College of Health and Human Sciences

Health Disparities Symposium Presenters

Addressing Health Disparities
Through a Community-Based Participatory Research Lenses

Dr. Ramine Alexander Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Food and Nutritional Sciences NCA&T State University


Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to discuss the Community Based Participatory Research approach to research and provide community engagement strategies that aid in addressing health disparities and engaging community members as collaborators in the dr-ramine-alexander research process. Additionally, this presentation is connected to this year’s theme because CBPR aims to voices of the community, which can lead to the sustainability of evidence-based programs in the targeted communities. Furthermore, bridging the gap between science and practice by engaging the community in addressing their own health concerns related to food and nutrition, which can lead to increased health equity.

Rationale and Design for Development of Culturally Tailored Physical Activity and Stress Management Interventions to Address Health Disparities

TJ Exford, Ph.D.1, Yvonne Ford, Ph.D. 1, and Chineme Enyioha, M.D. 2
1) North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC
2) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Right: Dr. TJ Exford  left:  Dr. Yvonne Ford This session will discuss the rationale and design for the development of a novel application. Discussions will focus on the potential efficacy of a non-pharmacological culturally tailored mindfulness-based stress reduction and physical activity lifestyle intervention as a complement to pharmacological treatment for chronic disease in African Americans. Research indicates members of the African American population will participate when invited and will stay engaged in studies when the barriers to their participation are appropriately addressed through the inclusion of minority investigators and culturally tailored research.

Psychotherapeutic Disparities among Asian American Populations and a Call for a Representative International Coalition on Trauma Studies

Dr. Johnson


My paper investigates the disparities Asian American populations face when it comes to dealing with psychologically traumatic issues, like that of being reluctant to participate in one-on-one sessions with a therapist given a cultural propensity to value one's community over the individual. Then, I turn to the disparities I face as a white woman who seeks mental health treatment to elucidate how these inequalities do not just stem from one identity marker, but from an intersectionality of difference that the subject may inhabit. To minimize these disparities, I propose a gathering of a coalition of scholars and mental health professionals to investigate the different ways of thinking about and coping with trauma across the world. Once we have a better purview of how trauma is understood on a global scale can we then brainstorm initiatives and methods to help larger and more diverse populations work through their traumatic experiences.

Maternal Mortality Rates in America

Karissa Sullivan

karissa-sullivanEvery day, across the nation Black women give birth to children and unknowingly face much higher mortality rates than their white counterparts. While there are some medical factors that contribute to this race is a major issue. I plan to cover both the medical and racially motivated factors that affect Black women's maternal mortality rates and address changes that should be made within the healthcare system.


Reframing Health Communication for Equity and Empowerment

Anna Lee, Ph.D., North Carolina A&T State University,
Maya Corneille, Ph.D., Morehouse College,
Dawn X. Henderson, Ph.D., Duke University,

Dr. Anna Lee, Dr. Maya Corneille and Dr. Dawn X. HendersonThis session will focus on reframing language and provide terminology that reinforces assets, empowerment, and equity.  We will illuminate challenges with the current language discourse in health research.  Our objective is to present a Detoxifying and Empowering Health Terminology Framework to promote discourse among individuals involved in community health research, programs, and policy about the ways language can empower or disempower communities. After the workshop, participants will be prepared to critically interrogate terminology and consider whether the language facilitates the best outcomes across multiple domains. 


Collective Historical Trauma and Health Disparity in North Carolina Refugee/Immigrant Communities.

Dr. Jeremy Rinker
Naglaa Rashwan
Dr. Carmen Monico

Dr. Jeremy Rinker, Naglaa Rashwan and Dr. Carmen MonicoIn most cases immigrants and refugees move to the US after a long journey of stressful and traumatic experiences. This panel aims to complicate our understanding of the collective historical roots of past trauma experiences and how they present and impact refugee communities. We will discuss not only how these traumatic experiences are manifested in the lives of the immigrants and refugees in the US, but also how those experiences reshape the innate resiliencies of these communities in their search for a better life. 

Health Disparity in Endothelial Dysfunction and Hypertension in African Americans: Role of Gut Microbial Health and Prevention Strategies to Improve Blood Pressure

Marc Cook PhD., MS
Assistant Professor of Exercise Immunology
Department of Kinesiology


"African Americans (AAs) develop hypertension at younger ages and are more likely to develop hypertension-associated complications. Endothelial dysfunction (EnDy) precedes hypertension but very few studies involve mechanistic perspectives of this dysfunction and even less in AA. The presentation will offer mechanisms of the evident “inheritable” EnDy in this group, define the role of gut health on EnDy, and discuss prevention strategies to attenuate the health disparity concerning EnDy and hypertension in AA."

African Americans with Hypertension: Effects of Butyrate on Blood Pressure

Taylor B. Hogue
Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow

taylor-b-hogueSummary for presentation: African Americans (AA) face greater risk of hypertension and hypertension-related diseases than other ethnic groups. Recent studies have specifically indicated the composition of the gut microbiota and the production of intestinal short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) is associated blood pressure (BP) regulation. The presentation will provide insight on the role SCFAs has on BP regulation and offer possible treatments to prevent the health disparity of hypertension in AA.


The Inequity of Maternal Health Care in America in regard to Black Women

Ms. McKenzie

mckenzieThis presentation will focus on the factors revolving the inequity of maternal healthcare for black women including the lack of access to quality care, racism and bias from medical professionals, and environmental factors. The ideas of maternal mortality and morbidity in black women will be analyzed using existing research from the last decade (2010-2020) to create a descriptive analysis. This presentation seeks to explain the extent and prevalence of this disparity and explore the possible solutions currently in development in hopes of greater understanding among those who attend this session.

Presentation “Using Technology to Support HBCU Students Experiencing Psychosocial Risk Factors During COVID-1Presentation “Using Technology to Support HBCU Students Experiencing Psychosocial Risk Factors During COVID-19”

Christopher Doss, PhD Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering
College of Engineering
NC A&T State University

Stephanie Teixeira-Poit, PhD Assistant Professor of Sociology
College of Health and Human Sciences
NC A&T State University


Public health crises, like COVID-19, disproportionately impact African American and lower income individuals, and individuals with psychosocial risk factors. In this presentation, we provide a brief overview of the state of the literature on disparities in psychosocial risk factors across sub-stephanie-teixeira-poit-phdpopulations of college students. Then we present preliminary findings from surveys and interviews with NC A&T students that provide context of our student population’s experiences of psychosocial risks during COVID-19. Finally, we discuss how these preliminary findings are helping us to develop the content for an App to engage students experiencing psychosocial risk factors and connect them to resources needed to sustain their learning during COVID-19.


Developing Biomarkers of Diabetic Kidney Disease in African American men

Elimelda Moige Ongeri, Shaymaa Abousaad, Faihaa Ahmed, Robert Newman, Scott Harrison

Elimelda Moige Ongeri, Shaymaa Abousaad, Faihaa Ahmed, and Scott HarrisonThe prevalence of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is disproportionately high among minority ethnic groups in the US especially African Americans (AA). Unfortunately, AAs are underrepresented in studies for biomarkers of DKD that serve as diagnostic tools and are valuable in developing new drugs. This study used global proteomics approaches to identify biomarkers of DKD that 

correlate with severity of kidney injury in AA men, an important step in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of DKD in this population. The knowledge is important in advancing precision medicine for DKD.  


Their Stories Matter: A Conversation about Using Patients Voices to Address Health Disparities


Dr. Helyne Frederick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Education (Human Development and Family Studies)
Dr. Jennifer Alderman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing

Naima Cooper, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Human Development and Family Studies)
Jessica Dorcelian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Human Development and Family Studies)

Dr. Frederick, Dr. Jennifer Alderman, Naima Cooper and Jessica DorcelianThe purpose of this panel is to highlight the value of patients’ stories and narratives in helping to address and mitigate the negative impacts of health disparities.

The audience will learn about their communication strategies with interprofessional teams and with community partners to access the participants for home visits. The panelists will also disc

uss strategies for using narrative reasoning and utilizing participants stories to inform care and address health disparities.