Tuskegee University has announced the establishment of the Center for Rural Health and Economic Equity. The center will facilitate the interactions necessary to help address COVID-19 health disparities by improving ethical data collection, testing, contact tracing, treatment, and public awareness in the rural Black belt counties of Alabama.
Through this new center, Tuskegee University’s research faculty will be given support to provide ethical transdisciplinary approaches to numerous disparities including cancer therapies, diabetes, and cervical cancer prevention, violence prevention, mental health, and nutrition deficiencies.
Co-directing the new center will be Crystal James and Clayton Yates. Professor James serves as head of the department of graduate public health and special assistant to the president for COVID-19. Dr. Yates currently serves as professor and director of the Center for Biomedical Research.
“The emergence of the global pandemic of COVID-19 has highlighted the health disparities of Blacks in America and other marginalized communities,” noted co-director James. “These differences are even more pronounced in rural communities who have limited access to quality health care.”
Professor James is a graduate of Clark Atlanta Univerity, where she majored in biology. She holds a master of public health degree from Emory University in Atlanta and a juris doctorate from the University of Houston.