Federal Government Awards $14 Million to Tuskegee Bioethics Center

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

The federal government has awarded a $14 million grant to Tuskegee University to complete its National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care.

The center is the nation's first bioethics institute dedicated to addressing issues that involve African Americans and other underserved populations. It was created in 1999 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in part to address the legacy of the syphilis study that took place from 1932 to 1972 in Macon County, Ala.

"Tuskegee University serves as an ideal place to house this center, both professionally and symbolically," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson in a statement announcing his agency's awarding of the grant last month. "The center will stand as a testament to those who suffered so unjustly in the name of science."

The grant will allow the school to renovate the former hospital in which the Tuskegee syphilis study was conducted as well as a residence hall to consolidate the center into one location and provide housing for visiting scholars and interns who participate in bioethics programs.

The center's objectives are to increase awareness of historical and contemporary medical treatment of African Americans and assist in eliminating racial health disparities and improving access to quality health care and health services. The center also serves as a resource for primary and secondary research exploring the role of cultural diversity in the bioethics community.

"This funding enables us to form a critical mass of dedicated scholars and scientists fully committed to the principles and practices of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, policy analysis and public discourse, all in the interest of improving public health and health policy," says Dr. …