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    MSM’s Prevention Research Center and Pittsburgh Community Association Awarded $125,000 for Partnership on Oral Health By DentaQuest Foundation

    The Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association (PCIA), in association with the Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center (MSM PRC) was awarded $125,000 from the DentaQuest Foundation to support a community-campus partnership to initiate the National Community Committee (NCC) Oral Health Initiative.  The goals of the NCC Oral Health Initiative are to: 1) promote increased support for translational research to integrate oral health into chronic disease interventions; 2) facilitate access for communities to oral health education, training, resource; 3) share resources and provide technical assistance opportunities that encourage and enhance participation in oral health research and dissemination activities; 4) share methods and opportunities for communities to advocate for oral health policy change; 5) build community capacity to support continued oral health interventions.

    In this joint community-campus partnership, titled the Minority Men’s Oral Health and Dental Access Program (MOHDAP), PCIA and MSM PRC will address the overwhelming need for African American males age 21 to 60 to obtain health information to increase awareness regarding the importance of oral health and to improve access to oral health services through in target communities from the City of Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Units V, X, Y and Z. This partnership is developing a community based participatory research infrastructure to engage community residents and stakeholders in implementing and evaluating its oral health agenda to address the aforementioned goals.  The activities of MOHDAP are well-aligned with DentaQuest Foundation’s Systems Change Framework to strategically and comprehensively impact oral health locally by providing and funding oral health care and helping communities build and navigate available oral health resources.

    Leaders of the MOHDAP include:  Mr. LaShawn Hoffman, PCIA CEO and Chair of the MSM PRC Community Coalition Board will serve as the MOHDAP Director; Dr. Tabia Henry Akintobi, MSM PRC Center Director, will serve as the Senior Advisor; Monique Eppinger, MPH will serve as the PCIA Program Manager; Lisa Goodin, MBA, MSM PRC Associate Director, will lead training and communication efforts; Dr. Katherine Erwin, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, will serve as the lead Dental Services Advisor and will manage organizational and dental partnership activities; Donoria Evans, MPH, Doctoral Candidate will lead evaluation efforts and David Collins, MSM PRC Assistant Director for Community Development, will lead community recruitment and outreach efforts for the grant.

    This grant is funded September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013.  For additional information regarding the MOHDAP, contact the MSM PRC office at 404.752.1022 or

    About the DentaQuest Foundation:
    The DentaQuest Foundation is committed to optimal oral health for all Americans through its support of prevention and access to affordable care, and through its partnerships with funders, policymakers and community leaders. For more information, please visit

    About Morehouse School of Medicine
    Morehouse School of Medicine is one the nation’s most widely recognized community-based medical schools.  The institution’s mission places special emphasis on primary care training; development of model community-based health services and the conduct of research and translation of discovery to benefit vulnerable populations and ultimately eliminate health inequities.

    The School offers doctoral programs in medicine and biomedical research; and Master of Science degree programs in public health and clinical investigation.  It also sponsors graduate training (residency) programs in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, public health and preventive medicine, and general surgery.

    Morehouse School of Medicine annually ranks as one of the top U.S. medical schools in the percentage of graduates practicing primary care specialties.  The School ranks # 1 in the first-ever study of all U.S. medical schools in the area of social mission.  Such recognition underscores the vital role that MSM plays in the nation’s health care system.

    Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  It is also a member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the world’s oldest and largest association of historically black colleges and universities.  For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at

    A Great Example of Community Leadership
    LaShawn Hoffman, CEO of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association(PCIA) and Chair of the Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center Community Coalition Board, was featured in an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, Neighbors in Urban Area Turn Vacant Parcel into Garden.  The article describes how PCIA partnered with Urban Farming in Detroit, Michigan to covert a community eye sore into a thriving community garden.

    PRC RECEIVES another Honor
    The Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center is a 2010 recipient of the Joseph Greene Community Service Award from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation.   The Foundation’s Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award honors extraordinary individuals and nonprofit organizations that are committed to improving the quality of health and health care of those they serve. By recognizing those that inspire and lift others up, the foundation hopes that Mr. Greene’s legacy of community service will continue through the work of others.