December 27, 2011

Dr. Barbara K. Rimer

Dr. Barbara K. Rimer

In spite of serious budget cuts over the last three years, our faculty and staff members remain dynamic, committed and focused upon teaching the next generation of public health leaders and solving some of the great public health challenges — here in North Carolina and around the world. In this issue of Carolina Public Health, we place our students at center stage. Many of them are here through the generosity of donors. Thank you for enabling them as the next generation of problem solvers.

Our students offer an antidote to gloom and cynicism about the state of the world. These smart,highly motivated, socially networked, exuberant young people give me hope that the world may be in better shape when it is in their hands. With skills and knowledge acquired at our school, there’s no stopping these young people.

In our classes, students learn, as have many of our readers before them, the discipline and skill of identifying a research problem. They master evidence-based methods that separate science from speculation. In collecting and analyzing data, they come to understand the nature of public health problems and what might be done to address them.

“The world may be in better shape when it is in [our students’] hands.”

Often, these questions and problems have real-world application to public health practice, and that really matters. Their passion propels our students through classes, exams, labs, fieldwork, theses and dissertations. They learn on their own, with and from people in communities, from one another, and especially, with faculty mentors who often become lifelong colleagues.

Remarkable personal transformations occur as students experience the world through public health. As have many of our readers, these students will become professors and practitioners, health department directors, government leaders and entrepreneurs, physicians, dentists and nurses who understand populations and individuals, and so much more. We take pride in all they accomplish.

Recently, one of our alumni, Garry Conille, MD, MPH, became prime minister of Haiti. Never has public health been more important. Our faculty, staff, students and alumni are on the front lines, solving the world’s greatest public health problems.
– Barbara K. Rimer


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