Shared from the 9/23/2020 Albany Times Union eEdition


UAlbany gets $1M from Hearst to target health disparities


Hearst Foundations has granted the University at Albany $1 million to expand the fellowship program of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities.

With the grant, the center will be able to recruit five new fellows, according to a news release sent out Tuesday. Established in 2016 with funding from the National Institute of Minority Health disparities, the fellowship program brings in scholars from underrepresented, marginalized communities — many of whom have first-hand experience with the disparities the program studies.

“The generosity of the Hearst Foundations allows usto increase our recruitment of engaged scholars and, through those scholars, develop a diverse workforce committed to understanding and responding to the widening health disparities gap,” Lawrence M. Schell, center director and distinguished professor of anthropology, said in a statement.

The center’s fellows typically have gone on to work in government and non-governmental agencies, research institutions and universities, drafting and proposing policies to eliminate health disparities in the U.S.

The Hearst Foundations’ grant comes in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately infected and caused deaths in communities of color — particularly among Latinos and Black people. These communities have also been disproportionately fiscally impacted by the pandemic.

UAlbany is currently leading a study, commissioned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to examine the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 on Black and Latino communities.

“The university’s nationally leading work in minority health disparities has never been more critical, and expanding the Hearst Fellows program will help us maximize our impact,” UAlbany President Havidán Rodriguez said in a statement.

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