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CHEER Research

CHEER research includes a multiplicity of strategies to influence health disparities. This includes applied qualitative and quantitative research, as well as community-based participatory research. NIMHD funding provided the opportunity to focus on enhancing health outcomes in one of Memphis’ and the nation’s most impoverished neighborhoods, zip code 38126. A CHEER health intervention and CHEER community health summits were implemented. CHEER areas of extensive focus have also included strategies for addressing food desserts and excessive disparities in breast cancer mortality.

Selected Publications and Projects

  1. Shelley White-Means and Reshad Osmani. (2017). “Racial, Ethnic, and Insurance Disparities in Patient-Provider Communication with Breast Cancer Patients,” Inquiry 54. DOI: 10.1177/0046958017727104.
  2. Gregory Vidal, Zoran Bursac, Gustavo Miranda-Carboni, Shelley White-Means, and Athena Starlard-Davenport. (2017). “Racial/ethnic disparities in survival outcomes and breast tumor subtypes among African American women in Memphis, Tennessee.” Cancer Medicine, 6 (7), 1776-1786. doi: 10.1002/cam4.1117.
  3. Shelley White-Means, Jill Dapremont, Muriel Rice, Barbara Davis, and Okoia Stoddard. (2017). “Breast Cancer Mortality Disparities: Providers' Perspective,” Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 7(6):46 ; doi: 10.5430/jnep.v7n6p46.
  4. Shelley White-Means, Muriel Rice, Jill Dapremont, Barbara Davis, and Judy Martin. (2016). “African American Women: Surviving Breast Cancer Mortality against the Highest Odds,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(2):6; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010006.
  5. White-Means, S. (2013). Health Disparities. In Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2nd ed. pp.297-307).
  6. Brandi Franklin, Ashley Jones, Dejuan Love, Stefane Puckett, Justin Macklin; Shelley White-Means. “Exploring mediators of food insecurity and obesity: a review of recent literature.” Journal of Community Health, 37 (1): 253-264. Food Security
  7. White-Means, S., Brown, L., Dong, Z., and Hufstader, M. (2009). Cultural Competency. Race and Skin Tone Bias Among Pharmacy, Nursing, and Medical Students: Implications for Addressing Health Disparities. Medical Care Research and Review. (vol 66 no. 4 pp. 436-455). Doi: 10.1177/1077558709333995 Cultural Competency
  8. University of Tennessee Health and Science Center, Tennessee Department of Health, and Tennessee State University (2006). The Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Tennessee. Retrieved fromThe Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Tennessee.

Community Engagement and Health Summits

The goals of community health summits are to rally community leaders, representatives, and residents to begin a conversation that generates strategies to 1) identify the issues the community considers relevant, including both beneficial and problematic matters, 2) cultivate an equitable partnership between the community and educational and public entities, and 3) develop the most effective ways of addressing the community’s research and service needs.  CHEER chose to start its community engagement activities with residents and organizations in zip code 38126, the most impoverished zip code in Memphis and one where the residents are primarily African-American. We sought to hear the voice of the community in its assessments of its health assets and challenges, quality of life, and desires for community partnerships. 

On October 21, 2010 a core group of community stakeholders participated in a Community Health Summit sponsored by CHEER. By all measures, the summit was a success. Individuals attended and actively engaged in a 90 minute discussion focused on questions designed to solicit participants’ thoughts about community assets, resources, and challenges. The summit generated several important successes including a willingness of participants to attend a follow-up summit meeting to continue discussions that lead to community-driven actions. A second important outcome of the summit was an intervention developed by faith leaders to provide nutrition education and transportation to area grocery stores for residents living in the zip code area who are unable to travel beyond the neighborhood to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, which are critical to good health and chronic disease management. In our Fall 2010 edition of the CHEERLeader, we report on the scarcity of food stores in the 38126 zip code area – this is an issue that clearly reflected the concerns of summit participants.

A core group of five community leaders served on the Planning Committee and identified and selected 25 individuals to participate in the summit. Members of the Planning Committee included Ms. Dywana Rogers (38126 Resident), Mrs. Betty Fitzgerald (Mustard Seed Inc.), Father Colenzzo Hubbard (Emmanuel Episcopal Center), Mrs. Linda Williams (RISE Foundation), and Mr. Joseph Sanders (Men’s Health Network). Reverend Dr. Noel Hutchinson (First Baptist Church Lauderdale and CHEER) chaired the committee, facilitated the summit discussion, and opened the meeting by providing ground rules that yielded constructive discussion and moved the group towards achieving summit goals. Community lay health workers who live in communities located in the 38126 zip code area or who are University of Tennessee Health Science Center and LeMoyne-Owen College students served as note takers to document the event.

The October summit serves as a solid beginning for CHEER’s efforts to engage the community and through partnerships with key stakeholders and to devise a plan that results in sustainability strategies to improve nutrition and the overall health and environment throughout the 38126 zip code area. The following are our findings:

Working Papers

  1. Wenjing Tao, Patrick Richard, Roland J. Thorpe Jr., Earlise C. Ward, Shelley White-Means, Darrell J. Gaskin. (2017). The Impact of Poor Mental Health on Labour Market Productivity in Low Income American Men.Abstract
  2. White-Means, S., Henley, D., Wilson, K., Lipova., S., Wicks, M., & Rice, M.(2012). Challenges to Breast Cancer Disparity Elimination in Memphis, Tennessee. Presented at the 2012 NIMHD Summit on The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities; Building a Healthier Society Integrating Science, Policy, and Practice. National Harbor, Maryland.Abstract
  3. Rice, M., Wicks, M., & White-Means, S. (2013). Is Health Affected by Living In a High Poverty Neighborhood?Abstract
  4. Wicks, M., Rice, M. White-Means, S. (2015). Using a Blended Community Resident - Student Community Health Worker Model in Health Disparities Research. Abstract
  5. White-Means, S., Rice, M., & Wicks, M. (2016). Depressive Symptoms in an Impoverished African American Community Sample.Abstract
May 26, 2022