The Administrative Core provides scientific, administrative, and financial oversight for UHAND, divided into four general domains: scientific; fiscal and administrative; leadership; and communication.
The Administrative Core provides the essential infrastructures to support the pilot projects and Education Program and facilitate and monitor their progress towards their respective goals. This includes coordinating meetings and events, managing communications within UHAND and between external advisory groups and community partners; managing required progress and annual reports and non-competitive renewals; managing the budget and regulations; coordinating the procedures and protocols required for partnership components; and providing leadership to the UHAND planning process. The Administrative Core ensures that all partnership components are integrated and that their goals remain congruent.
The Administrative Core is led by Dr. Lorna H. McNeill and Dr. Lorraine R. Reitzel and benefits from the support of several key staff members.
Dr. Lorna H. McNeill
Lorna McNeill, PhD, MPH, is Chair in the Department of Health Disparities at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. McNeill's research is on the elimination of cancer-related health disparities in minority populations. Her research has particular emphasis on understanding the influence of social contextual determinants of cancer in minorities, with a special focus of the role of physical activity as a key preventive behavior and obesity as a major cancer determinant. Dr. McNeill is also director of the Center for Community-Engaged Translational Research (CCETR) at MD Anderson.
Dr. Lorraine R. Reitzel
Lorraine Reitzel, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences at the University of Houston. She also directs the Social Determinants and Health Disparities Lab at the University of Houston. Her research program focuses on better understanding the social determinants of health and health risk behaviors. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the HEALTH Research Institute, a multidisciplinary university-level research institute focused on the conduct of community-informed translational research to reduce health disparities experienced locally and across the nation.
Crystal Roberson, MPH, is a Program Manager in the Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has extensive experience in managing the operational and technical aspects of community-academic partnerships and community-based research studies. Her work has focused on addressing health disparities among minority and underserved populations through community-based research approaches. Ms. Roberson will oversee all administrative aspects of UHAND.
Kathy Le is a Social and Behavioral Research Scientist for the HEALTH Research Institute. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Rice University. Through her time at Rice, she worked with Ben Taub hospital to connect underserved patients with social resources in order to improve patient health outcomes post-discharge. As an alumnus of Rice’s Community Bridges Fellowship Program, she worked with Air Alliance on an anti-idling ordinance and implementation program to improve air quality in the City of Pasadena. With her analytical background and her passion for health equity, she is working with the HEATH Research Institute to implement the Taking Texas Tobacco Free and UHAND projects.