Your gift will help a student make a difference (Spring, 2011)

May 27, 2011

Dr. Edward H. Wagner

Dr. Edward H. Wagner

Dr. Kerr L. White*

Dr. Kerr L. White*

The Kerr L. White and Edward H. Wagner Scholarship in Health Care Research

The Kerr L. White and Edward H. Wagner Scholarship in Health Care Research was established by David J. Ballard, MD, PhD, and his wife, Michela Caruso, MD, to honor Ballard’s mentors, Kerr White and Edward Wagner.Dr. White is an internationally recognized pioneer in the fields of health services research and primary care medicine. His benchmark paper, “The Ecology of Medical Care,” co-authored with Drs. Bernard G. Greenberg and T. Franklin Williams when they were faculty members at UNC, was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1961.After serving as professor in the UNC departments of epidemiology and medicine, Dr. Wagner founded the MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation and developed the acclaimed Chronic Care model (see http://tinyurl.com/chronic-care-model). He is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious William B. Graham Prize, the highest honor for health services research. Funded by the Baxter International Foundation, the prize is managed by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA).

Both White’s ecology of medical care model and Wagner’s chronic care model were informed by research they conducted in several North Carolina communities as UNC faculty members.

“Drs. White and Wagner mentored countless students who have made landmark contributions to medicine and public health,” Ballard says. “This scholarship endeavors to cultivate new generations of scholars who will bridge medicine and public health to generate innovative solutions to health care delivery challenges across North Carolina, the U.S. and the world.”

The White-Wagner Scholarship will be awarded annually to a UNC medical student with interests in health care research who is also pursuing a public health degree at UNC. “It’s appropriate that the recipient will be mentored by the director of UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research,” Ballard says. “Dr. Sheps was a faculty colleague and research collaborator with Drs. White and Wagner and played a major role as UNC vice chancellor for health affairs in advancing collaboration between the UNC schools of medicine and public health.”

*Photo of Dr. White courtesy of Historical Collections and Services, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia.


Dr. Amy Lansky

Dr. Amy Lansky

The Lansky Family Endowed Scholarship

Amy Lansky (MPH, 1991; PhD, 1996), deputy director for surveillance, epidemiology and lab science at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has established The Lansky Family Endowed Scholarship for doctoral students in health behavior and health education.

“It’s a wonderful thing when our HBHE grads help support the next generation of scholars and practitioners,” says department chair Jo Anne Earp, ScD.

The Lansky Family Endowed Scholarship honors Amy’s parents, Drs. Shirley B. and Lester L. Lansky. “I’m so happy to have been able to set up this scholarship to help support students in HBHE as well as recognize and honor my parents,” Amy Lansky says. “They made their careers in academic medicine and instilled in their children the importance of education and ensuring opportunities for students to pursue graduate education.”


Jean Tower Lassiter

Jean Tower Lassiter

The Jean Tower Lassiter Scholarship

The Jean Tower Lassiter Scholarship was established by Gail L. Young and CL Lassiter in memory of their mother — a public health nurse, captain in the Army Air Corps and pioneering environmentalist. Mrs. Lassiter was president of the North Carolina Public Health Association, an active member of the North Carolina Nurses Association, and a public health consultant throughout the state. She was also a beloved mentor, advising Future Nurses of America chapters and helping young people achieve their health care ambitions. A tireless advocate and champion for clean water, maternal and child health, and aid to migrant workers, she is remembered for the clinics she established to serve migrant workers and their children.

For many years, CL Lassiter was director of student services in the School’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. His sister, Gail Young, taught for thirty years before becoming an avid volunteer for the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation.

“Baba did so much for CL and me,” Young says. “Since she always gave so much of herself, we felt this was something we could do in partial repayment for her being such a great mother.”

The Lassiter scholarship will be awarded annually to a public health nurse with a special interest in maternal and child health and/or the environment.


Suprateek Kundu, Abhinav Komandur and Nate Kelly (l-r) pose with Jessie Satia's sister, At, and At's husband, the Rev. Darin Ford.

Suprateek Kundu, Abhinav Komandur and Nate Kelly (l-r) pose with Jessie Satia’s sister, At, and At’s husband, the Rev. Darin Ford.

The Dr. Jessie A. Satia Scholarship Fund
When Jessie Satia, PhD, died at age 39 in February 2010, all those who knew and loved her mourned. Satia, who was associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology and assistant to the dean for diversity, was a dedicated teacher and researcher who loved students.

That’s why she had established an expendable scholarship fund in the name of her parents, Drs. Benjamin and Philomena Satia. This year, Nate Kelly, nutrition master’s student, and Suprateek Kundu, biostatistics doctoral student, received scholarships from that fund.

In 2010, Satia’s family established The Dr. Jessie A. Satia Scholarship Fund to memorialize her dedication and commitment. Abhinav Komandur, a Bachelor of Science in Public Health student in environmental sciences and engineering, was the inaugural recipient of the memorial scholarship. Satia’s sister, At Satia Ford, says, “Even in her death, she can continue to touch many lives through these scholarships.”


Mary Rose Tully, MPH

Mary Rose Tully, MPH

The Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative in Maternal and Child Health
The Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative in Maternal and Child Health was established by her husband, Douglas B. Tully, and son, Chris Tully, in memory of Ms. Tully, who died Jan. 20, 2010. An alumna and adjunct associate professor at the School, Tully was senior clinical associate at the School’s Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, adjunct clinical instructor in pediatrics at UNC’s School of Medicine, and director of the Department of Lactation Services at the UNC Women’s Hospital.

In the 1970s, she founded the Piedmont Milk Bank, later known as the WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank and Lactation Center, in Raleigh, N.C. She led several breastfeeding organizations, co-authored a wealth of material on the subject, and is remembered for her direct impact on breastfeeding mothers, infants and families. The scholarship will be awarded to a maternal and child health student with demonstrated interest in practicing clinical breastfeeding support in a public health context.


Dr. Jim Merchant

Dr. Jim Merchant

James A. Merchant Family Scholarship

Jim Merchant, MD, DrPH, Gillings Visiting Professor at the School in 2008-2009, has established the James A. Merchant Family Scholarship. A professor of occupational and environmental health at University of Iowa’s College of Public Health and former dean of the College, Merchant funded the scholarship to cover tuition and expenses for an epidemiology student at UNC. “The reasons for endowing this scholarship are many,” he says, “but primarily it’s because my UNC Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree provided training in environmental epidemiology research that greatly influenced the rest of my career in public health. Secondly, UNC honored me twice, with a Distinguished Alumni Award and as a Gillings Visiting Professor, both of which allowed me to reconnect with UNC, the School and the epidemiology department. It is our hope that this scholarship will be used to support an outstanding environmental epidemiology student in the years ahead.”


Laurel Zaks, MPH

Laurel Zaks, MPH

The Laurel E. Zaks Master of Public Health Scholarship in Global Public Health Nutrition

The Laurel E. Zaks Master of Public Health Scholarship in Global Public Health Nutrition was established by Zaks’ family in 2009 to memorialize her dedication to improving the health of impoverished communities around the world. Since then, many who knew and admired Zaks or her mission have contributed to the fund, which this year has lent support to its third nutrition scholar, Shelley Beth Marcus. Zaks, who died in 2008, lives on in those being trained at the School to carry out the work she loved. Read more at www.sph.unc.edu/nutr/zaks.


Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit www.sph.unc.edu/cph.