PVAMU director takes helm as guest editor of Journal of American College Health

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Prairie View A&M University Director of Health Services, Dr. Tondra L. Moore, has been selected to serve as a guest editor for a 2024 special edition of the Journal of American College Health titled “The Heritage and Excellence of HBCUs in Serving Underserved Populations in College Health.” The Journal provides information related to health in institutions of higher education in the United States.

The Journal of American College Health is intended for college health professionals, including administrators, health educators, nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, professors, psychologists, student affairs personnel, and students as peer educators, consumers, and pre-professionals. Due to historically disparate access and treatment outcomes for African Americans, HBCU campuses have traditionally provided a safety net for the most vulnerable populations in their communities, as well as the students attending their institutions.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for me,” said Dr. Moore. “Working with the ACHA, I found it critical to ensure that the HBCU community received recognition for its contribution to the landscape of higher education. Once given the platform, we have demonstrated time and time again the relevance of our work. This special edition demonstrates a commitment on behalf of the association to acknowledge and amplify our voice in the national discourse regarding college health.”

In 2013, Noonan, Lindon, and Jaitley highlighted the need to acknowledge HBCUs as “significant and underused resource[s] in the effort to achieve health equity.” HBCUs were initially founded to “teach and empower a population that was largely excluded from American higher education,” and many “have launched various programs and initiatives that focus on improving the overall health and protection of the rights of members of the African American community” (Patterson, 2021). Recently, Price and Viceisza (2023) highlighted that “[HBCUs] have built expertise at reaching out to disadvantaged, and their initiatives to do so have developed organically – in alignment with the institution’s mission – over time,” which may be “difficult, if not impossible, to replicate … in primarily White institutions.”

During the COVID pandemic, college health professionals elevated their national influence through work with the CDC to help guide the public health response for college campuses. These efforts further illuminated the disparities in college health for HBCUs. It also demonstrated the critical need to disseminate the wisdom, knowledge and data from HBCUs to the greater college health community.

This special edition of the Journal of American College Health is dedicated to creating a platform to elevate and disseminate the work occurring on HBCU campuses to help advance the health of students and historically underserved populations.

A call for papers highlighting the work done through HBCU college health facilities and programs to improve the health of underserved populations on campus and within the community is forthcoming. Additionally, this edition provides an opportunity to build capacity within HBCUs by giving faculty and researchers an opportunity to gain experience as peer reviewers. Opportunities such as this do not present often; therefore, Dr. Moore hopes the Journal will receive an overwhelming response.

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