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Alex Solano-Umana Recognized for Contributions to Health Equity Research


Alex Solano-Umana was honored with the 2024 Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Exceptional Community Partner in Research Award in recognition of her contributions to the Mid-Atlantic Center for Cardiometabolic Health Equity (MACCHE) Healthy for Two (H42) study in a ceremony on May 9.  

As Director of Community Outreach at the Lourie Center, Solano-Umana serves as the liaison between the H42 study and the Lourie Center’s home visiting program. Through her role, she recruits participants and contributes to the H42 community engaged research. She also serves as the co-chair of the H42 coordinating council and will be listed as a co-author on the H42 protocol paper because of her significant contributions to the study. 

Kelly Bower PHD, MSN/MPH, BS, RN, one of the co-Principle Investigators for H42, nominated Solano-Umana for the award. In her nomination letter, Bower highlighted Solano-Umana’s instrumental role in shaping the intervention design and recruitment strategies of the H42 study.  

“Under Ms. Solano-Umana’s leadership, The Lourie Center and H42 have developed a meaningful relationship through her involvement on our coordinating council, numerous invitations for research staff to visit the center, as well as her involvement in the CHE Community Advisory Board,” Bower wrote. 

In March 2023, Solano-Umana was invited to serve as a panelist on the community partnerships panel at the launch of MACCHE. The panel focused on important considerations for sustainability and success regarding community-based research. Her insights into sustainability and success in community-based research underscored the importance of collaboration and continuous feedback.  

During the panel discussion, Solano-Umana encouraged researchers to, “allow people to make mistakes when you are introducing a new program. Give them time to make mistakes, to learn what the study is about, leave room for a million questions and gather feedback and follow up.” 

Under Solano-Umana’s leadership, the relationship between the Lourie Center and H42 has flourished, fostering a culture of dedication and collaboration toward shared health equity goals. 

Congratulations to Alex Solano-Umana on this well-earned honor!