Message from Leslie Lytle, Chair of Health Behavior

Leslie A. Lytle, PhD Professor and Department Chair

Leslie A. Lytle, PhD
Professor and Department Chair

Welcome to the Department of Health Behavior!

We’re proud to be a part of the top-ranked Gillings School of Global Public Health and to have stellar faculty, students, and alumni. On behalf of all of these constituents, thank you for your interest in our department. I encourage you to browse our website and contact us with questions.

Not long ago, I had the honor of being invited to give a commencement address. While brainstorming ideas for my talk, I thought about all of the people that have supported me in my career—I have been fortunate in having wondeful mentors, colleagues, friends and family along the way who have helped me achieve my goals. This is my “base camp” of people who provide support, encouragement and sustenance during life’s journey, along the lines of the base camps that serious mountain climbers reply on. In my commencement speech I encouraged the new graduates to recognize and nourish their own base camps, reminding them not to overlook their fellow graduates and others—family, faculty mentors, staff advocates—present in the auditorium that morning.

As chair of Health Behavior (HB), I see base camps being developed daily here in the Department. Our students do not only receive an excellent academic foundation, but also forge lifelong relationships with each other as well as with faculty, staff, and alumni located all over the world. In turn, it’s inspiring to see these deep and rich networks used to help make the world a healthier and better place for everyone. HB alumni are highly trained and work worldwide conducting research, promoting evidence-based health behaviors, advocating for the reduction of health disparities and working to develop government policies that benefit everyone’s health. Individuals trained in health behavior at UNC work in a wide variety of areas including health screening promotion; tobacco control; intimate partner violence awareness and reduction; injury prevention and control; worksite health; HIV/AIDS education and infection reduction; peer support for chronic illnesses; patient advocacy; adolescent health; and obesity reduction and prevention—and there are many more! Our programs offer rigorous training and lots of support and opportunities to learn, practice, and build base camps that last a lifetime and change lives.

Thank you for your interest in Health Behavior at Carolina.