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  • Black History in the Making

    In honor of Black History Month, the Office of Population Health and the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities will celebrate the current contributions made by African Americans in improving health disparities. The theme, Black History in the Making, highlights individuals at the local, state, national and international level who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of African Americans.

    Shiriki kumanyikaNational honoree, Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, is Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. During her tenure on the

    Penn Medicine faculty she also served as the Associate Dean for Health Promotion and held a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Nutrition Section. She has an interdisciplinary background and holds advanced degrees in social work, nutrition, and public health.

    Dr. Kumanyika was the Founding Director of Penn's interdisciplinary, multi-school Master of Public Health program. Her research focuses on identifying effective strategies to reduce nutrition-related chronic disease risks and health disparities. She has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on several multi-center and single-center randomized clinical trials or observational studies related to salt intake, other aspects of diet, or obesity. Many of her studies have evaluated interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in African American children or adults in clinical or community-based settings.

    Dr. Kumanyika founded (in 2002) and continues to chair the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN), a national network that seeks to improve the quality, quantity and effective translation of research on obesity and related issues in African American communities. She has extensive experience in advisory roles related to public health and nutrition policy.

    Dr. Kumanyika is currently a member of the CDC Task Force on Community Preventive Services, Co-Chair of the Policy and Prevention Section of the World Obesity Federation, and a nutrition advisor to the World Health Organization, and president of the American Public Health Association for 2015. Dr. Kumanyika is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

    Office of Population Health

    The Office of Population Health (OPH) at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) was established to accelerate the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based strategies to advance the health and health care of populations served by UMMC Hospitals and Clinics as well as residents of the state of Mississippi. We seek to fulfill this goal by working across the three main missions of the Medical Center to:

    • Improve health care quality, effectiveness and outcomes through patient education at UMMC affiliated hospitals and ambulatory care facilities;
    • Eliminate health and healthcare disparities through the pursuit of action research, the education of faculty, students, residents, fellows and staff, on the social determinants of health, and through engagement with community stakeholders;
    • Cultivate, nurture, and sustain internal and external partnerships to disseminate health-related information and knowledge intended to improve the health of Mississippians.