The legacy of Maya Angelou lives on at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“By serving the minority community, it must be known that the entire community is served,” Angelou once said. “One hand washes the other. A healthy minority community bodes for a healthy majority community.”
The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE) at Wake Forest Baptist is devoted to closing the health gap between minorities and the rest of the population. The center supports research on health issues prevalent among African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans; develops health care approaches based on research findings; promotes medical and biomedical science career development among underrepresented populations; and conducts educational and outreach programs aimed at reducing disparities in health and health care.
MACHE was established in 2002 as the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health by Wake Forest Baptist in collaboration with Angelou and other local individuals and institutions. In 2012 the renamed center was designated a Health Disparities Center of Excellence by the National Institutes of Health, recognition that included a $5 million grant.
“Health equity will be achieved when there are no gaps or inequalities in death rates due to gender, income, race and other social determinants,’’ said MACHE’s interim director, Carlos Rodriguez, M.D., M.P.H., professor of epidemiology and prevention at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist. “The Maya Angelou Center advances health equity by moving scientific discovery to action.”
Angelou, the internationally acclaimed poet, memoirist and civil rights activist who also was a professor at Wake Forest University and a 2010 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, died in May 2014. Today (April 4) would have been her 90th birthday.
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