A research collaboration by MSU professor of psychology Robin Lin Miller, entitled “Advocacy and Other Tactics to Challenge Barriers to HIV Care for Gay and Bisexual Men and Transgender Women (Project Act),” has been selected as an Exemplary Project of 2022 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Awards program.
Jointly administered by the Association of the Land-grant Universities and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, the Kellogg awards program recognizes universities for outstanding accomplishments in developing deep and mutually beneficial partnerships with communities through their discovery, learning and outreach activities.
Based on the notable achievements of her project, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., recognized Miller, and her community partner, MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights, as representatives of the impactful work being done by faculty, staff and students across MSU in collaboration with community partners.
“At MSU, we are dedicated to reaching across social, cultural, and economic boundaries, and to seeking partnerships that are built on trust and understanding while being cognizant of our privilege and responsibility to be part of the solution,” Stanley said.
Miller began partnering with MPact, a transnational civil-society organization, to dismantle barriers to HIV care for gay and bisexual men and transgender women. Global estimates have suggested infection of these populations is increasing despite efforts to end the HIV epidemic and the stigma that fuels it.
Partnerships with LGBT-led CSOs in Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Jamaica led to systems for monitoring stigma and discrimination in the provision of HIV healthcare, routine healthcare worker sensitization efforts and healthcare-community partnerships to improve access to HIV services. Project achievements include Jamaica's first submission on the state of transgender access to healthcare to the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Period Review, the establishment of national sensitivity training standards in the Dominican Republic and expanded access to affirming HIV care in Ghana, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.
“Miller has continued to actively demonstrate MSU’s unwavering commitment to community-engaged research, teaching, and service,” said Laurie A. Van Egeren, interim associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement. “Her project aligns with MSU’s mission to foster university-community partnerships that not only lead to a higher quality of life for those affected, but also result in remarkable advancements.”
Miller will be formally recognized during a ceremony at the annual international conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium hosted by the University of Georgia located in Athens in September.