Outreach Mission

Our mission is to improve lines of communication about health and healthcare among UAlbany faculty, local minority communities and health care providers. We work with community-based organizations, healthcare practitioners, students, and K-12 schools serving high percentages of minority populations.


  • Develop, define, disseminate and measure key health challenges
  • Equip community leaders to participate in community-based research and partner with investigators in research studies and interventions
  • Empower, organize and support communities to address health disparities
  • Develop a framework needed to achieve resolutions and outcomes to identified challenges

Blanca Ramos, Community Outreach Liaison  

Amsterdam Community Health Task Force,
Ph: 518-442-5365


Blanca Ramos' scholarly interests are centered on cross-cultural social work, gerontology, and domestic violence with a focus on US Latinos. Dr. Ramos holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She teaches courses on clinical social work, diversity, immigrants, Hispanic cultures in the U.S., and research in Latino communities. Her international work includes partnership building with higher education institutions and communications and with the national association of social workers in Peru. Dr. Ramos serves a variety of local, regional, and national boards and commissions and has extensive experience as a practitioner and community organizer. Blanca Ramos is past Vice President of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and has served on the National Board of the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research. She is a current member of the editorial board of Social Work and the NASW National Committee on Inquiry. She is originally from Lima, Peru. 

Greg Owens Co-Director,

Liaison from Macedonia Baptist Church Initiatives in Community Development

Greg Owens, LMSW, specializes in Criminal and Juvenile Justice. He has worked as a clinician and manager in various settings including residential treatment and community-based organizations and has worked for NYS Division for Youth/Office for Children and Family Services for 25 years. He is currently the Director of Special Populations and is responsible for statewide initiatives including mentoring, youth gangs and violence, disproportionate minority representation, cultural competence and responsible fatherhood.

Cole Melby, Community Outreach Support, Graduate Research Assistant
Amsterdam Community Health Task Force,
Ph: 518-442-5976
Email: cmelby@albany.edu

Cole Melby is a second-year MA student at UAlbany, seeking an interdisciplinary degree in Public Health and Anthropology with a specific focus in the Health Disparities certificate program. Cole is interested in the intersection of community health at the grassroots level with qualitative, ethnographic research. His recent research focus has been surrounding Syringe Exchange Programs and other harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users. Cole believes that organizations like the CEMHD pave the way for a more nuanced discussion and acknowledgment of health inequality. He is very excited to work with the Minority Health Disparities Task Forces in Albany and Amsterdam, NY.