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Alumni Profile

Briana Webster  BSPH Class of 2004  Senior Manager  HealthCorps University  HealthCorps, Washington, DC

Briana Webster
BSPH Class of 2004
Senior Manager
HealthCorps University
HealthCorps, Washington, DC

Career Highlights

- Sustainability Manager & Healthy Base Initiative Program Manager, Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- Program Manager – Families USA

Describe your current position.

I currently serve as the Senior Manager for HealthCorps University (HCU) at HealthCorps. HealthCorps is a 501 (c) 3 founded in 2003 by heart surgeon and Daytime Emmy Award-winning host Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa to combat the childhood obesity crisis. In this capacity, I oversee the day-to-day operation, implementation and national expansion of the HCU program.

Started in 2012, HCU is a train-the-trainer professional development program that empowers educators, administrators, and community members to bring HealthCorps’ innovative health and wellness curriculum to schools, summer camps, community centers, and organizations.

What has attending school at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health helped you achieve?

I believe that attending UNC’s School of Public Health prepared me to enter the field of public health feeling confident and equipped with the skills, knowledge and expertise required to take on the public health challenges and opportunities facing our nation and the world. The faculty and staff within the Department of Health Policy & Management and throughout the SPH were challenging, engaging and nurturing at the same time. I was able to interact with not just students within my department, but through initiatives such as the Minority Student Caucus, I was able to learn and network with the best of the best throughout the school. Since I was in the undergraduate BSPH program, the mentoring that I received from the graduate students, my professors and internship preceptors, was integral to my personal and professional development.

How has UNC impacted your leadership skills?

Attending Carolina helped empower the natural leader inside of me. The challenging coursework, high caliber students and top-notch professors all contributed to my growth and development. Being surrounded by a community of learners inspired me to be the best that I could be and fueled a passion to enter the field of public health feeling confident that I received an education on par with those who may have attended other high quality public or private universities.

Discuss what you would consider to be your greatest achievement in your professional career and why.

Having the opportunity to serve is by far my greatest achievement. The field of public health is one in which we are trained to improve the health of the larger community around us. Over the last decade, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for national non-profits on health issues facing our national and local communities. On the national level, I have focused my work on improving access to healthcare for the underserved through the expansion of public health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and for the last five years, have worked on the issue of childhood obesity prevention. I have also had the privilege to work alongside communities fighting for the eradication of racial and ethnic health disparities. I can’t say that one issue is more important than the other, but at the root of my work, has been my passion to serve.

What are your words of wisdom to current students in the Health Policy & Management department? 

Take it all in and learn as much as you can. Never again in your life will your only job be to sit in a classroom and learn. Take advantage of all of the experiences you are offered during your time at Carolina as they will enrich your experience and help shape your career.

Build deep relationships with classmates, professors and alumni. Everyone you meet has the opportunity to change your life in some way, so be sure to get involved and engaged in not just your campus community, but the larger community around you.

And last but not least, give back. Attending UNC SPH is a gift, so cherish it and use what you learn to help those around you. It is usually a given that people in this field care about the larger community and take seriously the honor to attend a university as prestigious as Carolina. However, we all aren’t afforded this privilege, so we much always remember to give back. Being public health professionals, we may not always make the most money and may sometimes find it a challenge to donate, but we all can carve out a little time to mentor a student, volunteer in our community or use our skills, knowledge and experience to try to make the world around us a better place.

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Jeffrey Simms
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117 Rosenau Hall, CB #7411
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