The University of Maryland, College Park, recently announced its plan to open the Maryland Center on Health Equity with the help of five new faculty members from the School of Public Health. The faculty members are the University of Pittsburgh’s Drs. Stephen Thomas, Sandra Crouse Quinn, James Butler, Craig Fryer and Mary Garza. These experts will build upon the school’s ongoing effort to bring equal opportunities for healthy living to all residents of the surrounding area.Dr. Thomas, who delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Advancing Ethical Research Conference, will serve as the center’s director. “Our challenge and mission is to find new ways to bring the fruits of health care reform to the underserved, poorly served and never served segments of our community,” he said. Because the issue of equal access to healthy living extends beyond the borders of Maryland, the center may evolve into a model for others like it, far outside of the community of which Dr. Thomas speaks.PRIM&R is also proud to support the University of Pittsburgh in its commitment to improving the recruitment and retention of minorities in research on a separate but related program, Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers: A National Bioethics Infrastructure Initiative. With the help of a two-year grant from the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Office of the Director at NIH as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), PRIM&R and the University of Pittsburgh are planning a series of educational opportunities that aim to address the challenge of public health disparities among minority populations, including the Distrust, Race, and Research: Overcoming Barriers to Recruitment and Retention of Minority Populations webinar on July 14.You can read more about the Center on Health Equity here, or watch a video clip from the unveiling ceremony at The Healthy Turtle here.