In this new series, we interview students, faculty members and alumni to find out how they came to public health — and how they’ve pivoted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tracking viruses. Building cleaner water systems. Advocating for quality care for every patient. Ensuring the safety of new medicines. All of this, and so much more, is part of public health. These are the people who make it happen.

Listen To The Pivot Podcast

The Pivot features stories of impact, discovery and surprise in public health. A production of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Mya Roberson

talks epidemiology, health equity and life during a pandemic.

Morgan Cooper

helps older adults stay safe at home.

Jeliyah Clark

strives to makes science accessible to new audiences.

Gary White

seeks to create water equity across the globe.

Vanessa Rivero

is bringing women’s health back into maternal and child health.

Dr. Mercedes Carnethon

keeps people healthy with straightforward communication.

Jenna McCready

is helping NYC families weather the pandemic.

Dr. Bonnie Shook-Sa

creates a more accurate picture of COVID-19's impact.

Dr. Dana Rice

works to prevent the wounds of mass incarceration.

Kevin Travia

connects communities with resources to improve health.

Dr. Mark Holmes

tailors public health solutions for rural communities.

Dana Davis

builds partnerships to address health inequities in the Carolinas.

Sarah Iracane

creates global networks so children can access health care.

Dr. Anna Austin

seeks strategies that support children, caregivers and families.

Dr. Dorothy Cilenti

connects academics with practitioners for better public health.

Ivonne Headley

creates healthful feeding and nutrition strategies for Spanish-speaking communities.

Rinko Kinoshita

keeps priorities in focus during the pandemic.

Dr. Brenda Edwards

shares her expertise in how population-based data systems can improve our understanding of cancer.

Toby Turla

connects UNC students to critical peer support in uncertain times.

Ana Posas

aspires to create healthier communities in rural North Carolina.

Dr. John Wiesman

oversaw the response to the first known COVID-19 case in the United States.

Dr. Jan Lee Santos

is a lifetime learner who finds opportunity in crisis.

Dr. David Martinez

works behind the scenes — but his research affects millions.

April Dee Aviles

leads anti-racist efforts at one of the largest health departments in the United States.

Dean Emerita Barbara K. Rimer

steers the No. 1 public school of public health into a dynamic future.

Jill Moore

analyzes North Carolina public health law to educate and advise local leaders.

Dr. Justin Lessler

estimates how many people will get sick from a disease — and how public health measures can lower that number.

Jennifer Mendel Sheldon

believes good communication is essential to public health.

Jessica Howard

strives to uplift women’s voices in pursuit of health equity and well-being.

Dr. Sharrelle Barber

disrupts the status quo.

Dr. Juan Hincapie-Castillo

advocates for empathy and safety in pharmaceutical policies.

Adrial Bryan

seeks to expand inclusive excellence efforts at the Gillings School.

Ada Nwosu

creates international development strategies that promote global health.

Dr. Tamarie Macon

believes 'public health' is another word for 'justice.'

Brianna Dewitty

aspires to create equitable health care systems for BIPOC and LGBTQ groups.

Ceshae Harding

is providing comprehensive care to women of childbearing age.

Dr. Martin Kohlmeier

see what molecules mean for whole people.

Kartik Tyagi

believes focusing on what brings us together is key.

Dr. Bonzo Reddick

addresses the root causes of health issues.

Dr. Lindsey Haynes-Maslow

is a triple Gillings alum with a passion for election integrity.

Callia Cox and Rhea Jayaswal

support systemic solutions to inequities — in part by co-chairing the 2023 Minority Health Conference.

Christy England

follows her passion for STEM.

Dr. Dionne Price

supports the development of safe and effective drugs.

New Gillings grad Asia Carter

connects people to make positive change.

Theo Beltran

wants everyone to get what they need — health care is just the start.

Dr. Bahby Banks

builds capacity, encourages innovation and fosters change.

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