(USA Today) — Clara Robertson has traveled many miles from her home in Montgomery, Ala., to walk dirt roads, knock on doors of trailers and help black women face cancer. Robertson, 52, finds free transportation for women who can’t get to a screening or an oncologist. She hands out pamphlets. She comforts. She explains that cancer won’t care that they don’t have the time or money for treatment. ”In the South, it’s so different,” Robertson says. “My mom didn’t believe in going to doctors.” As a volunteer for a program organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Alabama, Robertson is a diplomat, working to erase nagging health disparities between black Americans and all other Americans. Death rates for black Americans surpass those of Americans overall for heart disease, cancer, diabetes,HIV and homicide, the CDC reports.