Tennessee-Funded Project To Examine Health Disparities Among Blacks
Student researchers from five historically black colleges in Tennessee will collaborate on a two-year, state-funded project to examine health issues that disproportionately affect the black community, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Blacks in Tennessee die from cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes more often than any other group in the state. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, black infants have the highest mortality rate of any other group of infants. The $2.2 million state-funded Historically Black College and University Wellness Project involves Lane College, Knoxville College, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and LeMoyne-Owen College. Students will lead 25 projects based on community assessment surveys conducted by college staff and from the "Populations of Color: Health Status Report" compiled by the state Department of Health and focus on ailments that disproportionately affect blacks, such as hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease. The participating schools will be linked through videoconferencing to exchange findings and ideas. According to Lisa McDonald-McGee, the project's director at Meharry, the program also aims to generate an interest in health care among the participating students by having them work with local health agencies "to better address the needs of people in unserved areas." Barbara Frankle, dean of academic affairs at LeMoyne-Owen, said, "Health disparities exist in Tennessee, particularly in urban centers like Memphis. This is an opportunity for us to give back to our community" (Doniach, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 2/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.