Bentley, Silberman selected for Greenberg, Barr awards

February 16, 2016

Margaret (Peggy) Bentley, PhD, and Pam Silberman, JD, DrPH, will receive the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s prestigious Greenberg and Barr awards at a ceremony preceding the 48th annual Fred T. Foard Jr. Memorial Lecture on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Dr. Peggy Bentley

Dr. Peggy Bentley

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Dr. Pam Silberman

Bentley, Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition and associate dean for global health at the Gillings School, was selected for the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award, presented for excellence in teaching, research and service.

Silberman, who earned a Doctor of Public Health in health policy at the Gillings School in 1997, was chosen for the Harriet Hylton Barr Award, which honors an outstanding alumna or alumnus for contributions to public health.

The Greenberg Award
Bentley earned master’s and doctoral degrees in medical anthropology from the University of Connecticut and served on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for 11 years, beginning in 1987. She joined the Gillings School faculty in 1998. In addition to serving as a fellow at the Carolina Population Center and as faculty director of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center Fellows Program, she is associate director for the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases.

Her research focuses on nutrition for women and infants, infant and young child feeding, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health. She led a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation study in Africa that examined the nutrition outcomes of HIV-positive mothers and their infants, who were provided antiretroviral (ARV) therapy and a lipid-based nutritional supplement. She has lived and worked extensively in India and is a founding member of the advisory board of the Indo-U.S. Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health.

“Peggy is very dedicated to enriching the global experience of Gillings School students, both by increasing the number and diversity of international students coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, and in seeking funds to support experiences for U.S. students abroad,” her nominators wrote.

“She is especially well known and appreciated for bringing cultural perspectives to student’s research and practicum experiences, and in incorporating both qualitative and quantitative research to provide fuller understanding of health issues. She is an innovative and well‐regarded educator who has inspired many students, at all levels, to either pursue careers focused on global health or to incorporate global perspectives in their work. Peggy’s leadership, mentorship and dedication come with a warmth and caring that is a true gift to those who know her.”

The Greenberg Award was established by the School’s Alumni Association to honor Bernard G. Greenberg, PhD, founder and chair of the Department of Biostatistics (1947-1972) and dean of the School (1972-1982). The award is presented annually to an outstanding full-time faculty member for excellence in teaching, research and service.

The Barr Award
Silberman joined the Gillings School faculty in 2001, and is currently Professor of the Practice of health policy and management (HPM) and director of HPM’s doctoral program in health leadership. She teaches courses on the U.S. health system, public and private programs serving low-income and other underserved populations, and changes in the Affordable Care Act. She also teaches program evaluation and courses on health policy development and policy advocacy.

From 2006 to 2014, she was president and chief executive officer of the N.C. Institute of Medicine (NCIOM), and served as NCIOM’s vice president from 1999 to 2005. She was publisher of the N.C. Medical Journal from 2006 to 2014.

Among her numerous awards are the N.C. Hospital Association’s Meritorious Service Award (2014), the N.C. Division of Public Health’s Ronald H. Levine Legacy Award (2013), the N.C. Pediatric Society’s Tom Vitaglione Child Advocacy Award (2009) and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Ned Brooks Award for Public Service (2008).

Lanier Cansler, public policy consultant and strategist and former member of the N.C. House of Representatives, was one of Silberman’s nominators.

“Both during my years in the Legislature, as well as my years as Chief Deputy and then Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services,” Cansler wrote, “my colleagues and I constantly looked to Pam Silberman for information, analysis and ideas related to public health, including key issues such as access to quality health care. […] Pam’s dedication to finding solutions and solving problems related to the health of our citizens – both during her tenure at the N.C. Institute of Medicine as well as the many other committees and activities in which she has participated – has gained her a stellar reputation among those involved in health care policy and improving health.”

Another nomination, signed by John Paul, PhD, clinical professor and associate chair of health policy and management, along with others, praised Silberman as a highly accomplished academician and consummate public health practitioner.

“In both domains,” Paul wrote, “Dr. Silberman never loses sight of the importance of academic work being practical, applied and relevant, so that it can benefit people. She has devoted her career to service for the people and State of North Carolina in a way that would make Harriet Barr very proud.”

Established in 1975 — and named in honor of its 1980 recipient, Harriet Hylton Barr — the Barr Award recognizes achievements of alumni and their contributions to public health. Recipients demonstrate leadership, experimentation, collaboration and innovation within the profession, impact within the practice arena, and outstanding service beyond the requirements of their employment.

The 2016 Foard Lecture will be presented by Mark Rampolla, MBA, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Zico, a company that introduced coconut water as a healthful alternative to sugar-sweetened sodas and juices. Rampolla’s current company, PowerPlant Ventures LP, is an investment organization interested in delivering better nutrition to people around the world in sustainable and ethical ways.

Learn more about the Foard Lecture and register at www.sph.unc.edu/foard.


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu