Sheila Leatherman: First Gillings Visiting Professor

Making complex public health issues simpler and goals achievable

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The Challenge
“Professor Leatherman is known internationally for the quality of her work on complex public health issues,” says Peggy Leatt, PhD, chair of the School’s Health Policy and Management department. What she brings to the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health is the ability to look at complex public health policy issues, break them down into their component pieces and devise solutions that provide not just short-term relief but long-term, replicable programs and policies.
She is one of the world’s leaders in improving the policies that guide the way we operate and administer health care — in both developed and developing countries. Her strong research skills and experience, coupled with her documented ability to translate the research into practice, is a model of public health leadership.
The Gillings Visiting Professorship lets her focus a portion of UNC’s public health research on microcredit and its impact on global health.
The Solution

Microcredit is a strategy for advancing small loans — as little as $100 — to individuals in order to reduce poverty through self-sufficiency. Leatherman is working on assessing and understanding how microcredit organizations worldwide create predictable access to health education and health care services to improve the health and well-being of the recipients, their families and their communities.


Sheila Leatherman, MSW, research professor, department of health policy and management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine where she serves on the Global Health Board, a trustee of the board of the American Refugee Committee, and a member of the executive board of the International Society of Quality. For her work with the UK National Health S, she was named an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Last updated April 10, 2012