The health care needs of
the Hispanic and African-American communities will be better served
thanks to the efforts of the 2011 Earl B. Higgins Award recipients.
Carolyn Jenkins, Ph.D.,
College of Nursing professor, and Kelly Lambright, fourth-year College
of Medicine student, received their awards April 6.
Lavalle Higgins, widow of
Dr. Earl B. Higgins, welcomed Jenkins and Lambright as "MUSC's newest
angels" at the award ceremony. She believes both share a commitment to
helping the underserved through compassion and dedication, which is
Jenkins has dedicated more than 30 years to improving health care among
African-American communities. Her focus is on improving care for
high-risk diabetes patients. She has written more than 25 publications
in peer-reviewed journals and books on this topic. Jenkins also has
actively recruited minority students into health professional education
Lavalle Higgins, left, welcomes Dr.
Carolyn Jenkins as an Earl B. Higgins Award recipient.
The REACH program is
another accomplishment of Jenkins. This is the only center focused on
reducing disparities for African-Americans with diabetes in the nation
that is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The student recipient, Kelly Lambright, contributed her time to
advancing health care in the Hispanic communities. She has participated
in the Alliance for Hispanic Health (AHH) for all four years of her
studies. Lambright has learned Spanish to better serve these
communities. She then used these abilities to volunteer in interpreter
services at the hospital and participate in several health fairs.
The ultimate goal for
Lambright's involvement in AHH was to collect research data assessing
the health needs of the Charleston Hispanic community in hopes it could
be better served in the future.
Not only did Lambright
volunteer in the local community, she also served internationally
through work she has done in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El
Salvador and Honduras.