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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 dedicated to advancing the prevention and management of cardiometabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, which disproportionately affect communities in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Through active community engagement and research collaboration, we aim to reduce health disparities and foster a healthier future for all.

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.  

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

Addressing racism in cardiometabolic health research

Addressing racism in cardiometabolic health research Pennington Biomedical Research Center hosted Michele Allen, M.D., and Kene Orakwue, MPH for the Forge AHEAD April seminar where they presented on their innovative approaches to combatting health disparities, building on a framework that acknowledges the deep impact that racism has on health outcomes. Allen, associate professor at the University of Minnesota...

Our Scholars’ stories: Lai tests virtual reality gaming exercise benefits at a local high school for youth with disabilities

Lai tests virtual reality gaming exercise benefits at a local high school for youth with disabilities Byron Lai, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is researching a new way to help children with disabilities stay healthy. Lai’s project, “Preliminary implementation and development of an enjoyable virtual reality exercise program...

Our Scholars’ stories: Cardozo explores the link between PCOS and cardiovascular disease

Cardozo explores the link between PCOS and cardiovascular disease Licy Yanes Cardozo, M.D., associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is delving into the interesting connection between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and cardiovascular disease. PCOS is a common hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age, characterized by high levels of male hormones and irregular menstrual...

Championing Black Maternal Health

Championing Black Maternal Health At Forge AHEAD, we are committed to confronting the grave health disparities faced by Black mothers with both urgent action and long-term science-based approaches to address these health disparities. We recognize that addressing the health disparities impacting Black mothers is both a matter of public health and of justice and equity. During Black Maternal Health Week, we...

Gardening for Health: SILC Project Cultivates Wellness in Deep South

Gardening for Health: SILC Project Cultivates Wellness in Deep South Across Alabama and Mississippi, the Stepping into Lifestyle Changes (SILC) project is flourishing, proving that the simple act of gardening can yield far more than beautiful landscapes. With just a bit of soil, a handful of seeds, and a commitment to nurturing growth, SILC is demonstrating the profound ability of gardening to enhance lives beyond...

Pathways to Combat Food Insecurity and Enhance Community Health

Pathways to Combat Food Insecurity and Enhance Community Health Seth A. Berkowitz, M.D., MPH, explored how tackling food insecurity can significantly improve health outcomes and empower communities at this month’s Forge AHEAD Center (FAC) seminar. The seminar, held at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Population Health, offered a deep dive into the systemic challenges and practical solutions...

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...

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Cite Forge AHEAD's Grant

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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