Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities

Who We Are

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.


Premise

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

CEMHD Associates Win the President's Award for Exemplary Public Engagement, April 25, 2017

Healthy Historic Walking Path


UAlbany principal: Assistant Professor Maeve Kane, History Department
Partners: Orville Abrahams, Director of Community Development, Capital District YMCA

In 2014, the Capital District YMCA received funding from the Sam’s Club Community Grant program of the Walmart Foundation to enact policy, systems and environmental change intended to support health equity in Albany neighborhoods primarily inhabited by African American and Latino residents.

The Y convened a meeting of diverse community stakeholders to discuss options for implementing the grant. The group recommended developing a walking trail that would encourage residents to become more physically active/, raise awareness about the African American history of the city’s neighborhoods/ and better connect downtown residents to civic institutions, like museums and libraries, located right in their own backyards. Orville Abrahams, Director of Community Development for the Capital District Y, turned to the University at Albany’s Department of History for assistance with research and writing. In spring 2015, UAlbany Assistant Professor Maeve Kane offered two service-learning courses in partnership with the Y’s Healthy Historic Walking Paths project. Dr. Kane’s students developed a series of self-guided walking tours through a number of Albany neighborhoods -- including the South End -- and produced a website and mobile app. In its first year, albanywalksforhealth.com logged over 10,000 visitors.Teachers from several Albany schools and afterschool programs are also using the website and its budget-friendly self-guided tours to integrate more local history into their instruction.

The Healthy Historic Walking Paths project is just the first step. In the coming academic year, the Department of History will be offering two additional service learning courses that further explore Albany’s rich African American history. When colleagues describe Lani Jones they use words like capacity builder, trusted, multifaceted, collaborative, stalwart, deeply committed, and exceptional partner. An associate professor in the School of Social Welfare, Lani is known for her high-impact research, her clinical practice, and her service in support of at-risk members of the community. She has served as principle investigator or co-PI on numerous grants that have explored critical social issues including violence, substance abuse, youth opportunity and minority health disparities.She is a nationally-recognized speaker on mental health interventions in underserved populations, and has served on numerous national, state and local health, human service and social service boards to promote social justice for women and their families.Lani has become a champion for school-age children and young adults and a valued partner to the City School District of Albany, establishing outreach and mentoring services, and developing a student scholar athlete program at Albany High.For several years, she has served as the principal investigator for the Liberty Partnerships Rising Stars program at UAlbany, an initiative designed to improve academic outcomes among low income adolescents who are at risk for dropping out. She has also collaborated with the City of Albany’s Commissioner of Work Force Development on the Liberty-Light summer enrichment project, a program that brought over 1,000 youth employment students to campus for personal, career, and workforce development over a four-week period.Lani’s exemplary public engagement efforts are providing much-needed opportunities for students to receive mentoring, tutoring and college-readiness preparation that will inspire, encourage and guide them as they grow emotionally, socially and intellectually.

President's Award for Exemplary Public Engagement, April 25, 2017

Lani Jones

UAlbany principal: Associate Professor Lani Jones, School of Social Welfare

Partners: School of Social Welfare faculty and staff; University at Albany Office of Diversity and Inclusion; City School District of Albany; City of Albany Youth and Workforce Services, New York State Liberty Partnership Program; the Honorable Dorcey Applyrs; and Nathaalie Carey, Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, New York State Department of Labor

When colleagues describe Lani Jones they use words like capacity builder, trusted, multifaceted, collaborative, stalwart, deeply committed, and exceptional partner. An associate professor in the School of Social Welfare, Lani is known for her high-impact research, her clinical practice, and her service in support of at-risk members of the community. She has served as principle investigator or co-PI on numerous grants that have explored critical social issues including violence, substance abuse, youth opportunity and minority health disparities. She is a nationally-recognized speaker on mental health interventions in underserved populations, and has served on numerous national, state and local health, human service and social service boards to promote social justice for women and their families. Lani has become a champion for school-age children and young adults and a valued partner to the City School District of Albany, establishing outreach and mentoring services, and developing a student scholar athlete program at Albany High. For several years, she has served as the principal investigator for the Liberty Partnerships Rising Stars program at UAlbany, an initiative designed to improve academic outcomes among low income adolescents who are at risk for dropping out. She has also collaborated with the City of Albany’s Commissioner of Work Force Development on the Liberty-Light summer enrichment project, a program that brought over 1,000 youth employment students to campus for personal, career, and workforce development over a four-week period. Lani’s exemplary public engagement efforts are providing much-needed opportunities for students to receive mentoring, tutoring and college-readiness preparation that will inspire, encourage and guide them as they grow emotionally, socially and intellectually.


Amsterdam Minority Health Task Force: Health Promotion Initiative

                      (Dr. Blanca Ramos (School of Social Welfare) leads the task force at the Amsterdam Minority Health Task Force held at St. Mary’s Hospital.)                                                                                                                                     

The Amsterdam Minority Health Task Force is pleased to announce the health promotion initiatives in progress within the Amsterdam community. Through CEMHD, University at Albany faculty, and partnerships within St. Mary’s Hospital, the Task Force is in the process of organizing educational trainings, developing health literacy materials, and designing programs to meet community needs!! For more information please email us at cemhd@albany.edu

Five Presidential Doctoral Fellowships Awarded

Lawrence Schell, director of the Center for the Elimination of Health Disparities, at upper right, poses with the Presidential Doctoral Fellows for Research Training, left to right, Melissa Noel, Yajaira Cabrera-Tineo, Kaydian Reid, Wayne Lawrence and Erica Tyler. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

OCTOBER--The first five doctoral students to receive a Presidential Health Disparities Research Training Fellowship were announced in October. The five students -Yajaira Cabrera-Tineo from Counseling Psychology (Education), Melissa Noel from Criminal Justice, Kaydian Reid from Health Policy, Management & Behavior and Wayne Lawrence from Epidemiology & Biostatistics (both Public Health), and Erica Tyler from Anthropology (Arts and Sciences) — have very different fields of study and career goals. However, their constant is a shared commitment to eliminate disparities among minority populations.
The five UAlbany-supported fellows, who themselves are from minority/underrepresented groups, will be joined by others students through the $10 million National Institutes of Health endowment grant awarded the University and its Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD) in April of this year. Lawrence Schell, the director of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, said, "They are drawn from among the best students on the campus and are dedicated to applying the specialized skills and knowledge of their doctoral program to the very serious and national problem of health disparities."
The students will receive training for research and scholarship using transdisciplinary approaches, take courses to obtain a Health Disparities Certificate in semester-long experiential learning with different NGOs, departments of health and/or research groups, participate in professional societies related to health disparities, and be part of a local community health task force convened by CEMHD.

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 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 research capacity of the university in health disparities by increasing the number of graduate students, faculty and researchers in health disparities from minority populations and underrepresented groups.

Key components of the program
The University at Albany will:

  1. Recruit and graduate 10 doctoral students from minority/underrepresented groups who will receive no-cost training for research and scholarship using transdisciplinary approaches, semester-long rotations with different NGOs, departments of health and/or research groups, and participation in professional societies related to health disparities;
  2. 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;
  3. Provide innovatative 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;
  4. Strengthen community outreach, engagement and action plans related to the development of health disparities education, research, practice and policy by supporting 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; Host conferences, symposia and workshops on health disparities that attract national leaders in research health disparities as well as UAlbany students and faculty.

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

 Please welcome the newest additions Tyler Garcia and Shanella Palmer and Johanna Hernandez community service and work-study students to the CEMHD team. Each student will be working during the 2016-2017 academic term and will assist the center in educational and clerical tasks, while learning about health disparities with a focus on minorities and under-served populations.

 

   

 

 

 


_________________________________________________________________________________________



Past Events and Community Activities