Anna Waller, ScD

Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior
Department of Emergency Medicine
Carolina Center for Health Informatics
Core Faculty
Injury Prevention Research Center
Graduate Faculty
School of Nursing
Core Fellowship Faculty
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Faculty Fellow
Center for Urban and Regional Studies


Anna Waller, ScD, is an adjunct faculty member in the Gillings School's Department of Health Behavior. She also is a professor in UNC's Department of Emergency Medicine, is director of the Carolina Center for Health Informatics and is core faculty with the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC). Additionally, Dr. Waller is principle investigator and science director for the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT), a syndromic surveillance system.

Dr. Waller is interested in using data effectively to inform public health response and prevention activities. She collaborates with IPRC and the NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch on data-driven responses to the opioid overdose epidemic in North Carolina, as well as on broader injury and violence surveillance efforts.

Dr. Waller has worked in public health surveillance for more than 25 years and in injury prevention and control for over 35 years. She received her doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Teaching Interests

As research faculty, my teaching is primarily as a mentor to students, supervising graduate research assistant positions and as part of doctoral dissertation committees. I also supervise practicums for masters degree students.

Research Activities

As director of the Carolina Center for Health Informatics, Dr. Waller partners with the N.C. Division of Public Health to use near real-time data from emergency department visits and EMS responses to conduct syndromic surveillance for public health threats, including natural and human disasters, infectious and chronic disease, and injury and violence. As core faculty in the Injury Prevention Research Center, Dr. Waller addresses the opioid overdose epidemic in N.C. as well as broader injury and violence surveillance and research efforts. She has collaborated on projects addressing child maltreatment, traumatic brain injury and intimate partner violence. She also works with the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program on an ongoing effort to link motor vehicle crash data with health outcomes.

Dr. Waller has a strong interest in the use of secondary data to address emerging health issues. She works with public health practitioners at the state and local levels to identify health threats, develop and implement surveillance case definitions, and create and disseminate reports. Dr. Waller also works with prevention and intervention programs, identifying and procuring data to use for planning and evaluation efforts.

Practice Activities

The Carolina Center for Health Informatics (CCHI) has strong collaborations with both state and local public health practice in North Carolina. NC DETECT, was developed and continues to be maintained as a joint effort between CCHI and the N.C. Division of Public Health. Meeting public health user needs for NC DETECT is a primary driver of the work done at CCHI. In addition, CCHI collaborates with the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center to further meet the surveillance needs of the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of the Division of Public Health in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. This collaboration has grown and strengthened as the drug abuse and opioid overdose epidemic in the state has intensified.

Staff/Administrative Duties

- Supervise graduate research assistant positions working with CCHI
- Serve on masters paper and doctoral dissertation committees
- Collaborate on faculty research
- Supervise student research and practicums
- Provide technical assistance for NC DETECT data
- Advise students on special projects


  • ScD, Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins University, 1990