As a Medical Sociologist with over 15 years of experience engaging diverse health systems and communities to improve community and population health, I have devoted my career to reducing health disparities among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations and effectively training health care and research professionals and trainees in community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and the principles of authentic and impactful stakeholder collaborations. My expertise can be defined broadly within the context of developing effective community and health system partnerships to improve health outcomes, and conducting community health assessments to inform strategic priority setting, and program development, implementation and evaluation. I serve as the inaugural director of the Office of Health Equity and Disparities at the Duke Cancer Institute, and the Director of the Community Connections and Collaborations Core within the Duke CTSA and the Center for Community and Population Health Improvement. I am also faculty in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Community Health.
I have several funded project including Project PLACE (Population Level Approaches to Cancer Elimination), funded by the NCI is a three pronged research project designed to implement three robust mechanisms to inform the health equity strategic direction of the DCI over the next 5- 8 years. Project PLACE is a highly intensive community engagement model and platform designed to shape robust scholarly productivity, partnered research and community programs to improve population health. I am also the Duke PI (subcontract) with Kevin Williams (lead-PI)of a national Susan G. Komen pipeline training grant on translational research in Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and community engaged research. I also co-direct the NCI funded Cancer Research and Education Program Core of the NCCU/DCI Translational Health Disparities Research Program which incorporates specified training in minority accrual in clinical research, a program I developed within the DCI entitled, Just Ask.