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Alumni News

Community partnership provides harm reduction for vulnerable populations in Durban

October 22, 2021
UNC Gillings alum Michael Wilson cofounded Bellhaven Harm Reduction Centre, the first low-threshold harm-reduction center in South Africa which provides community-based health and harm reduction services for low-income and homeless individuals in Durban, South Africa. A recent mini documentary chronicles the unique relationship between the city, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the local university that made this center possible. 

$1 million gift furthers landmark study focused on reducing breast cancer disparities, barriers to high-quality care

October 5, 2021
Rich Preyer and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer have donated $1 million to support the latest phase of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Led by Dr. Melissa Troester, professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School, the study investigates how the causes, treatments and long-term outcomes of breast cancer differ between Black women and white women.

Timeline to eliminate cervical cancer varies widely based on wealth

September 29, 2021
Increasing rates of vaccination against human papillomavirus will lead to a near-elimination of cervical cancer in some communities by 2030, according to recent research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention by a research team that includes Gillings School alumnae and faculty members. However, these projections point to a stark truth: a 14-year delay in areas with higher rates of poverty.

Marcia Herman-Giddens establishes fund to prevent child abuse homicides

September 14, 2021
Dr. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens created a fund to continue her work to recognize and prevent the deaths of children at the hands of caregivers. In this interview, Herman-Giddens shares more about her work — which led to statewide laws requiring review of child deaths and inquiries in to what could prevent them — and her reasons for giving. The fund honors the memory of her son, William D. Popper.

Digital systems can improve quality of cancer care in low-resource settings

September 7, 2021
Gynecologic cancer contributes significantly to the number of cancer cases each year in Zambia, but weaknesses in referral, communication and coordination systems present challenges to care. Gillings School alumna Katerina Pattee is lead author of a recent article in the Journal of Cancer Policy describing an intervention to establish a low-cost digital system to manage information related to cancer care.

Innovative programs awarded $40 million to advance gender equality

September 2, 2021
The Equality Can’t Wait Challenge awarded $40 million to projects with bold ideas to expand women’s power and influence in the United States. Dr. Nicole Bates, an alumna of the Gillings School, is director of strategic partnerships and initiatives at Pivotal Ventures.