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Epidemiologist Address Classes at MHU

Ronny Bell01Research shows that some racial and ethnic minority populations suffer from health issues and diseases at higher rates than white populations, according to noted epidemiologist and researcher Ronny Bell, who spoke with students at Mars Hill University on Wednesday.

Dr. Bell is a professor of epidemiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the Director of the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health. An enrolled member of the Lumbee Indian tribe, Dr. Bell also serves as a member of the American Indian Alaska Native Workgroup for the National Diabetes Education Program and the North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council.

A prolific researcher and writer, Bell has authored or co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts and five book chapters related to health and epidemiology. His primary interests are chronic disease prevalence and risk factors, with particular emphasis on ethnic minority populations.

Bell visited with MHU students in health, ethics and sociology classes to discuss health disparities in US populations, as well as steps to address these disparities. According to Bell, research suggests that some minorities tend to have a lower life expectancy and higher rates of quantifiable health markers like HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and infant mortality as compared to whites. Research has linked these health disparities to factors including access to healthcare, genetics, physical/social environment and lifestyle.

Dr. Ashby Walker, MHU professor of sociology, invited Dr. Bell to Mars Hill in observance of National Minority Health Month in April.

(MHU Office of Communications / March 26, 2014)