A vote of confidence in the future

Leadership, vision and community responsibility are among Dr. Mike Kafrissen’s strongest attributes – and the traits he says he most admires in others.

Through the years, he has collaborated with many people who have been affiliated with the School. He knew Dr. Bill Roper, former dean of the public health school, in Roper’s role as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has admired Chancellor Holden Thorp’s ideas about entrepreneurship and his proposal of water as a two-year, universitywide theme. As director of research and innovation for the World Health Organization Collaboration Center, based in the School’s Department of Maternal and Child Health, he has worked closely with Dr. Herbert Peterson and Dean Barbara K. Rimer. For many years, he and his wife, Jill Kafrissen, have supported the School’s Annual Fund because they believe in the ‘visionary’ work the School sets out to do.

Now, the Kafrissens have arranged for a $5 million planned gift from their estate that will benefit the School and its goals.

“I’ve admired the caliber of Bert’s and Barbara’s leadership for a long time,” Mike Kafrissen says. “Our confidence in the Gillings School of Global Public Health always has been amply rewarded, and we’re proud to have offered support that met immediate needs along the way. This longer-range gift is similar to others we’ve given. It’s a vote of confidence in the future of an institution we value.”

Linda Kastleman

Michael Edwin Kafrissen, MD, MSPH, a member of the School’s Advisory Council, is chief executive officer of STE Health International LLC. Previously, he was company head and chief scientific officer of Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs LLC. He holds several adjunct professorships, including at UNC, and is a research scientist at MIT’s AgeLab (agelab.mit.edu).

Jill Kafrissen, LCSW, has worked in a variety of social work settings including hospitals, family services and legislative advocacy. She is involved in a number of philanthropic activities.

Are you interested in learning more about a planned giving, or estate, gift? Contact Stephen Couch, associate director of development, at (919) 966-0219 or spcouch@email.unc.edu.

Return to Table of Contents

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.

Visit our communications and marketing team page.
Contact sphcomm@unc.edu with any media inquiries or general questions.

Communications and Marketing Office
125 Rosenau Hall
CB #7400
135 Dauer Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400