Eng honored with APHA award

November 07, 2008
Dr. Geni Eng

Dr. Geni Eng

Eugenia Eng, DrPH, has received the 2008 Tom Bruce Award from the community-based public health caucus of the American Public Health Association. The award, established in 2006 to celebrate individuals who have made significant contributions to the caucus and the community-based public health movement, was presented on Oct. 27 at the group’s annual meeting in San Deigo, Calif.  Eng, professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been a longtime advocate for the equality of community partners and the engagement of universities in the selection, design, implementation and evaluation of public health programs and research.  In 2001, she was awarded the School’s Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award for excellence in teaching, research and service. Eng has served since 2000 as principal investigator for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Health Scholars Program, designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars for community-based participatory research careers in public health. She also is the community-based participatory research core leader of the Carolina Community Network, a National Cancer Institute initiative to improve use of beneficial cancer interventions, increase the number of minorities in clinical trials, and increase communities’ knowledge of cancer disparities and treatment. Sharing this year’s award with Eng were Barbara Israel, DrPH, professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and alumna of the UNC Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and Meredith Minkler, DrPH, professor of health and social behavior at the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health. Each of these women has made individual contributions to community-based public health and to the caucus and each alone deserves this award. However, their personal and professional collaboration has been instrumental in guiding community-based public health to the forefront of public health practice and research,” said Al Richmond, chair of the CBPH caucus.

“Geni is the leading light of community-based participatory research at the University of North Carolina,” says Jo Anne Earp, ScD, interim chair of the UNC Department of Health Behavior and Health Education.

“She has taught many students over the years in her course devoted to the practice and application of research that is inclusive, rather than exploitative, of community members in its design, implementation and evaluation. How fitting that her participatory, partnership approach was not only recognized by APHA, but recognized in the company of two women with whom she has written and worked for many, many years,” Earp said.

The award is named to honor Thomas Allen Bruce, MD, a physician, educator and philanthropist who lives in Little Rock, Ark. From 1985 to 1997, Bruce served as program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, planning new initiatives, reviewing proposals and monitoring projects in health, leadership and rural development and, beginning in 1990, providing direction for the national community-based public health initiative.

# # #

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or ramona_dubose@unc.edu.