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2021 Welmore Cook Award

DeMarc A. Hickson

Angela BrownDr. DeMarc A. Hickson currently serves as the Executive Director of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. (Us Helping Us), an experienced, community-based AIDS-service organization with two locations in the greater Washington, DC area and that works tirelessly to achieve health equity for underserved and marginalized populations including Black gay and bisexual men, other sexual and gender minorities (e.g. transgender women), people living with HIV/AIDS, and persons with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Prior to on boarding at Us Helping Us, DeMarc served as Associate Professor of Biostatistics (tenure track) in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the newly established School of Public Health at Jackson State University as well as Chief Operating Officer at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. Importantly, Dr. Hickson was part of the team that opened Open Arms Healthcare Center, the first LGBT primary healthcare center in the state of Mississippi.

Trained as a biostatistician and social epidemiologist, his work includes the development and integration of evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies into public health practice, community-based participatory research, advocacy and environmental and policy systems changes that shifts paradigms and addresses the salient lifecourse, psychosocial and multilevel factors that impact HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease and other conditions that chronically and disproportionately impact racial and sexual minorities, including Black gay and bisexual men and transgender women. Briefly, he develops and implements community-based care coordination models to improve access to and utilization of culturally-appropriate and relevant clinical, behavioral and social services among people living with and at high-risk for HIV. In juxtaposition, his research experiences are in interdisciplinary research and focus on understanding the role of social and physical neighborhood features and psychosocial factors on the aforementioned health outcomes. His research thus far has contributed to our understanding of the socio-cultural determinants of health and health disparities among racial, sexual, and gender minorities. Dr. Hickson has published over 100 scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Epidemiology, and AIDS & Behavior, and serves on several Boards, including Advisory Boards for ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences.

As executive director, Dr. Hickson aims to continue Us Helping Us’ legacy as a community-based leader that strives to improve the overall health and well-being of racial, sexual and gender minorities and other disadvantaged groups in the greater Washington, DC area as well as expand its clinical, behavioral and social support services in the greater Washington,

—July 2021

About the Award: The Welmore Cook Award is presented annually to two members of the local Black LGBT community for outstanding leadership. Welmore Cook was one of the co-founders of Black Lesbian & Gay Pride Day which is now known as DC Black Pride.


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