January 27, 2014

Board of Regents Staff Awards Winners

We are pleased to announce the following winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Awards, which are presented annually to honor individual or group achievement in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness, one of the core values here at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). The Diversity Advisory Council reviewed nominations and made recommendations to President Perman, who selected the winners.

Outstanding UMB Staff Award:
JACQUES Initiative

Founded in 2003, the JACQUES Initiative is a program of the Institute of Human Virology at the School of Medicine. It employs a multidisciplinary, expert staff to address HIV primary care and outreach in Maryland. Most unique is the JACQUES Initiative's active engagement in the community. More than 500 volunteers, including students, housewives, professionals, and members of the faith community, are engaged to perform HIV testing and outreach each year.

Since 2011, the JACQUES Initiative has led a Universitywide effort at UMB called "Preparing the Future" that mobilizes the academic and clinical campus to address the goals of the JACQUES Initiative's National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

As a result, more than 500 students across six professional schools have been involved in an interprofessional didactic and hands-on curriculum. In 2014, 20,000 citizens will be tested by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals who have incorporated routine HIV testing into their practice at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Outstanding UMB Faculty Award:
Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, RN, CRNP

An assistant professor in the School of Nursing, Yolanda Ogbolu is deputy director of the School's Office of Global Health and has devoted 20 years to working across local, state, national, and international levels to address issues of health disparities and cultural competency, especially among newborns.

She has participated on the Governor's Task Force on Infant Mortality and led a subcommittee of the Cultural Competency Task Force. She mentors nurse leaders from sub-Saharan Africa and local high school students to encourage health care careers. Ogbolu collaborated with the National Office of Minority Health/SRA to develop an innovative educational module on the National Standards for Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Care. In West Africa, she focuses on newborn survival and led the development of educational curricula, and four nursing university partnerships.

In addition, Ogbolu is the leader (PI) of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant funded to examine organizational cultural competency and its association with patient-reported experiences.

Outstanding UMB Student Award:
Hispanic Dental Association

The University's Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) chapter focuses on service, leadership, education, and advocacy. It participates in community health fairs, organizes screenings, and promotes awareness of the need for oral health care in Baltimore's Hispanic community. The chapter was named National Student Chapter of the Year by the National Hispanic Dental Association in September.

That month the chapter held a health fair at Wolfe Street Academy, where 90-plus children from kindergarten through fifth grade were screened for oral cancer and any conditions needing immediate attention. In November, HDA volunteers screened and educated 70-plus community members of all ages at the Langley Park Health Fair.

The HDA chapter at UMB primarily serves the Hispanic community, but most of the members are not Hispanic, learning key Spanish dental terms during lunch-and-learns to promote inclusiveness.

The awards will be presented at the University's Black History Month celebration on Monday, Feb. 10, at noon in the Medical School Teaching Facility auditorium. The keynote speaker will be Joseph T. Jones Jr., president and founder of the Center for Urban Families (CFUF). A product of the West Baltimore neighborhood where he now works, Jones strives to halt family disintegration in part by offering a fresh start to absentee fathers with CFUF's job training and parenting courses and his encouragement. Our musical guests will be the Southwest Baltimore Charter School fourth-grade chorus.

We hope you will join us in celebrating the ideals epitomized by the life and work of Dr. King and to honor those who exemplify those ideals. Registration is required by Feb. 3. For more information, please contact UMB's Office of Protocol and Special Events at events@umaryland.edu.