NCIPH Work Featured at State Conference

Matt Simon walks the crowd through an interactive Social Determinants of Health map.

Matt Simon walks the crowd through an interactive Social Determinants of Health map.

The North Carolina Institute for Public Health was well-represented at the annual State Health Director’s Conference, with five staff members leading sessions and five more attending and facilitating our exhibitor’s booth.

NCIPH Senior Investigator Gene Matthews, JD led the conference’s opening plenary session, “Advocacy for Public Health: Crafting Richer Messages in a Turbulent Political Climate,” along with Scott Burris, JD, professor at Beasley School of Law, Temple University, Sue Lynn Ledford, RN, BSN, MPA, DrPH, director, Wake County Public Health, and Dr. Gary Gunderson, VP of FaithHealth, Wake Forest Baptist Health.

Avia Mainor shares tips for successful workplace communication.

Avia Mainor shares tips for successful workplace communication.

Avia Mainor, MPH, workforce development specialist, led a workshop on “Overcoming Barriers for more Effective Communication,” while Technical Assistance Manager Amy Belflower Thomas, MHA, MSPH presented “Planning for a Successful Future of the NC Local Health Department Accreditation Program.”

Finally, Matthews and NCIPH research associates Matt Simon, MA, GISP and Kasey Decosimo, MPH along with Alisahah Cole, MD, system medical director of community health at Carolinas HealthCare, introduced their innovative work with Carolinas HealthCare Systems in a presentation titled, “GIS Mapping of Social Determinants of Health as a Tool to Facilitate Community Collaborations.” In addition, NCIPH announced two new public health leadership programs were at this conference – the North Carolina Public Health Leadership Institute and the Emerging Leaders in Public Health program supported by the Kresge Foundation.

“The SHD Conference provides a great opportunity for NCIPH to meet in-person with local and state public health partners,” says Rachel Wilfert, MD, MPH, training manager. “In addition to the learning opportunities provided in the formal sessions, the ability to pull people together for a discussion and catch up on projects with current partners and clients without juggling busy calendars is invaluable.”

More than 350 of North Carolina’s top public health leaders attend the annual conference, held this year in Raleigh, NC. This year’s conference also featured a surprise keynote speech from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and closing remarks from Dean Barbara Rimer, DrPH, UNC Gillings School of Public Health.

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Gene Matthews leads the opening plenary session.

Gene Matthews leads the opening plenary session.

Amy Belflower Thomas speaks about the NC Local Health Department Accreditation program.

Amy Belflower Thomas speaks about the NC Local Health Department Accreditation program.

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