Gentry honored with Ned Brooks Award for Public Service

April 2, 2014

Bill Gentry, MPA, director of certificate programs in health policy and management at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, received the Ned Brooks Award for Public Service at UNC’s annual Public Service Awards celebration on April 2.

Bill Gentry (left) accepts the Brooks Award from Chancellor Carol Folt.

Bill Gentry (left) accepts the Brooks Award from Chancellor Carol Folt.

The award, presented by the Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS), recognizes a UNC faculty or staff member who has a sustained record of community service. Gentry is recognized for his decades-long commitment to the advancement of disaster preparedness and his impact in the field of emergency management.

Gentry is administrator for the public health informatics and community preparedness and disaster management certificate programs at the Gillings School and is an adjunct in the EMS administration and medical disaster management certificate program in UNC’s School of Medicine.

He is active throughout North Carolina and the U.S., conducting preparedness exercises with local governments and leading in evacuation and disaster management efforts when natural and human-caused catastrophes arise. During Hurricane Katrina in 2006, he worked with local first responders and others in the Gulf region to rescue people and animals displaced by the storm and resulting floods. He was on disaster management teams at Ground Zero in 2001 and has conducted preparedness training for emergencies related to hazardous waste and oil spills, weather-related crises, and terrorism and gun violence.

He also has managed civilian and military instructional and advisory teams providing disaster management and civil preparedness education in countries around the world, including Moldova and Botswana.

The public service award was named for Dr. Edward (Ned) Brooks, retired professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School and a faculty member and administrator at Carolina for forty years. Brooks joined the UNC faculty in 1972, making significant contributions to the mission of service and engagement, including a leadership role in the development of the CCPS.

The Center aims to connect the energy and expertise of the University and community to provide students and faculty and staff members with deep, transformative experiences, working together through engaged scholarship and service to develop collaborative and interdisciplinary solutions to local and global challenges. CCPS sponsored 10 other awards, also presented at the April 2 event.

“Receiving Ned’s award for service was a very nice surprise,” Gentry said. “It’s very humbling to receive an award for service that I know is lived everyday by so many public health preparedness and disaster management professionals who work to keep us all safe, day in and day out.”

“It is a rare thing,” said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the Gillings School, “to recognize the heroes in our midst who think deeply about how to avert disaster, who give countless numbers of people the training needed to think and act quickly and correctly in the event of an emergency, and whose tireless and research-tested solutions prevent great harm from happening. Bill Gentry is one of these heroes.”

Read more about Gentry’s work in Carolina Public Health magazine.


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