Marilyn DeNeal, Ed.S.


Deputy Director of Health Policy/Advocacy
Health Disparities Institute for Research and Education (HDIRE)  
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Prior to her affiliation with the HDIRE, Ms. DeNeal worked on campus with the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, where she divided her time between research and educational activities, which involved developing initiatives to increase the number of minorities conducting research on health disparities, as well as providing ethics related experiential opportunities to honor students in the Bioethics-Centered Honors Program. Additionally, while at the Center, she was an instructor for the bioethics component of Freshman Orientation and also received training through the Intensive Bioethics Course at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. 

DeNeal served as the program coordinator with Tuskegee University’s Project EXPORT (EXcellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Disparities, and Training), an NIH-funded grant with the goal of reducing health disparities in African Americans residing in Alabama’s Black Belt region. As an added benefit of this project, she received certification as an American Red Cross HIV/AIDS Educator and worked with community organizations across the Black Belt to deliver education and prevention information on HIV/AIDS. 

She continues her service to the community through her work on the Advisory Committee of the University of Alabama Birmingham’s RCMAR project, where she helps to expand recruiting efforts for senior citizen focus groups for African Americans to close the health disparity gap between minority and non-minority older adults. 

DeNeal has degrees in communications and human resources management from Louisiana Tech and Chapman Universities, respectively. In her current position with HDIRE as Deputy Director, Health Policy/Advocacy, DeNeal will use established connections resulting from her work on EXPORT to work with policymakers, health providers, and community residents and organizers to shape solutions that will provide equitable health care for underserved populations.