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Forge AHEAD Center

Achieving Health Equity Across the Deep South

Forge AHEAD Center

Achieving Health Equity Across the Deep South

Forge AHEAD Center

Achieving Health Equity Across the Deep South

A Collaborative Health Equity Research Center

Forge AHEAD Center is a regional comprehensive research center that focuses on the prevention and management of cardiometabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension (HTN), associated with health disparities in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

At Forge AHEAD Center, our focus is to achieve health equity by addressing health disparities, and enhancing access to health care and public health, so that Deep South communities are filled with knowledgeable and healthy people.

Funded by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Forge AHEAD Center is a part of the Health Equity Action Network.  

Heersink

Pennington

Tuskegee

MS Med Center

Institutions Partnering in a Center For Health Equity

Forge AHEAD Center is a partnership between institutions working together to develop the best approaches to research, education, and community engagement.

Our Vision for a Healthier Future

The vision of Forge AHEAD Center is to achieve health equity by eliminating health disparities and improving health outcomes in diabetes, obesity, and hypertension throughout the South. Our vision is accomplished through effective partnerships with academic, non-academic, and community organizations to support research, training, outreach, and education.

Our Values in Achieving Health Equity

 

 

Teamwork

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Transparency

Innovation

Transitioning from Health Disparities to Better Health For All

Forge AHEAD Center is motivated to improve current health issues in our region. Inequalities in cardiometabolic health have long been a concern. Now, in some cases, these inequalities have widened across racial, socio-economic, and geographic lines. In the “Deep South” region of the United States of America (USA) rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are the highest in the nation. Life expectancy in the Deep South is substantially lower than other regions, and this difference is even greater for Black Americans living in the area.

Elimination of these disparities – health equity for all – is our ultimate goal. Reaching health equity will require a precision public health approach, best viewed as “providing the right intervention to the right population at the right time.” This approach acknowledges the importance of context, culture, individual beliefs, and preferences, and emphasizes the needs for intervention on multiple levels addressing several areas of health and wellness.

 In The News & Local Events

Forge AHEAD Center Announces Third Cohort of Scholars

Forge AHEAD Center Announces Third Cohort of Scholars The Forge AHEAD Center (FAC) is pleased to announce the latest recipients of its pilot funding for the third cohort. Four early-stage investigators were selected for their innovative research aimed at improving outcomes for cardiometabolic diseases across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This new cohort investigate pressing health challenges like obesity,...

Our Scholars’ stories: Gazaway empowers high-risk CKD patients with ownership of medical journey

Our Scholars’ stories: Gazaway empowers high-risk CKD patients with ownership of medical journey Shena Gazaway, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family, Community and Health Systems in the UAB School of Nursing, explores how to empower high-risk chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and their caregivers in healthcare settings through her project “Impart multi.” The project goal is to engage with...

Empowering Communities: Dr. Tiffany Haynes’s Innovative Approach to Health Equity

Empowering Communities: Dr. Tiffany Haynes’s Innovative Approach to Health Equity The Forge AHEAD Center was honored to host Tiffany Haynes, Ph.D., at the University of Mississippi Medical Center this week as part of our scientific seminar series. Dr. Haynes, associate professor in health behavior and health education at the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical...

Our Scholars’ stories: Karlson empowers next generation of youth who have Sickle Cell Disease

Our Scholars’ stories: Karlson empowers next generation of youth who have Sickle Cell Disease Cynthia Karlson, Ph.D., vice chair of Pediatric Research at University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), is leading a study to promote wellness through exercise and physical activity for adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common genetic condition in the world, affecting over...

Birmingham Promise interns work with Forge AHEAD Center for the Spring semester

Birmingham Promise interns work with Forge AHEAD Center for the Spring semester Forge AHEAD Center is proud to host two interns from the Birmingham Promise for a 2024 Spring semester internship, which began on Jan. 22. Mariah Beamon and Jermya Norris are seniors enrolled at a Birmingham City School. Each has a passionate goal of making a difference in medicine and science after graduation. Interning with Forge...

Pioneering Paths to Maternal Health Equity: Dr. Sharon J. Herring’s Visit Illuminates Solutions at February FAC Seminar

Pioneering Paths to Maternal Health Equity: Dr. Sharon J. Herring’s Visit Illuminates Solutions at February FAC Seminar The Forge AHEAD Center’s (FAC) Scientific Seminar Series recently featured Sharon J. Herring, MD, MPH, an associate professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. In collaboration with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and FAC, Dr. Herring’s visit marks a significant...

NIH Director visits UAB; connects with Forge AHEAD Center leadership

NIH Director visits UAB; connects with Forge AHEAD Center leadership Monica Bertagnolli, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, joined UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine UAB Department of Surgery Grand Rounds as the keynote speaker for the Kirby I. Bland Endowed Lectureship Tuesday, Feb. 20. Bertagnolli’s presentation discussed concerning trend of declining health in the U.S. population,...

Our scholars’ stories: Myers explores a weight loss intervention at the intersection of food insecurity and excess body weight in women

Our scholars’ stories: Myers explores a weight loss intervention at the intersection of food insecurity and excess body weight in women Candice A. Myers, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor of Population and Public Health Sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU and director of the Social Determinants and Health Disparities Laboratory, is pioneering a project aimed to help women who experience both...

Get to know our new communications specialist

Get to know our new communications specialist Forge AHEAD Center is proud to announce Chris Campos has joined the Forge AHEAD Center team as communications specialist. Campos role is based on UAB’s campus. Prior to his new role, Campos worked at Legacy Prep Charter School in Birmingham where he managed district technology and communications, focusing on student recruitment and data management. Prior to that, he...

Community Advisory Board member spotlight: Brooke Floyd

Community Advisory Board member spotlight: Brooke Floyd Since January 2022, Brooke Floyd has served as a Forge AHEAD Center Community Advisory Board member, representing Jackson, Mississippi. For over 20 years, Brooke has worked in the Jackson community ensuring children are able to receive a quality education and the support they need to be successful. Brooke is director of the JXN People’s Assembly, a program in...

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Forge AHEAD Center is a regional comprehensive research center funded by a P50 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Click below for citation information.

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