Charles Barkley Health Disparities Fund
Ensuring Quality Health Care for Minority Patients
In April 2003, Charles Barkley accepted founding Director Mona Fouad's invitation to speak at the 1st Annual UAB Minority Health and Research Center Conference, "Eliminating Health Disparities: Equal Care, Equal Outcomes." The former NBA All-Star and sports broadcaster, along with the other conference speakers, presented an overview of health-care disparities and addressed the center's mission and goals of developing research, educational, and service programs to understand and reduce these disparities locally. After the conference Mr. Barkley expressed an interest in providing ongoing support for the center as well as Dr. Fouad's work in both research and building community and state partnerships to help treat and prevent disease among minority populations in Alabama. Recently he contributed a generous gift through the Charles Barkley Foundation to support existing as well as new initiatives in the Minority Health and Research Center. The Charles Barkley Health Disparities Fund will administer competitively awarded financial support to UAB faculty and other community associates who focus on outreach, educational, and investigative programs related to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer. "As I've made the transition from playing sports to on-air commentating and public speaking, and I began to talk about serious and sensitive issues like race and education, I've tried to get people talking," Mr. Barkley explains. "Because of the opportunities I've had in life, I feel I have an obligation to speak up. In supporting the UAB Minority Health and Research Center, I'm making a statement that education and outreach can help improve our communities. The center works to improve access to health care and the health status of African Americans." "We are so pleased that Charles Barkley sees the value in the mission of the Minority Health and Research Center and has provided us with his generous gift," says Dr. Fouad. "Ever since I've known him, he has emphasized his wish for African Americans to improve their health and for students to strive to become doctors, teachers, and scientists, and not think that sports are the best or only option for their futures." "This fund provides significant seed money that will enable worthy programs at UAB to generate more funding from all sources to address the important issues of health disparities. All of Alabama will benefit from Charles Barkley's most welcome gift," emphasizes Shirley Salloway Kahn, Ph.D., vice president for development, alumni, and external relations. "One of the driving forces behind UAB's growth is the university's quest for excellence. Charles Barkley's incredible gift will greatly assist our dedicated clinicians and researchers as they work to find effective treatment and tools to ensure the delivery of quality health care to minority patients in our state," notes President Carol Z. Garrison, Ph.D. "I am most happy to thank the Charles Barkley Foundation for this generous support."