UNCA, ABIPA, MAHEC get grant to research race in Western North Carolina

UNC Asheville Interim Provost Karin Peterson, Interdisciplinary Research Leaders and community collaborators Je’Wana Grier-McEachin, executive director of the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement; Ameena Batada, associate professor of health and wellness at UNCA; UNCA Chancellor Nancy J. Cable; student researcher Dasia Jefferson ’20, a UNCA health and wellness major from Charlotte; and Jill Fromewick, research scientist at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC). Their work exploring racism and health among African-Americans in rural Western North Carolina was one of 15 projects selected for funding with a three-year grant. (Photo credit: UNC Asheville)

Three Buncombe County groups are exploring racism and health among African-Americans in rural Western North Carolina. And their efforts have been rewarded.

Community collaborators Je’Wana Grier-McEachin, executive director of the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievemen; Ameena Batada, associate professor of health and wellness at UNC Asheville; and Jill Fromewick, research scientist at the Mountain Area Health Education Center, have been awarded an Interdisciplinary Research Leaders grant totaling $350,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"We are looking to our partners out here in WNC to inform, not what just what the research will look like, but how it will be actionable, what can change," Batada said. "And that's the most important part, policy and programs and, really, a culture of health."

Their work was one of 15 projects selected for funding with a three-year grant. It will help in researching health disparities among African-Americans in rural areas. The goal of the study is to reduce the impact of racism and positively influence health outcomes.

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