Saturday, May 29, 2010

CDC Medical College and Universities Roundtable Meeting - Atlanta, GA

A few days ago, I was fortunate to participate in the CDC Medical College and Universities Roundtable Meeting. Asked by the Dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, I represented our university during this two-day meeting to share ideals on how to increase minority students in the School of Medicine and public health. Representatives from a wide variety of universities and colleges were represented at this meeting which featured Director Thomas Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Dr. John E. Maupin - President of Morehouse School of Medicine giving the keynote speeches during day two.

Yet this Roundtable meeting was started at the request of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. The meeting purpose and objectives were:
  • Identify opportunities related to health disparities elimination, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and specific areas for ongoing collaboration and engagement.

  • Discuss and determine how best to act on evidence indicating that increasing diversity in the workforce is associated with improvements in key measures of health disparities, identify career development and training opportunities in academic settings and at CDC; and

  • Determine ways to increase the current representation of minority professionals in the field of public health and how participating institutions can train students in population health and public health.

Interestingly, once I arrived at the meeting at CDC's new complex, I met a former colleague -- Dr. Karen Bouye who I worked with when I was a PostDoctoral Fellow at CDC from 1993-1995. Then I was attending Emory University and working for CDC in the Office of Minority Health in order to complete my requirement for the Postdoctoral Fellowship in HIV/AIDs. It was a joy to catch up with her and several other colleagues.

The meeting was filled with all types of excellent commentary, suggestions and promotions of what each representative's university is already doing. For example, I mentioned that I had developed a completely unique new Graduate Online Certificate Program entitled the "Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities (ERHD)" ( at East Carolina University beginning in the fall 2010. We need to use our online technology to reach out to various urban and rural communities so that communities of color can have the access and opportunity to obtain additional training and expertise in public health. That's what our new ERHD program will accomplish.

For continual dialogue and discussion regarding the CDC Medical College and Universities Roundtable, you can go to their blog at:

Finally, it felt good returning to CDC and see so many changes at this federal institution and the new buildings being constructed. It seemed like just a few years ago when I brought my family here to relocate and go through the intense training at CDC and Emory University. We truly had an enjoyable time living and working in Atlanta. We met a lot of great and phenomenal people then and we cherrish that time. Interestingly, my older brother lives in Atlanta as well. It was particularly nice to see him again. Time flies by so fast yet still some things stay the same.

Check out the photo: Dr. Thomas Frieden, Dr. John Maupin, Dr. Winston Price, Dr. Janet Collins and Dr. Walter Williams.