April 17, 2020
As research surrounding the virus continues to evolve, one of the most prominent discoveries reveals the inordinate rate of deaths and infection on black communities. While the exact causes are still under analysis, long-standing racial bias in the United States healthcare system, inequities in available healthcare resources, and higher rates of underlying health conditions in black communities all contribute to this disproportion. Not only has COVID-19 revealed the underpreparedness of the Nation’s response to a pandemic, but the virus has also brought even more attention to the racial disparities that exist in this country.
NYU’s School of Global Public Health and the John Brademas Center of New York University hosted a virtual webinar with experts who discussed prospective courses of action to address this growing concern. Featured panelists included Dr. Melody Goodman, Associate Dean for Research; Associate Professor of Biostatistics NYU GPH, Dr. Emmanuel Peprah, Director, Implementation Science for Global Health; Assistant Professor of Global Health, NYU GPH, and special guest, The Honorable Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., U.S. Congresswoman for North Carolina’s twelfth district. Dr. Cheryl G. Healton, Dean at NYU GPH, served as moderator for the discussion.
This event was free and open to everyone. Registration was required in order to receive log-in information. This webinar may have been recorded.
Dr. Alma S. Adams was elected to her third full term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina on November 6, 2018. After winning a special election in November 2014, Congresswoman Adams was sworn in immediately as the 100th woman elected to the 113th Congress.
Representative Adams serves on the Committee on Financial Services; Committee on Education & Labor and the Committee on Agriculture. She holds several leadership roles as Chairwoman of the Committee on Education & Labor’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and Vice Chairwoman to the Committee on Agriculture. Congresswoman Adams serves on the Workforce Protections and Higher Education and Workforce Investment (Committee on Education and Labor); Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations (Committee on Agriculture); Diversity and Inclusion (Committee on Financial Services). One of her outstanding legislative accomplishments is the enactment of H.R. 5363, the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act that permanently provides funding totaling $255 million a year for all Minority-Serving Institutions, including $85 million for HBCUs.
Representative Adams has previously served on the Joint Economic Committee and in several leadership positions including Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus, Vice Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee, and ranking member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulation. The Congresswoman is a co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois and the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus to promote bipartisan legislation that supports HBCUs and their graduates. Since its inception, the caucus has:
She is also a part of the Women’s Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, Autism Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Progressive Education Caucus, Historic Preservation Caucus, AIDS/HIV Caucus, Hunger Caucus, Medicaid Expansion Caucus, and the Art Caucus.
Throughout her career, Representative Adams has promoted quality education for all students, spearheading numerous pieces of legislation to boost funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has also introduced legislation to provide nutritious breakfast in schools and supports increased pay for teachers. For 40 years, Dr. Adams taught Art at Bennett College. While at Bennett, she led the effort to increase student civic participation coining the phrase “Bennett Belles are Voting Belles” and organizing annual marches to the polls. As a former educator, Rep. Adams has dedicated her career to improving the lives of young people and her community. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the North Carolina A&T State University Human Rights Medal, the highest award presented by her alma mater to an individual who fights against social injustice and helps improve the world.
In 1994, Dr. Adams was appointed by her peers to serve in the North Carolina House District 26 seat. She went on to serve ten terms in the state House. During her tenure, she rose to become the chair of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and was instrumental in passing legislation that improved the climate for quality affordable health care in the state. Representative Adams also pioneered the Displaced Homemakers Bill and successfully spearheaded the state’s first minimum wage increase in nine years.
Before serving as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, Congresswoman Adams served nine years on the Greensboro City Council. Throughout her service to the second district in Greensboro, Dr. Adams worked to create safe and affordable housing and for the revitalization of neighbors. She began her political career in the 1980’s by becoming the first African American woman ever elected to the Greensboro City School Board. It was then that she made a lifetime commitment to effecting social change in her community and beyond.
Congresswoman Adams has one daughter, Linda Jeanelle Lindsay, one son Billy E. Adams II, and four grandchildren: Joslyn Lindsay, Aaron Lindsay, Billy E. Adams III, and Miracle Sumner. Adams graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1968 and received her master’s degree in Art Education in 1972. She earned her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1981.
Dr. Melody Goodman’s efforts seek to understand the social risk factors that contribute to health disparities in urban areas, with the goal of developing culturally competent, region-specific, and evidence-based solutions through collaborative activities with community members, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and other community health stakeholders. The purpose of her work is the development of solutions for improving health in minority and medically underserved communities.
Dr. Goodman conducts applied biostatistical and survey research for community-based interventions and health disparities research with a strong focus on measurement. Additionally, through academic-community collaborations, she implements, evaluates, and enhances the infrastructure of community-engaged research, in order to mitigate health disparities. As such, Dr. Goodman is the Principal Investigator of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant that aims to validate and implement a quantitative survey measure to assess the level of community engagement in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies from the community stakeholder perspective.
Previously, Dr. Goodman has been subcontracted by the National Human Genome Research Institute/NIH to analyze patterns of beliefs about the genetic causation of health conditions and health behaviors among community health center patients. She was the Principal Investigator on a NIH Partners in Research grant entitled Community Alliance for Research Empowering Social change (CARES). With numerous funders supporting her work, she has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Dr. Cheryl Healton is responsible for building the School of Global Public Health’s academic, service, and research programs, which focus on domestic and international health with an emphasis on prevention, systems intervention, and innovation in public health practice.
Previously, as the founding President and CEO of Legacy – a leading organization dedicated to tobacco control – Dr. Healton worked to further the foundation’s mission: to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. During her time with Legacy, she guided the national youth tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign, truth®, which has been credited with reducing youth smoking prevalence to near record lows. Legacy launched a national smoking cessation campaign, public education campaigns, technical assistance, and a broad program of grant making. Additionally, Legacy established the Steven A. Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Studies.
Prior to Legacy, Dr. Healton held numerous roles at Columbia University, worked to expand the scope of public health programs, and undertook innovative educational initiatives to advance public health practice.
Through her research, she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and special reports on public health related topics including HIV/AIDS, public health education, health policy, substance abuse, and tobacco. She was the founding chair of the Public Health Practice Council of the Association of Schools of Public Health and is an active member of the public health community, serving on the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the Betty Ford Institute, and Lung Cancer Alliance. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, and the Board of Directors at HealthRight International.
Dr. Healton has given presentations around the world and is a frequent commentator on national and local broadcasts and print news coverage of tobacco control issues.
Dr. Emmanuel Peprah’s research interests lie at the confluence of understanding what, why, and how some evidence-based interventions work in some populations and not others. The programattic focus of his research is understanding the contextual factors that influence the burden of co-morbidity in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH), with a particular focus on cardiovascular disease risk factors and mental health. As the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continues to increase, there is an opportunity to integrate NCD management into HIV care with implemention strategies that leverage the global infrasturcture designed to improve care delivery for PLWH. Dr. Peprah has built collaborations with multidisciplinary teams of investigators, both nationally and internationally, to address the high burden of comorbidity in PLWH globally. He is also the founder of the Baakoye Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization dedicated to serving people in sub-Saharan Africa, and co-founder of the Washington Leaders Index (WLI), which aims to empower the next generation of emerging leaders through active, innovative, and inclusive leadership programs. Both nonprofit organizations serve the needs of children and people globally within the domains of education and health.
Before joining GPH, Dr. Peprah was a senior program official at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he worked with senior leadership to oversee strategic planning, initiative development, and implementation of research priorities in the areas of translational research, implementation science, and global health. He led and managed HIV/AIDS programs and a $10 million portfolio as part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program. He was instrumental in launching the Human, Heredity, and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative, a multimillion trans-NIH program, and served on its executive board. Dr. Peprah has received several awards for strategic planning, management, and implementation of large-scale NIH programs.