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TN-MMC HBCU Wellness Project

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Abbreviated for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), the HBCU Wellness Project is an intervention designed to utilize the human and social capital at Tennessee HBCUs to promote health and modify risks for chronic diseases among individuals living in the surrounding communities. The primary goal of the HBCU Wellness Project is to leverage educational and service-oriented resources at HBCUs to positively impact the health and well-being of Tennessee residents. 


Our Objectives

  • Conduct needs assessments for local communities and campuses


  • Enhance the capacity of faculty to integrate service learning into the curricula


  • Recruit, train, and guide Student Health Ambassadors to develop health and wellness projects to promote readiness for change


  • Assess short and long term outcomes of service-learning activities in communities of color


  • Develop and maintain a pipeline of students of color interested in entering health professions workforce

The HBCU Wellness Project began in 2007.

Our Current Participating HBCUs Include:

  • Fisk University

  • Knoxville College

  • Lane College

  • LeMoyne-Owen College

Previous HBCUs Have Included:

  • Meharry Medical College

  • Tennessee State University

Student Health Ambassadors (SHAs) are full time students who attend one of the participating Historically Black Colleges or Universities associated with the HBCU Wellness Project. SHAs are exposed to service learning, work with local health and social service agencies and serve as community change agents. In this role, SHAs positively impact the health and well being of underserved community residents in culturally sensitive and culturally relevant ways.


Learn more about their training.

Minority and ethnic communities (African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans) suffer greatly from many chronic illnesses that are preventable disproportionately more than the majority population. These deficits are referred to as “health disparities” or health inequalities resulting in health inequities. Learning more about public health frameworks prepares students as future health care professionals increase awareness and create capacity for overall improved health outcomes.

Learn more about our topics.

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