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University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Presents Non-Traditional Ways to Make a Difference in Minority Health​

SAN DIEGO, October 27, 2008 — Experts from the Center for Minority Health (CMH) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will address the successes and challenges of reducing health disparities at the American Public Health Association 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, Oct. 25 to 29. Faculty will present innovative programs that improve the health and well-being of racial and ethnic minorities. 

Nurses and Barbers Work Together to Promote Prostate Cancer Prevention 

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of death in African-American men, higher than any other racial or ethnic group. To create an opportunity for African-American men to learn about prostate cancer prevention in their own communities, CMH developed Health Advocates In Reach (HAIR). HAIR trains barbers to deliver accurate health information to peers and customers with the assistance of oncology nurses, public health professionals and prostate cancer survivors. Since 2005, CMH project director Mario Browne, M.P.H., has coordinated the efforts of HAIR, which has reached 275 men with prostate cancer information and screened 139 African-American men.

Abstract number 186259,scheduled for 8:30 a.m. PDT, Monday, Oct. 27

The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route:  Exploring African-American History by Bicycle

To increase physical activity among African-Americans and diversify the cycling community, CMH partnered with Adventure Cycling Association in 2004 to create the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, a 2,100 mile cycling route from Mobile, Ala. to Owen Sound, Ontario. In May 2007, 20 riders from across the U.S. launched the inaugural tour, spanning 53 days. Since that time, organizers have developed two maps for the route – a long distance and short distance tour to accommodate all types of cyclists. Led by the director of CMH, Stephen Thomas, Ph.D., Philip Hallen Professor of Community Health and Social Justice, and Mario Browne, M.P.H., CMH project director, the project combines history, culture and education to celebrate the courage and determination of freedom seekers and to engage people of all walks of life in physical activity. Hundreds of cyclists of all races, ethnicities and ages have cycled all or portions of the bike route since 2007.

Abstract number 181775, scheduled for 3:12 p.m. PDT, Monday, Oct. 27

CMH was established in 1994 with a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. CMH is committed to taking a lead role in the nation’s prevention agenda to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities as described in Healthy People 2010, a Department of Health and Human Services Initiative. For more information on CMH, visit

Note to reporters: Abstracts and slides for both presentations are available by contacting Clare Collins at 412-647-3555.

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