Press Releases


Pastors, Health Advocates, City Leaders Band Together to Raise Awareness During Unusual Year

Baltimore, MD (October 14, 2020) – The National Minority Quality Forum, along with leaders from Baltimore churches, community, health professionals, and City boosters have come together to develop a pilot program that will raise awareness for flu vaccination as Baltimore prepares for what could be a difficult flu season ahead.  The Black communities in Baltimore and Prince Georges County have a lower rate of flu vaccination compared to the rest of the state of Maryland. This coalition has come together to educate the community about the benefits of a flu vaccine and where to get one this Fall.

“The one-two punch of Covid-19 and the flu, makes getting the word out about the importance of vaccination even more critical,” said Reverend Dr. Terris King, Pastor of Liberty Grace Church of God and CEO, King Enterprise Group, LLC.  “It is time to change the perception and make it clear why we need to vaccinate when the flu vaccine becomes readily available in the coming weeks.”

The National Minority Quality Forum’s Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC) has joined together with the Baltimore City Health Department and the International Vaccine Access Center at  Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to offer flu vaccine clinics adjacent to two Baltimore City churches in the coming weeks.  The first clinic is scheduled for October 17, 9am-1pm at Southern Baptist Church, church at 1701 N. Chester Street.  The rate of Covid-19 illness and death is high in the Black community, which is even more reason for these communities to protect against the flu.  Bringing the clinics to the churches in a safe outdoor location can provide parishioners with a further sense of comfort during a trying time.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, director of the Maryland Center of Health Equity, along with members of the barbershop wellness initiative “The Health Advocates In-Reach and Research,” (HAIR) also will be working to better understand community views of flu vaccination and COVID-19, providing positive information.

“Older adults and people with chronic conditions are much more vulnerable to influenza and COVID-19 and people of color are much less likely to get a flu vaccine”  ” said Laura Lee Hall, President of SHC.   “Working with trusted community voices such as the Clergy in Baltimore City and barbers throughout Prince Georges County and Baltimore will help assure that the community shapes health promoting solutions.”

For more information, call Maryland Access Point at 410-396-CARE (2273), visit to see a map of places offering flu shots in Baltimore City or visit for more information.

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About Flu Vaccine Pilot Program

Religious partners in the program include Reverend Dr. Terris King, Pastor of Liberty Grace Church of God and CEO, King Enterprise Group, LLC; Bishop J. L. Carter, Ark Church President, Ministers Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity; Reverend Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr., D. Min., Ph. D. ,Senior Pastor Union Baptist Church; Bishop Donté L. Hickman, Sr., Southern Baptist Church; Pastor Michael Phillips Senior, Pastor of Kingdom Life Church; Reverend Pamula D. Yerby-Hammack, Executive Pastor, City of Abraham Church and Ministries. In addition to Laura Lee Hall, other healthcare partners include Lois Privor-Dumm, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, Maryland Center for Health Equity School of Public Health, University of Maryland; Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, Maryland Center of Health Equity, University of Maryland, School of Public Health.



‘Call for Community-Driven Equity in Flu Vaccination’ to Address Disparities in Underserved Communities amid COVID-19 Pandemic

National Minority Quality Forum Action Panel Says It Has Never Been More Important to Increase Flu Vaccination in Communities of Color

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 25, 2020) —Today, the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC) announced a major effort to promote flu vaccination in communities of color—as an SHC-convened panel of experts, clinicians, and stakeholders called for even stronger efforts to promote flu vaccination, as racial and ethnic disparities persist in the face of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic with its disproportionate impact on communities of color.

“It has never been more important to get a flu vaccine, so as to minimize respiratory illness and its impact on patients’ health as well as the healthcare system,” said UAMS College of Medicine’s Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., M.D., M.A.C.P., F.A.A.P., who is also the National Vaccine Advisory Committee Chair at US Department of Health and Human Services, and Chair of the Communications and Advocacy Subgroup of DRIVE Advisory Group.

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Primary Care Practices in Rural Kentucky Help Their Patients Prevent Deadly Lung Cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2019 – Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity announced that physicians, physician assistants, and nursing champions from four primary care practices in rural Kentucky successfully worked to refer their at-risk patients for early lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation counseling. Hailing from some of the hardest-hit regions in the nation – lung cancer is the second most common U.S. cancer – 218,527 new cases in 2015 year – and the number one cancer killer, with 153,718 victims; the death count is highest in Kentucky (64.3 per 100,000, age-adjusted) – these health care champions worked to provide hope for their patients facing this risk: For current and former heavy tobacco smokers, early screening for lung cancer using low dose computed tomography (LDCT) affords a major breakthrough in terms of improving the odds of survival.

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Vaccine Report Calls for New Strategies to Increase Flu Immunization Rates in Older Adults

Expert Panel Identified Major Barriers to Influenza Immunization Among Racial Minorities, Including Older Adults with Low Socioeconomic Status and Chronic Health Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 8, 2019 – The Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity announced the publication of a summary report in Vaccine, the leading peer-reviewed journal focused on immunization science, urging health systems, providers and community stakeholders to implement evidence-based strategies to address racial disparities in influenza immunization. The manuscript, titled Effective and equitable influenza vaccine coverage in older and vulnerable adults: The need for evidence-based innovation and transformation, will be featured in the April issue of the publication.

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Sickle Cell Disease Advocates Form Working Group to Map and Address Community Needs

Patients, Experts, Researchers, and Advocates Convened by the National Minority Quality Forum and the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity to Promote Better Care and Outcomes

Washington, DC—The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF)—one of the nation’s leading advocates for health equity—and the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC), its wholly-owned subsidiary has convened the nation’s leading advocacy groups, experts, academic institutions, and biomedical innovators to promote sustainable, community-based and patient-centered care for those suffering from Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The effort will include the collection and analysis of health data archived by NMQF to determine the patterns, gaps, and disparities of care for SCD in the United States.

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