparities from minority populations and underrepresented groups, and will seek to establish the UAlbany Endowment for Community-based Health Disparities Research and Training, with the endowment revenue supporting an array of educational and research initiatives.

Implementing the Breadth of the Program
Under the five-year NIMHD grant program, UAlbany will build a pipeline and new cohort of Ph.D. students from diverse populations by creating a Health Disparities Student Program. UAlbany will recruit and graduate 10 doctoral students from minority/underrepresented groups who will receive training for research and scholarship using transdisciplinary approaches.
UAlbany will concurrently recruit an Endowed Health Disparities Chair with nationally recognized expertise to anchor and lead the University’s research, training and community outreach endeavors in health disparities. The Endowed Chair will serve as a leader-catalyst in building a community of inclusive excellence spanning the health disparities disciplines, while at the same time, play a critical role in UAlbany’s plans to further diversify its campus community.
UAlbany will also develop innovative transdisciplinary health disparities education and training including the creation of new curricula to strengthen academic programs related to health disparities, a new master’s degree-level program focused on health disparities, and the establishment of an epigenetics lecture and laboratory course at the graduate level.
The NIMHD grant will also enable UAlbany to strengthen community outreach, engagement and action plans related to the development of health disparities education, research, practice and policy. UAlbany will first reinvigorate the CEMHD’s existing minority health task forces in Albany and Amsterdam, N.Y., and will create new health disparities task forces in other regions in the future.

“Through the creation of a permanent institutional endowment fund dedicated for health disparities research training, UAlbany will provide novel pathways and opportunities to build a more diverse workforce and to create a more conducive scholarly environment for teaching and research to meet the societal challenges of health disparities,” said Schell.
The NIMHD grant will also address a presidential priority of growing UAlbany’s endowment to $100 million in five years. The NIMHD award contribute significantly to this effort, by helping to create a portfolio of investment addressing the training of scientists to study, create new knowledge, and implement changes to eliminate Minority Health Disparities.

If you are interested in applying for the fellowship, more information is available here or in this printable brochure.

CEMHD is very pleased to announce some personnel additions.

Two outstanding people have joined CEMHD primarily to support the community engagement mission of the center. Each will be responsible for supporting the center’s engagement with the community health task forces in Albany and Amsterdam.

Lauren Dasen is currently a fourth-year student in the University at Albany’s Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program. As a first-generation Panamanian/Cuban-American, Lauren’s interest in CEMHD is both personal and professional. Her academic research interests include investigating sociocultural determinants of mental and physical health among Latinos. She incorporates social justice principles into her teaching, research, and clinical work (which she conducts in both Spanish and English). Lauren would like to continue her involvement in these areas after graduation and promote health at both individual and community levels.

Raven Profit received a dual Bachelor's degree of Arts and Science from the University at Albany. Currently, she is a pre-medical post- baccalaureate scholar at the Sage Colleges. She also is a Consultant with two consulting firms in collaboration with the Federal Children’s Bureau where she conducts reviews of states NYTD data collection efforts.. Prior to joining CEMHD, Raven studied medical Spanish terminology abroad in Santiago, Chile. Raven is an active participant in child welfare reform efforts and assists foster children by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to navigate the U.S. child welfare system. She is currently studying to become a licensed Physician and is interested in spearheading change in health outcomes through medicine, education and public health. She has been highlighted by UAlbany World of Difference, New York Daily News, Children’s Rights Magazine and CNN News.  


Past Events and Community Activities


Engage for Change 

Regional Conference on Community Engagement

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Siena College, Loudenville NY


Dr Alan Dyson, Professor of Education
& Co-Director of the Centre for Equality in Education
University of Manchester, UK

Challenges Faced by Schools in the Current Environment & Options for Developing the Capacity to Address These Challenges
A Duscussion and Panel
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Science Library Standish Room

19th Annual Caregiver Resource Day
"Tools for Caregivers: Resources You Can Use When a Senior Relies on You."

Saturday, April 16, 2016
St. Sophia's Church


Conversations for Juvenile Justice Reform
Bridges Out of Poverty

Wednesday & Thursday April 13th & 14th, 2016
Children's Home, Schenectady NY


A Day's Work

An award-winning movie documenting the tragic death of a temporary worker on his first day at work followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Dave Desario, Lew Papenfuse (Worker Justice center of NY) and others.

Thursday, March 24th, 2016
Albany Law School
Dean Alexander Moot Court Room


African American History Film and Discussion Series

Every Thursday from February 4 - March 3
Albany Housing Authority


Business Opportunity Day
Are you thinking of starting a business?
Are you in a business but want to do better?

Saturday, January 16th, 2016
East Main Street, Amsterdam

  "Race Still Matters! A Dialogue on Race: The State of Black Albany"

Friday evenings in February
Macedonia Fellowship Hall
  The Art & Science of Mentoring: A Focus on Mentoring Black Males

Saturday, January 16, 2016
Macedonia Fellowship Hall