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NIH Awards Second Year of Funding for DREF Research Matters Initiative

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded a second year of funding to DREF as a national community partner with the NIH All of Us Research Program. As of July 1, 2018, DREF embarked on its second year of promoting its initiative: "Research Matters: Creating Possibilities to Achieve Health and Wellness for All of Us."
NIH Awards Second Year of Funding for DREF Research Matters Initiative

DREF President Carolyn E. Lewis and volunteer Pamela Davis at Farwest Regional Conference

As a national community partner with NIH, DREF is charged with promoting the All of Us Research program by educating African Americans about Precision Medicine and importance of biomedical research. Ultimately, the Foundation is encouraging African Americans to be One in a Million; NIH is building a database of one million to lead the way toward better health. DREF is collaborating with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the National Council of Negro Women to implement Research Matters for All of Us.

The All of Us Research Program is a great opportunity for African Americans to "get onboard" to help close the health disparity gap that exists for us. DREF President Carolyn E. Lewis stated: "We too often speak of how many chronic and terminal diseases disproportionately affect African American; diseases such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer's and others. Yet, only five percent of African Americans participate in clinical trials. It is time for us to make a change." 

During the summer and autumn months of 2018, DREF staff and volunteers are conducting outreach at national conventions, regional conferences and local events attended by African American audiences. DREF is participating in four regional conferences of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to inform Delta members about the Research Matters initiative, and ultimately enroll individuals; these conferences include(d):

Southern Regional in Nashville, TN (June 28-July 1)

Farwest Regional in Pasadena, CA (July 5-8)

Southwest Regional in Dallas, TX (July 19-22)

South Atlantic Regional in Charlotte, NC (August 9-12)

DREF is participating in the DST Regional Conferences that included the cities designated by NIH for the awareness campaign. These cities include:

1)     Albuquerque, NM

2)     Birmingham, AL

3)     Columbia, SC

4)     Durham, NC

5)     Greensboro, NC

6)     Greenville, SC

7)     Houston, TX

8)     Memphis, TN

9)     Nashville, TN

10)   New Orleans, LA

11)   Portland, OR

12)   Sacramento, CA

We invite you to stop by the DREF Research Matters informational exhibit booth to learn how you can help shape the future of medicine. DREF will be exhibiting at the following national assemblies:

·National Medical Association Convention, Orlando, FL (Aug.12-14)
·National Baptist Convention in Minneapolis, MN, (Sept. 3-7)

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Weekend, Washington, DC (Sept. 14-16)

· Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Indianapolis, IN (Oct. 2-7)
· National Alliance of Black School Educators in Baltimore, MD (Nov. 6-11)

Regina Locust, a Research Matters Program Manager is facilitating DREF's involvement with the NIH Mobile Engagement Asset Journey as it travels throughout the nation. Throughout the spring and summer months, DREF has participated with the MEA Journey in community engagement activities in Birmingham (AL), Winston-Salem (NC), Knoxville (TN), Greensboro (NC), Charlotte (NC), and Washington, D.C. During the weekend of June 22-24, MEA Journey outreach activities were held in Atlanta, GA; one of the outreach activities was held at the Morehouse College of Medicine, creating a new collaborative partnership with the medical institution. A second effort was held at the Annual Greek Picnic, engaging the participation of African American collegiate students. In Knoxville, a special partnership was initiated with the One Hundred Black Men of America.

Ernestine Jones Jolivet, a Research Matters Program Manager, is coordinating an MEA Journey outreach activity on July 28 in Baltimore, MD at Epworth United Methodist. Kindly note that DREF will facilitate community engagement activities with the MEA journey in the following cities; please stop by if your city is listed:

· Philadelphia, PA              August 11
· Orlando, FL                     September 8
· Houston, TX                    November 4 and November 9
· Dallas, TX                        November 18
· Albuquerque, NM            January 19, 2019


A special note of appreciation is extended to all persons who volunteered with DREF outreach activities at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 5-8 and at the 109th Annual Convention of the NAACP in San Antonio on July 14-17.

Learn more about the DREF Research Matters for All of Us by visiting

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