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UAB assistant professor get $100K grant

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care, has awarded UAB School of Health Professions Dr. Jessica Hillman Williams, an assistant professor, a 24-month grant through the New Connections program. Williams is among a select group of to receive one of the grants. The grant will allow Williams to explore factors that influence perceptions of discrimination and hypertension management in African Americans.

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the Foundation’s programming.  New Connections seeks early-to mid-career scholars who are historically underrepresented ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college graduates or from low-income communities.

“We are so excited to welcome Jessica Williams into the ninth cohort of New Connections grantees. The program connects first-time grantees to the Foundation, and the new perspectives they bring are essential to solving the critical, complex issues affecting our nation’s health,” said Catherine Malone, program officer at RWJF.

“I am honored to receive this grant and to be associated with an organization that is so deeply committed to improving health for all communities,” Williams said. “This incredible opportunity will establish me as an independent investigator and move me toward my research vision of communities where healthcare outcomes are independent of race and class. I believe that the only way we can begin to improve the quality of healthcare encounters is to understand patient perceptions.”

Williams is a 1998 graduate of Russellville High School. She is the daughter of Mr. Howard Hillman Sr., and Dr. Bettie S. Hillman of Russellville.