AME Zion Health Equity Advocates & Liaisons (HEAL) Partnership

The AME Zion HEAL partnership aims to foster health equity and improve health in the African American community and is designed to build trust and collaboration to address disparities, and increase engagement in clinical research.

What do we hope to accomplish?

The partnership with AME Zion churches in North Carolina and Duke Health hopes to:

  • reduce health disparities and improve health in traditionally underserved communities

  • cultivate trust by dispelling myths and negative perceptions of clinical research among people of color

  • increase knowledge of health research

  • bridge the gap between medical development and community needs

More about the AME Zion HEAL Partnership

AME Zion churches in North Carolina serve as partners, co-learners, and advisers to Duke Health to ensure that clinical research participation accurately reflects the communities of North Carolina. Through combined resources and expertise, the program aims to foster trust, transparency, and relationships among researchers, community, and clergy, with the goal of reaching underserved and underrepresented populations.

The AME Zion HEAL partnership provides intensive training to AME Zion church clergy on topics such as the importance of clinical research, informed consent, protection of research participants, advances on ethical standards, and research design and methods. Clergy, in turn, use their extensive expertise in cultural knowledge to educate research teams and provide feedback and guidance to effectively and respectfully improve population health through research. This partnership is designed to increase awareness and understanding of clinical research within underrepresented congregations and communities. Becoming more aware of the pervasive perceptions, preferences, and attitudes related to clinical research has deepened Duke's understanding of the critical need for all communities to be represented in research and served in the delivery of healthcare. The AME Zion HEAL partnership is critical to improving the health of our communities, through awareness, education, trust, and collaboration.

For a consultation with the HEAL Partners and connect with the CERI team, please complete this form.