Congresswoman Nanette Barragán Visits Campus for Bill Presentation
Congresswoman Nanette Barragán visited campus to present the H.R.189 – John Lewis National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2021.
“This bill is going to help colleges like CDU, other schools across the country that are educating those in the medical field, historically black colleges and minority serving institutions,” said Congresswoman Barragán. “As we know there is a shortage of people in healthcare now, and there’s still and continues to be a huge shortage of people of color in healthcare. And that is where Charles R. Drew University continues to make a difference day in and day out.”
The bill, which is Congresswoman Barragán’s first standalone bill, allows for current and former NIMHD centers of excellence to receive research endowment funding to promote minority health and health disparities in research, increase diversity in a scientific and healthcare workforce, and improve recruitment and retention of individuals from communities underrepresented in a scientific workforce. It will improve access to resources and money that is critical in the fight to reduce minority health disparities.
“Congresswoman Barragán’s leadership to author the John Lewis NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act will continue to help CDU and our students lead the way,” shared Dr. David Carlisle, CDU President and CEO. “I see nothing but a bright horizon ahead. I see a direct path to our ultimate destination – a world without health disparities.”
The event also featured student Lesly Torres-Gonzalez, a graduating student in the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. Torres-Gonzales was featured in a Spectrum News story when the bill was signed.
As the eldest English speaker in a foreign-speaking household, Torres-Gonzalez served as a link between her family and their environment. So from an early age, she understood that there are barriers in the healthcare system and medicine – many of them language-based in minority communities
“As a student researcher, minority member, of this community, I do feel that I do understand the needs and the importance of this bill and what potential impact it can have,” said Torres-Gonzalez. “It’s important for the message to get out. To understand that there is a need for diversity in healthcare and medicine, and research has to also be directed toward minority communities because of lack of participation, a lack of research in those communities may lead us to miss key things that can be addressed in healthcare disparities.”