Dr. Oscar Fleming

William Oscar Fleming, DrPH, MSPH

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Assistant Professor
Public Health Leadership Program
Concentration Co-Lead
Global Health


Dr. Oscar Fleming is an assistant professor in the Public Health Leadership Program at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. His work focuses on expanding the capacity of the public health workforce to understand complex systems and collaboratively design and implement public health innovations. This includes attention to how change happens and recognizing that inequitable methods reinforce and exacerbate inequitable outcomes and systems. Dr. Fleming began his career supporting HIV prevention education on the National AIDS Hotline and caring for people living with AIDS in the years before antiretroviral treatment. He then served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa (1994-1996) before completing his MSPH at Gillings in 1999. Over the last 20-plus years, he worked in the US Senate to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act, designed and supported health and community development programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and strengthened the capacity of early childhood systems in Eastern North Carolina and across the US.  

In addition to teaching, Dr. Fleming leads the Evidence-Based Decision-Making Core for the National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center based at Gillings. In this role, he supports public health professionals to learn and apply implementation science to improve public health programs, policies, and practices that promote child and family well-being. Dr. Fleming is also an adjunct professor with the Departments of Maternal and Child Health and Health Policy and Management.

William Oscar Fleming in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

MCH Department Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award
2021, Gillings School of Global Public Health

ATMCH Innovative Teaching Award (Grant)
2019, Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health

Employee Forum Delegate
2019, University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill

Presidential Management Intern Finalist

Research Activities

• Applied implementation Science

• System Science

• Design Thinking

• Implementation Support Practice

• Technical assistance system strengthening

• Maternal and Child Health 

• HIV care and treatment

• Care and support for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS

• Early Childhood Development

Key Publications

Enhancing Title V Workforce Capacity to Address Complex Challenges: Impact of the National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center. Alexandria M. Coffey, Laura Powis, Amy Mullenix, Vanessa Rivero, Shara Evans, Hiba Fatima, W. Oscar Fleming, Kristen Hassmiller Lich, Stephen Orton, Dorothy Cilenti, Lewis Margolis (2022). Maternal and Child Health Journal.
View publication

Implementing Public Health Programs. Fleming, WO and Ramaswamy, R. (2021). Maxcy-Rosenau-Last Public Health & Preventive Medicine, 16.

Leveraging the Lessons of Implementation Science to serve Systems Change. Fleming, WO (2021). Leading Systems Change in Public Health: A Field Guide for Practitioners.

The Use of Implementation Science Tools to Design, Implement, and Monitor a Community-Based mHealth Intervention for Child Health in the Amazon. Westgard C and Fleming WO  (2020). Frontiers in Public Health, 8.
View publication

Inequity in Implementation: A Perspective from Two Implementation Science Students. Yates Lindsey and Fleming, Oscar. (2019). Implementation Science News.

Putting Implementation Science into Practice: Lessons from the Creation of the National Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center. Fleming, W.O., Apostolico, A.A., Mullenix, A.J. et al.  (2019). Maternal and Child Health Journal , 23(722).

Co-Creative Technical Assistance: Essential Functions and Interim Outcomes. Yazejian, N., Metz, A., Morgan, J., Louison, L., Bartley, L., Fleming, W. O., Haidar, L, & Schroder, J. (2018). Journal Article, Evidence & Policy.

Context Matters: Recommendations for Funders & Program Developers Supporting Implementation in Rural Communities. Louison, L, Fleming, W.O.  (2017). National Implementation Research Network.


  • Doctor of Public Health, Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership , Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2020
  • Master of Science in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, 1999
  • Bachelor of Arts, International Studies, Concentration in Political Science and African Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993