Six Carpenter Library employees enjoyed learning about the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity on Tuesday, August 25, 2009.
Dr. Ronny Bell serves as the director of the seven-year-old Center. The Center, one of 11 at WFUSM, promotes research, faculty and student development and outreach. A dream of Dr. Richard Dean, the Center was awarded start-up grants from The Winston-Salem Foundation and Duke Endowment in late 2001-2002 to begin operation.
The Center moved to Watlington Hall in September 2008 where it shares space and some employees with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
While the Center has 14 employees, Dr. Bell explained the relationship that the Center has with WFUBMC committees and departments. The 36 faculty affiliates that participate in Center activities have a main appointment in another department. For example, Dr. Bell was hired to work for the Division of Public Health Sciences/Epidemiology & Prevention. He splits his time between there and the Center. Other faculty of the Center, such as Dr. David Mount who serves as director of community outreach, has an appointment in General Internal Medicine. There is also a Diversity Council at the Medical Center which works closely with the Maya Angelou Center.
The Maya Angelou Center isn't the only type of Center in the state - there are five more. Dr. Bell hopes to eventually create a health equity consortium for these centers to work together. Meanwhile, WFUBMC employees continue to work together to provide health care for all types of populations and cultures.