May 15, 2012

The University of Maryland School of Public Health's Stephen B. Thomas, professor of Health Services Administration and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity (M-CHE), and Wesley Queen, coordinator for the Legacy Leadership Institute, were invited to speak at the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority's Kappa Theta Omega Chapter meeting held on April 26, 2012 at the Easton Senior Center in Easton, MD. Thomas and Queen spoke to the AKA sorority members about the new Maryland Health Improvement and Disparity Reduction Act of 2012 (SB 234), and the community outreach and health improvement initiatives of the M-CHE and its MD Community Research Advisory Board.

Thomas and Queen's presentation sets the beginning stages of a new community relationship designed to help improve the health of Marylanders. The AKA sorority is an international, service-based organization that was founded by African American women on the campus of Howard University in 1908. One of AKA's program initiatives is focused on health, with an aim towards reducing health disparities. Thomas and Queen are excited to develop this partnership, and will work with the sorority members to further establish the relationship and define the areas in which the University of Maryland can work with AKA to improve the health of Marylanders, and the health of racial and ethnic minorities in particular, and to reduce and eliminate health disparities in the state. With an international membership of 260,000, AKA will be a valuable partner to help further the University of Maryland School of Public Health's mission to promote the health and well-being of citizens in Maryland, the US, and the world.