Kennedy Krieger Institute Receives $11 Million in CDC Funding to Support Populations Underrepresented in Public Health Careers

tags: The Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training Latest News

BALTIMORE, January 3, 2023 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently awarded Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training $11 million to enroll up to 200 graduate and post-graduate scholars in its Ferguson RISE Fellowship Program and up to 150 undergraduate juniors, seniors and post-baccalaureate scholars.

The funds are part of the John R. Lewis Undergraduate  Public Health Scholars and Dr. James A. Ferguson Fellowship collaborative agreements led by the  CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. These programs seek to eliminate health disparities and improve the nation’s overall health through expanding opportunities for diverse talented undergraduate and scholars to participate in public health experiences. They are a recognition of Kennedy Krieger’s commitment to fostering success in public health research careers among students from underrepresented populations, said Harolyn M.E. Belcher, MD, MHS, Kennedy Krieger’s vice president and chief diversity officer.

“New and exciting during this budget period is a doubling of CDC current investment in graduate student public health research experiences and significantly strengthen research opportunities for students, especially those from underrepresented populations,” Dr. Belcher said. “We’re excited to support the fellows’ career trajectories while increasing the number of talented and diverse public health professionals.”

The additional funds for the Ferguson RISE Fellowship Program promote a culturally responsive public health workforce through focused recruitment and culturally congruent mentoring of scholars from populations experiencing health disparities, including those from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in public health careers, individuals with disabilities, first-generation college students, scholars who are LGBTQI+ and other marginalized community members.

Upon admittance into the months-long program, fellows conduct mentored research with faculty from Kennedy Krieger, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Howard University, Maryland Health Department, Morgan State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health and the CDC.  Past program fellows studied autism and early intervention, Black infant mortality rates and stress, adverse childhood experiences, sexual health, nutrition intervention programs for people with disabilities and other important public health topics.

Applications are currently being accepted for next year’s program. Information can be found here.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute 
Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally known, non-profit organization located in the greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region, transforms the lives of more than 27,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient medical, behavioral health and wellness therapies, home and community services, school-based programs, training and education for professionals and advocacy. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children, adolescents and adults with diseases, disorders or injuries that impact the nervous system, ranging from mild to severe. The Institute is home to a team of investigators who contribute to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneer new interventions and methods of early diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Visit for more information about Kennedy Krieger.


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