Humana and UofL’s Health Equity Hub Award $1 Million for Research To Help Marginalized Communities

Humana ranked No. 9 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.


The University of Louisville’s (UofL) Health Equity Hub — a collaboration among the university, Humana Inc. and The Humana Foundation — announced more than $1 million in research funding to advance health equity for marginalized communities.

The Hub funded 10 research projects at UofL, each with a mission to further the goal towards health equity.

“We all want to be healthy and whole. But the choices people make are the choices people have,” said Monica Wendel, leader of the Hub and a professor in the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences. “For communities that have been marginalized, their choices are greatly limited by structural and social barriers. Our goal with the Hub and with this research is to dismantle these barriers, create more choices and thus empower people and communities.”

Awarded projects were eligible for up to $100,000 per year for up to three years. The awardees are as follows:

  • The Pharmacy Accessibility Index (PAI) Project by Lihui Bai, J.B. Speed School of Engineering
  • Healing-Centered Capacity Building: Social Justice Youth Development Certificate by Aishia Brown, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • An Examination of the Feasibility and Acceptability of a Racial Trauma Processing for Family Health Intervention by Emma Sterrett‐Hong, Kent School of Social Work
  • Exploring Workforce Development, Well‐Being and Organizational Readiness to Recruit, Retain Black American Adults Living in Low Resource Communities by Meera Alagaraja, College of Education and Human Development
  • A Community-Engaged Feasibility Study of hrHPV Self‐Sampling for Primary Cervical Cancer Screening in Sexual and Gender Minorities by Mollie Aleshire, School of Nursing
  • A Community‐Based, Knowledge Translation Approach to Address Neighborhood Factors that Impact HIV Care Continuum Participation by Jelani Kerr, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Assessing Risk Factors Associated With Childhood Lead Poisoning in Jefferson County: Structural Racism and a Legacy of Lead by Brian Guinn, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • “Getting the Listening” in Louisville: Environmental Health Literacy and Justice in and Around Rubbertown by Megan Poole, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Empowered by the Sun: Exploring the Intersections of Housing Justice and Green Technologies in Louisville by David Johnson, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Equity‐Centered, Trauma‐informed Teacher Preparation: Development and Study of a Teacher Residency Curriculum by Shelley Thomas, College of Education and Human Development

The Hub will work with researchers and their designated community partners. Multiple projects will collaborate with Humana, which will share anonymous data for specific research.

“We’re proud to back both research and underrepresented minority researchers to help communities achieve greater health equity and improved outcomes,” said Keni Winchester, Director of Strategy and Community Engagement at The Humana Foundation. “Through the collective efforts of researchers, community partners and the UofL’s Health Equity Innovation Hub, people in Louisville and beyond will thrive.”

The Hub represents one of the largest single donations in the history of UofL, launched with a predicted total investment of $25 million from The Humana Foundation, Humana Inc. and the university. Humana also announced a donation of a fully furnished eight-story building to house the Hub’s programming and administrative team.

The Hub plans to open a new round of research funding in 2023.