RCMI participates in the 7th Annual Jimmie Ray Lewis, Sr. Walk-A-Thon

The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Community Engagement Core (CEC) joined residents on July 10, 2021, to participate in the 7th Annual Jimmie Ray Lewis, Sr. Walk-A-Thon. Celebrating its 8th year, the annual occasion sponsored by the Bolton/Edwards Community Health Advisors Network (CHAN), Hinds County AHS Class of 1975, and Westhaven Funeral Home, returned to the Jimmie Ray Lewis Sr. Plaza in Bolton, Mississippi, after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Engagement Specialist, Marty Fortenberry, introduced the 25 attendees to the mission of the RCMI CHDR program and encouraged them to get involved in community health disparities research at Jackson State University. 

Dr. Maracica Pacurari, RCMI CHDR investigator and Associate Professor in the JSU Department of Biology, was the invited guest speaker.  Dr. Pacurari discussed the severity of the disease and the risk factors associated with the condition.  She provided information related to her research and how JSU contributes to advanced understanding of pulmonary fibrosis to reduce the health disparities in minority populations by increasing the communities’ awareness and promoting positive health behavior change. Dr. Pacurari’s presentation was well received by attendees, and she was invited by Bolton/Edwards CHAN representative, Alfeneete Robinson to follow-up with the Bolton/Edwards CHAN and the Bolton/Edwards community regarding updates/research findings.

Dr. Donna Antoine-LaVigne, CEC Director, imparted information on various health topics and discussed how the community could collaborate with the CEC to identify health topics for future research, education, and outreach opportunities. 

Additional information was presented about the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, and monetary resources to assist family members with the final rites of COVID victims. Ms. Audrey Wiley of Westhaven Funeral Home shared that they could assist with completing forms to apply for the available resources. 

In support of the mission to bolster community’s health, Dr. Pacurari and Ms. Wiley provided healthy refreshments for the event.