Elizabeth French

Elizabeth French, MA

Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives
Dean's Office
Adjunct Instructor
Department of Health Behavior
138 Rosenau Hall
CB# 7400
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


As associate dean for strategic initiatives, French collaborates with others across the Gillings School and University to develop goals and catalyze development of groundbreaking, transformative initiatives in pursuit of those goals. She plays a significant role in initiating and managing major initiatives that transcend academic and administrative units at the Gillings School, including the School's strategic plan, SPH2020, creation of the framework for the Gillings MPH Core, initiation of the Gillings School's Practice Advisory Committee, reporting for accreditation, partnership efforts with key stakeholders outside the University and more. A key facilitator, she coordinates and connects numerous people and projects, liaising among the Dean's Office, departments and leaders of the Gillings School's central administrative units. She develops agendas for key leadership groups, including the Dean's Council and Practice advisory Committee, and works with potential presenters to assure that presentations meet intended goals. 

French has taught courses and workshops in writing in the sciences and social sciences and patient and health advocacy.

French serves on the Gillings School's Dean's Council, Coordination Group, and Practice Advisory Committees. She has served as a member of the MPH Core Planning Committee, the MPH Core Implementation Committee, and the MPH Core Development team. She facilitates the Gillings School's Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. 

Representative Courses

Patient Advocacy: Healing the Healthcare System, HBEH 727

Research Activities

Research interests
Health care delivery
Health communication
Health policy
Patient and health advocacy

Service Activities

Over ten years of work on projects that define and explore Patient Advocacy as a public health area

Sponsored two national conferences on patient advocacy
Co-edited a book, Patient Advocacy for Health Care Quality (2008)
Co-guest edited March/April 2009 issue of the NC Medical Journal, which was focused on patient advocacy
Instructor for 3-credit interdisciplinary graduate seminar on patient advocacy

Staff/administrative responsibilities
General administration of schoolwide initiatives, including SPH2020 initiatives.

Health Behavior Adjunct availability
Advisor on a special project
Classroom or continuing education lecture
Student practice supervision
Practicum preceptor

Key Publications

Issue Brief: Patient Advocacy: Putting the Vocabulary of Patient-Centered Care into Action. French, EA, Gilkey, MB and Earp, JA (2009).

Patient Advocacy for Health Care Quality: Strategies for Achieving Patient-Centered Care. Earp, JA, French, EA, Gilkey, MB  (2007).

Applying Health Education Theory to Patient Safety Programs: Three Case Studies. Gilkey, MB, Earp, JA, and French, EA (2008).


  • MA, English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1994
  • BA, English and History, West Virginia University, 1986