Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D., receives Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Award

Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D., the UF Florida Blue Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research at the University of Florida and a member of the UF Health Cancer Center, has received a first-place Sapphire Award from the Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of Florida Blue. 

Carolyn Tucker, Ph.D., speaks during the gathering.
Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D.

Tucker was recognized for her research, leadership and commitment to her work, her community and to her field. She accepted the top prize in the individual category, which comes with $100,000 for her work at the University of Florida, at a ceremony on April 3 in Orlando.  

“I will use the money to conduct research aimed at engaging Blacks in general, and Black men in particular in culturally sensitive cancer prevention and treatment research, as these groups are most underrepresented in such research, yet most likely to die from the most common cancers.”

– Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D.

Tucker has dedicated her career to developing, implementing and demonstrating the long-term impact of programs to promote health equity, mental well-being and food security in low-income communities in Jacksonville and Gainesville. 

At the UF Health Cancer Center, she serves as director of the Community-Partnered Cancer Disparities Research Collaborative (CDRC). The CDRC consists of a group of eight Black churches, an interdisciplinary team of culturally sensitive researchers, and a health disparities research support staff working collaboratively to conduct community-based participatory research. The research aims to lead to interventions and grants to help prevent and/or reduce cancers among Blacks and others who live in East Gainesville. 

Through the CDRC, Tucker has organized Power Over Cancer, a series of gatherings that provide an opportunity for cancer leaders, researchers and clinicians at the UF Health Cancer Center and members of the East Gainesville community to discuss cancer prevention, care and research. The next event in the series, focused on colorectal cancer, is May 18 at Springhill Church.  

Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D., far left, receives the Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Award at a ceremony in Orlando on April 3.

Earlier this year, Tucker received the UF Health Cancer Center’s Community Outreach Award in recognition of her excellent contributions to community engagement through the CDRC. 

Tucker is also director of the UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program and the Cancer Control and Population Sciences liaison to community outreach and engagement at the UF Health Cancer Center. 

At UF, she is a distinguished alumni professor, a research professor in psychology and a courtesy professor in community health and family medicine. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Community Health Workers Coalition Inc. and serves as the co-chair of its Research Subgroup. 

Learn more about her research in the video below:

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