Culture, Race and Health
The Culture, Race and Health Transdisciplinary Core addresses how culture and race/ethnicity impact health and overall well-being, in particular among the citizens of the Crater Health District experiencing disparities. The Crater Health District includes the cities and counties of Petersburg, Hopewell, Emporia, Prince George, Greensville, Surry, and Sussex, Virginia.
Developing interventions to prevent health disparities
Environmental and social factors, along with cultural beliefs and experiences, influence how health and illness are faced and how health services are accessed and received. This core engages in collaborative team science to understand the mechanisms underlying health disparities and also develop culturally informed interventions that are acceptable to community members and likely to reduce disparities.
Transdisciplinary core team
- La-Kiesha Hobbs, VCU '18
- iCubed Commonwealth Scholars Program
Hobbs will graduate in May 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in pre-graduate school (pre-medicine track). She will graduate also with a certificate in leadership studies through VCU LEAD. After taking a gap year, Hobbs plans to go to medical school in order to become a physician-researcher focused on maternal and child health. She aims to work on the birth disparities experienced by African American mothers and infants. She is mentored by Dr. Cecelia Valrie.
- Jasmine Temple, VCU '19
- iCubed Commonwealth Scholars Program
Temple is pursuing a B.S. in psychology with a concentration in applied psychology and a minor in sociology. After graduation, Temple plans to attend graduate school in order to pursue a Ph.D. in either social or developmental psychology. She hopes to conduct research on racial disparities in the areas of mental and physical health in addition to the socialization processes within identity development and health behaviors. She is mentored by Dr. Kristina Hood.
- Faye Belgrave, Ph.D.
- Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences
Belgrave is responsible for convening meetings, coordinating activities with team members, responding to iCubed requests and documentation and other administrative duties. She partners with Kliewer and Mosavel to create faculty development plans for each junior faculty member in this core. She provides oversight with regard to the cultural appropriateness of all research and programmatic activities.
- Maghboeba Mosavel, Ph.D.
- Associate professor, Department of Health Behavior and Policy, School of Medicine
Mosavel collaborates with Kliewer and Belgrave to create faculty development plans for each junior faculty member in this core. She leads the community engagement activities, including convening community meetings to obtain feedback and buy-in from the community, coordinating efforts with existing organizations (e.g., Petersburg Wellness Consortium) and providing training expertise in community-engaged work and social determinants of health.
- Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D.
- Professor and chair, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences
Kliewer is responsible for convening meetings, coordinating activities with team members, responding to iCubed requests and documentation and other administrative duties. She collaborates with Belgrave and Mosavel to create faculty development plans for each junior faculty member in this core. She provides expertise in the areas of family, and child and adolescent well-being.
- Kelli Williams Gary, M.P.H., Ph.D., OTR/L
- Assistant professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions
Gary collaborates with team members on community engagement activities. She provides expertise in traumatic brain injury and other disabling conditions among racial and ethnic minorities using qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
- Chelsea Derlan, Ph.D.
- Assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Developmental Program, College of Humanities and Sciences
Derlan collaborates with team members on core initiatives and community engagement activities. She provides expertise in the areas of culturally-informed theories, quantitative methods, cultural processes within families, ethnic-racial identification and identity and youths’ positive development and adjustment.
- Cecelia Valrie, Ph.D.
- Associate professor, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences
Valrie collaborates with team members on core initiatives and community engagement activities to improve health outcomes and address health disparities. She provides expertise in the areas of children's health and developmental processes, with a special focus on Black children and children with a chronic illness.
- Khalilah Johnson, Ph.D., OTR/L
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions
Johnson brings experience in qualitative research methods, interdisciplinary clinical and community collaboration, and expertise in therapeutic intervention for persons with intellectual disabilities. Her scholarly interests include developing and evaluating culturally sensitive interventions, and unpacking the intersections of race, disability and public policy and their effect on health equity.
- Kristina Hood, Ph.D.
- Assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Health Program, College of Humanities and Sciences
Hood collaborates with team members on community engagement activities and health initiatives focused on promoting positive health outcomes among people of color and rural underserved populations. She provides expertise in the areas of qualitative research methods, implementation science and sexual health promotion among African American women.
- Morgan Maxwell, M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
- Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Health Behavior and Policy, School of Medicine
Maxwell is an international community-engaged health researcher and behavioral research scientist with extensive experience designing and conducting community-engaged and evaluative research on social determinants of health. Her program of research centers on the impact of media (e.g., music and social media) on the mental and physical health of young ethnic minorities, and the influence their intersectional identities.
- Tiffany Cox, M.P.H., C.P.H.
- Community health and prevention supervisor, public information officer, Crater Health District/Virginia Department of Health
Cox provides expertise in public health, community health improvement and health policy. She is responsible for health improvement and disease prevention in the Cities of Petersburg, Hopewell and Emporia; and Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex, Surry and Greensville Counties. She is a leader for community organizations in these localities.
- Valerie Liggins, MSW
- Program officer, The Cameron Foundation
Liggins provides expertise in the areas of health, community engagement and philanthropy. She is responsible for initiatives of Health in the Cities for Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg cities and Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex and Southern Chesterfield counties. She has been a local partner and member of leadership teams for both the Crater Area Coalition to Prevent Homelessness and the Petersburg Wellness Consortium.
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