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June 03, 2022

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., joined community leaders from across the country as a part of a National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity’s (SHC) Health Champions initiative in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control on May 12.

The event provided local trusted voices nationwide – from the SHC-supported Faith Health Alliance, Community Pharmacist Ambassadors and Health Advocates In-Reach and Research (a.k.a. HAIR) Wellness Warriors (hair stylists and barbers) – with important, up-to-date safety practices for helping their congregants and customers stay healthy. 

Dr. Emanuel noted the importance of community leaders in promoting health in underserved communities of color. 

“I commend NMQF and the community leaders in their health promotion efforts,” he said.

Laura Lee Hall, Ph.D., President of SHC, echoed his sentiment as she praised Dr. Emanuel for his commitment to public health. 

“We were honored to have a national expert provide clear information on how community leaders can continue safeguarding the health of people in their churches, salons and barbershops, and community centers. NMQF and SHC are committed to supporting community leaders in their health promotion efforts,” she said. “I am grateful to Dr. Emanuel for equipping our community partners with practical advice related to COVID, ranging from how to improve the safety of their physical spaces, to practices that reduce risk of infection such as masking and vaccines, and the importance of hypertension control.”

The Rev. Dr. Terris King, who is leading Faith Health Alliance with Bishop Dr. J. L. Carter, said this event was important for African Americans who have have suffered vaccine disparities, COVID-19 infection and death, and other health inequities – through less knowledge and access, social and economic barriers and discrimination and bias in the health system throughout the pandemic. He said community leaders can play a pivotal role in closing these deadly gaps.

“The existing healthcare model must change to emphasize the importance of community-based care,” he said. “Having Dr. Emanuel speak to this important group emphasizes their critical role in promoting health in underserved communities of color.  The realization of and access to equitable health care will not be achieved for vulnerable populations without the further integration of these trusted voices in the community into the healthcare system.”

Supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Minority Quality Forum’s SHC vaccine initiatives also receive support from Sanofi Pasteur.


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About National Minority Quality Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The mission of NMQF is to reduce patient risk by assuring optimal care for all. NMQF’s vision is an American health services research, delivery and financing system whose operating principle is to reduce patient risk for amenable morbidity and mortality while improving quality of life. For more information, please visit

About the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity

The Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity promotes sustainable healthy communities, especially those with diverse and underserved populations, through the provision of actionable data, research, and engagement of clinicians and community leaders. For more information, please visit