A fund that supports two ventures: water and public health

When Don and Jennifer Holzworth established a distinguished professorship in March, they simultaneously supported two ventures that excited them – the work of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC’s two-year campus-wide theme, water.

On April 26, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees announced that Jamie Bartram, PhD, professor of environmental sciences and engineering and director of The Water Institute at UNC, had been selected as the first Holzworth Distinguished Professor.

“We are extremely pleased that Jamie Bartram has been awarded our distinguished professorship,” Don Holzworth said. “His work on water – our world’s most precious resource – is respected by all who know him. Jamie has influenced both science and global policy while at the same time improving the lives of millions.”

Don Holzworth serves as the School’s first Gillings Executive in Residence, chairs the School of Public Health Advisory Council and is adjunct professor of health policy and management. A member of the Chancellor’s Innovation Circle, he has been instrumental in leading innovation at the public health school and in launching The Water Institute at UNC, which is part of the School.

“I’m honored to be selected to help advance the School’s and the Institute’s missions,” Bartram said. “Clean water and sanitation issues disproportionately affect the vulnerable – in the U.S. as well as in developing countries. We have a lot of work to do to improve health around the world through attention to water-related issues.”

The Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professorship Fund was initiated with a $666,000 gift from the Holzworths. Matching funds through the state’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund support the $1 million professorship.

The Holzworths’ support of the University flows from a lifetime of dedication to global public health. In 1983, Don Holzworth founded Constella Group, a human health services company that employed innovative science, technology and management solutions to solve pressing health problems in more than 60 countries. Jennifer Holzworth was Constella’s chief financial officer during its start-up phase and has dedicated herself to volunteer work, most recently with emergency and other medical services in Vail, Colo. The Holzworths also have funded a series of endowed scholarships and are longtime members of The Rosenau Society.

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Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit sph.unc.edu/cph.