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NIH/NIMHD-funded Minority Health Research Collaboration = Health Career Opportunities for HBCU Students

By Louis Stokes Esq

Hampton University Our nation’s college students will soon be returning to campus for the 2013-14 academic year and thanks to the NIH’s National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a lot more students will want to consider a major (and a career) in the sciences. Why, you may ask? Because NIMHD just awarded a consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – led by Hampton University* in Virginia – a 5-year $13.5 million grant to reduce health disparities in minority men. The consortium also includes: Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Jackson State University, North Carolina A&T State University and St. Augustine’s University.

MIMHD The collaborative nature of this NIMHD grant will give students attending these institutions a unique opportunity to improve both minority health and the overall health of the nation. Efforts like this are exciting because, as Hampton’s President Harvey stated, they weave together research, education, training, and intervention outreach. Students may have chosen HBCUs over other higher-profile academic institutions for many reasons. A clear strength of all of these schools is certainly their strong scientific programs but they are also defined by their ability to consider their academic work through the lens of minority community needs.

For HBCU students interested in science and in pursuing careers that directly impact the health of our nation, the Hampton University Men’s Health Initiative presents a clear opportunity. And since the initiative focuses on six core health concerns (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, melanoma in Hispanics, obesity, prostate cancer, and violence prevention), students will have choices as well as opportunity.

I urge students to get excited and get engaged in community health issues while they are determining where their college educations might take them. And with this generous grant from the NIMHD, students can quickly become a significant and direct part of solving today’s health and social disparities.

* Hampton University is a member of the Virginia-Nebraska Sullivan Alliance

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