Southern Partnership for Health Equity Research

The Southern Partnership for Health Equity Research (SPHERE) is an effort to establish collaborative relationships with other research centers in the Southern U.S. focused on the elimination of health inequities. SPHERE also serves as the external advisory board for CHEER, in the development of initiatives, identification of priority areas, and overall growth of our mission.

 

Bettina M. Beech
Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH
Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH, is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health, Executive Director of the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, and Professor of Pediatrics and Family Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Her research focuses on the role of nutritional factors in the primary and secondary prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes, with a particular emphasis on child health disparities. Dr. Beech’s research integrates concepts in public health, health disparities, diabetes, obesity prevention and treatment, cancer prevention and control, and pediatric/adolescent health issues. This work has been supported by multiple grants funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Beech is involved in several national public health-related activities. She has recently been a member of several national committees including: the Advisory Board for the Primary Care Network for the Treatment of Adolescent Obesity, the Disparities Subcommittee of the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Expert Panel to advise the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) on their future initiatives, and a 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Panel on Early Childhood Obesity Policies.

 

 

 

Gene H. Brody, Ph.D
Gene H. Brody, Ph.D
Gene H. Brody, Ph.D., is Regents’ Professor of Child and Family Development, Director of the Center for Family Research at the University of Georgia, and Research Professor at Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Brody’s research centers on the study of family, community, and genetic contributions to child and adolescent development. He has conducted research on the contribution of parental psychological functioning, parenting practices, and sibling relationships to the emotional and behavioral well-being of children and adolescents. This research has supported the development and evaluation of family-centered prevention programs among rural African American families. Dr. Brody has identified family and community processes that forecast academic, emotional, and behavioral competence in children and adolescents living in conditions of environmental stress in this population. Dr. Brody received the Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations in 2005 and 2007, and was invited to participate in the White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth in 2005. Dr. Brody was inducted into the University of Georgia Family and Consumer Sciences Honor Hall of Recognition in 2014.

 

 

 

Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD
Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD
Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, MSc, is Professor of Social Medicine and Medicine at the School of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Health Equity Research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her empirical work, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, has focused on the methodological, ethical, and practical issues faced by mandated inclusion of minorities in research and the need for this research to address disparities in health. She utilized multidisciplinary approaches to conduct research in conditions with health disparities. She has effectively developed and conducted research across systems to address the health needs of vulnerable populations with the goal of eliminating health disparities. Her recent work has focused on developing methods and interventions to engage minority and underserved communities in research. She has focused on interventions to increase minority participation in clinical research and the use of engaged research methods, like community based participatory research, to work collaboratively with communities to address the issues of most concern. Dr. Corbie-Smith has been the principal investigator of grants funded through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the National Human Genome Research Institute.

 

 

 

Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D
Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D
Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D., holds the AT&T Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cancer Equity, and is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Hollings Cancer Center Cancer Control Program Leader at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a nationally recognized expert in cancer prevention and control among diverse populations. Her research program is aimed at identifying sociocultural, psychological, and environmental determinants of cancer prevention and control, translating this information into interventions and disseminating efficacious strategies into clinical trials and community settings. Dr. Hughes-Halbert’s research has made several seminal contributions to the fields of cancer control, minority health, and health disparities. Currently, she is examining community-based strategies for increasing access to, and enhancing the quality of, precision medicine strategies among medically underserved populations, with a particular focus on minority men. She has obtained numerous grants, from the National Cancer Institute, National Human Genome Research Institute, and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Hughes-Halbert is also a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors at the National Cancer Institute and has published her research in several influential academic journals in the fields of cancer prevention, clinical oncology, medicine, genetics, and public health.