Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities

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

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.

RAVEN PROFIT received her bachelor’s degree from UAlbany with a double major in Sociology and Women’s Studies and a minor in Public Health. 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 child welfare agencies. Prior to joining CEMHD, Raven studied medical Spanish terminology abroad in Santiago, Chile and received a dual Bachelor's of Arts and Science degree from the University at Albany. 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 aspires to become a physician one day 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. 

PATRICA CABRERA is originally from Tampa Florida. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Prior to her graduate training, she worked as a research coordinator at Moffitt Cancer Hospital, which sparked her interest in better understanding the intersection of physical and mental health outcomes. Since beginning her training in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program in 2011, Patricia has collaborated on several research projects, engaged in clinical work, and continued her active involvement in community service. Currently, her research interests focus on better understanding quality of life outcomes and resiliency building in populations with physical health deterioration and trauma, with particular attention to the ways in which such conditions influence romantic relationships, families, and treatment outcomes.




Macedonia Baptist Church
Rites of Passage: Excellence and Success (ROPES) Program

Invites you to attend

“Genealogy 101:
Tracing Your Family Roots”

Presented by Kim Wilson Owens, LCSW, CSAC and Alfonzo B. Owens, III, DMD
Come attend an introductory session on finding your ancestors.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Light refreshments served

Macedonia Baptist Church
26 Wilson Avenue
Colonie, NY 12205
Please call the church office to RSVP @ 518-489-4370

Co-Sponsored by:
The Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities

CEMHD is pleased to announce our spring 2015 speaker


Frank Dillon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Educational & Counseling Psychology

 Frank R. Dillon (Ph.D. University of Missouri - Columbia). Dr. Dillon joined the UAlbany Counseling Psychology faculty in Fall 2014.  His research addresses health disparities and mental health issues affecting racial, ethnic, and sexual minority groups in the United States. His principal research interests are (1) studying cultural and social determinants of health including substance use disorders and HIV risk behaviors, (2) developing culturally relevant and valid psychosocial measures, and (3) promoting multicultural competent counseling interventions and education. He has published on these topics in outlets such as the Journal of Counseling Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, AIDS Care, Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity – among others. He also has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health to study cultural and social determinants of health among Latinos in the US.  He is a member of the National Hispanic Science Network, College of Problems of Drug Dependence, and the American Psychological Association. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, and The Counseling Psychologist.

Date: April 2nd
Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Humanities 354 

CEMHD is excited to announce that we have worked in conjunction with the New York Department of Health Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to produce the 2014 Health Equity Report.  CEMHD conducted research and engaged key informants in 17 health disparities communities throughout New York State. 

November 19th

Dr. Alex Pieterse, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Counseling Psychology, School of Education

Stress-Related Effects of Racism among Black Men: Findings and Interventions

12:00 - 1:00 pm
Humanities Room 354

Dr. Pieterse’s research focuses on health-related outcomes associated with the experience of racism, antiracism advocacy, race-related aspects of counseling psychology training, and the impact of self-awareness on the psychotherapy process.

 Center Research Project Receives $15,000 Grant from

the Galvin Foundation of Hudson

The Galvin Foundation, which provides grants to support programs for disadvantaged populations and historic preservation in Hudson, has granted $15,000 to CEMHD's Women's Health Project so that it can continue to run for one more year.
Dr. Golden expressed her gratitude to the foundation: 
“We are deeply grateful for the Galvan Foundation’s generous support of the Women’s Health Project. Their funding will help to enable the Women's Health Project to continue its work in Hudson, and promote healthcare seeking among underserved women, in collaboration with our community partners, including the Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium, the Hudson River Healthcare Center, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, the Columbia County Department of Health, the Medical Imaging Department at Columbia Memorial Hospital, the AIDS Council of Northeastern NY, the Hudson Housing Authority, Operation Unite Education and Cultural Arts Center, Columbia Opportunities, and the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties."
We congratulate Department of Communication Professors Annis Golden and Matthew Matsaganis, who developed and run the project, for this achievement.

An Eventful Spring 2014 Semester

CEMHD had a busy Spring Semester. It hosted two major events and co-sponsored a major student-to- community outreach initiative, the later of which drew local television, radio and print news coverage. 

The Urban Hassle Index Workshop with Dr. David Miller

In mid-March the Center hosted a workshop with Dr. David Miller from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Miller has developed an Urban Hassle Index to measure the levels of the toxic levels of stress that urban African Americans experience in their daily lives. Members of the faculty, community and staff from the NYS Department of Health attended this interactive workshop and planned to continue working with Dr. Miller as the index evolves. 

Tenth Anniversary Health Disparities Symposium

Later that month, the Center organized a very well-attended health disparities symposium in honor of its tenth anniversary. Faculty members who did projects funded through the Center gave presentations on their research. Dr. Bruce Link, of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and a member of CEMHD's Program Advisory Committee, gave the keynote presentation, which was entitled, "Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Health Disparities." The complete program for the symposium is available here.   

University at Albany President, Dr. Robert Jones, addressing the symposium

Audience members discuss the presentations

A Walk to Cure Violence

With a Diversity Transformation Fund award, the Center also facilitated a connection between the student organization, Doctors 4 Hope, and Albany Cure Violence to plan and implement a Walk to Cure Violence on April 26th. Many different student groups supported with walk and associated events. CEMHD interns Cory DeSole, Meaghan Farley, Brittany Kong, and Anita Sam-King also assisted Cure Violence in organizing the event, along with their other duties.

The students walked through the West Hill section of Arbor Hill with members of the community.  The walk started at the Cure Violence office on the corner of Henry Johnson Blvd and Clinton Ave, proceeded through West Hill, and ended at the Lake House in Washington Park with a program that was emceed by the Cure Violence Director, Clarence Jackson, and Toyin Ben-Shidah the Outreach Director of Doctors 4 Hope. The program included a speech by Mayor Sheehan, talks by victims of violence, and dance performances by two student groups. Doctors 4 Hope also organized children's activities inside of the Lake House. We are very proud of Doctors 4 Hope for proposing and implementing this project, and thankful to the other student organizations that supported it.

Students gather at Cure Violence office with community members

Students at the Cure Violence office with community members before the walk

March through West Hill led by Cure Violence Director, Clarence Jackson

Mayor Sheehan addressed the rally



Umoji dancers





Toyin Ben-Shidah from Doctors 4 Hope addressing the crowd




Doctors 4 Hope Executive Board 2014


CEMHD Interns Go to Work with 
Albany Cure Violence for a Second Semester

In the fall 2013, the Center partnered with the Community and Public Service Program to develop an internship in which students assist the Trinity Alliance’s anti-gun violence program, Cure Violence (formally known as SNUG, which is “guns” spelled backwards).  Modeled after Chicago Cease Fire, the organization uses a public health approach to interrupt the epidemic of gun violence before it spreads, which makes it of particular interest to the Center. Field staff, called Violence Interrupters, from the neighborhoods it serves and trains them to work with people at highest risk for perpetrating or becoming a victim of gun violence. It also conducts community mobilization and outreach activities to create a visible community presence after shootings and to change social norms about gun violence.

Interns Cory DeSole and Brittany Kong at the Walk to Cure Violence

These days, college students possess excellent computer and social networking skills that can be put to great use in grassroots community organizations like SNUG, which tend to operate with a bare-bones office staff.  Our enthusiastic CEMHD interns have made real contributions to the organization. Among other things, they have redesigned printed materials, including posters and brochures, helped the Community Outreach and Mobilization coordinator, Charee Tarver, create a website, and have improved information sharing about shooting incidents among SNUG staff.  They also help update SNUG’s Facebook page, assist with planning community events, and have even attended neighborhood shooting responses. Plans are in the works to involve interns in direct involvement with the community, such as working with churches and local businesses. 

In return for sharing their computer skills, the interns learn about SNUG’s public health approach to gun violence, issues facing people in poor neighborhoods, how grassroots organizations do community mobilization, and nonprofit communications. 

In the fall, we sent the first three interns to the program. Everyone was extremely happy with the experience. 

This spring we sent 4 students to work with SNUG and are assisting with a collaboration between SNUG and the student group Doctors 4 Hope.

Spring interns: Cory DeSole, Meaghan Farley, Brittany Kong, and Anita Sam-King 

Fall interns: Yerusa Asher, Patrisha Kritchman and Shanice Saunders

CEMHD has been very proud of the contributions these three students have made to SNUG and will continue to run the internship program next semester. For more information on this internship program contact Dr. Elizabeth Campisi, Special Projects Director, at 442-4918,




Find Us on Campus



Our new address is: ES 0028, University at Albany, Albany NY 12222. 

Our main phone number remains the same: 518-442-4904. 



Our Community Partners