HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi
Balloons filled the sky and the smell of freshly boiled seafood filled the air, as the ribbon was cut to officially introduce MBK South, a new My Brother's Keeper, Inc. wellness center, to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Friday, July 24.
"We are here for several reasons. Today, we are here with balloons and food and music and matching outfits because we want to make a formal introduction of MBK South and our mission," said Deja Abdul-Haqq, Environmental and Policy Change Manager for My Brother's Keeper, Inc. "The reason we are here is to talk about what we are doing and encourage people to run tell this so they can come experience this gift and this part."
MBK South, supported in part by Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), is working to eliminate health disparities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast through health education and promotion as well as through policy change.
South Mississippi residents are able to go to MBK South, free of charge, to receive a variety of healthcare services. These services include screenings for glucose, cholesterol and HIV; condom distribution; HIV prevention interventions; and referrals and support services.
Since its establishment in 1999, My Brother's Keeper has been dedicated to the elimination of health disparities. Under the leadership of Dr. June Gipson, President and CEO of My Brother's Keeper, it continue to expand its efforts to reach a greater number of Mississippians.
"My Brother's Keeper, Inc. (MBK South) is a non-profit community-based organization operating in Hattiesburg and Gulfport, Miss. As a leader in the fight to reduce health disparities for 15 years, we look forward to many years of services to South Mississippi," said Gipson.
For the past two years, Mississippi INBRE has partnered with MBK to not only support their efforts in eliminating health disparities in South Mississippi, but to also train undergraduate students in public health.
"The partnership between the Mississippi INBRE and MBK has been productive at two levels: one is that we are reaching underserved communities in ways that were not possible before and two we are training a number of students in the process and giving them a chance to learn and to contribute to their community in a meaningful way," said Dr. Mohamed Elasri, director of Mississippi INBRE and professor at The University of Southern Mississippi.
MBK South is located at 1221 Bridge St., Gulfport, Miss. For more information and hours of operation, call 228.896.5515 (Gulfport) or 601.582.0031 (Hattiesburg).
Mississippi INBRE is a statewide program that is supported by an award from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences. Its mission is to enhance the biomedical foundation in Mississippi and to reach out to Mississippians in order to improve health throughout the state.
Mississippi INBRE seeks to engage talented researchers and students in biomedical research projects that will increase the state's research competitiveness as well as impact the health of citizens of Mississippi.
For more information about Mississippi INBRE, visit: www.msinbre.org