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Miles College to address vaccine equity and education in new partnership

From left, John Hudson, Southern Company Gas and a graduate of Miles College School of Law; Tiffany Whitlow, co-founder of Acclinate; Miles President Bobbie Knight; and Del Smith, co-founder of Acclinate, commemorate Miles College's partnership with #NOWINCLUDED to seek equity in COVID-19 vaccinations and clinical research trials. (contributed)

Birmingham's Miles College has partnered with healthcare solutions provider Acclinate to advocate for equity in COVID-19 vaccinations and educate students, faculty, and staff about clinical research trial participation.

The #NOWINCLUDED campaign will be the first of its kind according to a press release from the college and will offer bi-weekly virtual workshops on topics including residential learning in living during COVID-19, building on-line learning communities, and maintaining academic and emotional health during the pandemic. Students, faculty, and staff will participate in a pre and post workshop surveys to better understand their COVID-19 knowledge and asses current mental health.

The campaign will be run by Acclinate, a digital health company specializing in leveraging culture and technology to educate and engage groups about genomic research and clinical trial participation.

“Essential to this partnership is the stark realization that the African American community has been historically omitted from significant consideration for clinical trials and research for cures to the most critical public health threats,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “Partnerships like Acclinate are vital to our institution, and we look forward to educating our students on the role they can play to mitigate the gulf between research and cure within the African American community.”

According to a statement from the college, the program is designed to help students and faculty to make informed decisions around their health while also acting as ambassadors to their communities and families.

“Our partnership with Miles is right on target for what we’d like to see happening with minority students throughout the nation,” said Acclinate co-founder, Tiffany Whitlow in an official release. “The sooner we can help them prioritize their health, the better their lives will be beyond college and well into adulthood. This will not only help them but also their future families.”

Acclinate co-founder and former HBCU business dean, Del Smith, also weighed-in on the newly minted partnership. “I know firsthand how interconnected issues of education and health are. President Knight is to be commended for her innovative thinking and associated action when it comes to bettering not only the education, but the health of her student population,” said Smith.

(Courtesy of Miles College)

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