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Fall 2021

In This Issue:

  • Project Updates >>
  • Staff Updates>>
  • NCIPH Workshops and Training >>
  • What We’re Reading – #PublicHealthNerd Articles  >>

Project Updates

  • Fall trainings are well under way: the NCPHLI Leading with Equity Series and the North Carolina Strategic Scholars courses both debuted this fall, and sessions of Principles and Practices of Public Health Nursing and the North Carolina Dental Public Health Leadership Institute are currently running.
  • This year as our health department staff superheroes across North Carolina continuously rallied together to test, track and vaccinate our communities against COVID-19, the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation program took some time so that we can strategically move forward and support the North Carolina public health system in years to come. Take a look at our 2020-2021 Annual Report!
  • During the Spring 2021 semester, Amy Belflower Thomas served as a mentor to Priya Patel, a high school senior at the North Carolina School and Science and Mathematics, as Priya worked with Matt Simon to further develop the Collect SMART app. Priya assisted with the submission of a successful application to UNC’s Software Engineering Laboratory, a semester long computer science class that works directly with clients to develop their software. Collect SMART is undergoing some much need renovations and moving to Carolina CloudApps. Stay tuned for future announcements of when this valuable survey management system will be ready for release!
  • Our ELPH program team has worked hard to adapt to the needs of our agency leaders throughout the pandemic. This year, in our annual report, we especially wanted to recognize some of the challenges that agencies faced and also elevate what they accomplished over the past 12-18 months.

We’re proud to be addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and building public health capacity through partnerships with NC DHHS, local health departments and other sectors. If we can support your organization with a similar project, we’d love for you to get in touch.

Staff Updates

Cline named interim director of NC Institute for Public Health

Dr. Steve Cline

We are pleased to announce that Steve Cline, DDS, MPH, will act as interim director of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH), effective October 1, 2021.
NCIPH’s role in public health practice is a critical component of the strategic planning process that is currently underway at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Cline will provide leadership and guidance in business development, strategic planning and organizational development. He will collaborate with Gillings School leadership to strengthen public health programs with an emphasis on serving North Carolina, and he will leave in place a blueprint for the next phase of NCIPH

“As we look to strengthen our commitment to practice across the Gillings School, Dr. Cline brings tremendous strength in practice, knowledge about the practice in N.C. and strong ties to the practice community,” said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean of the Gillings School.

Cline was previously the assistant secretary for health information technology in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS). He spent most of his career in public health and served as deputy state health director for NC DHHS, where he created division policies and priorities and supervised all programmatic areas of the Division of Public Health — including epidemiology, women’s and children’s health, chronic disease and injury prevention, oral health, and public health preparedness.

If you have questions or needs, please contact Amy Belflower Thomas ( regarding community assessment and strategy; Tiffany Farina ( regarding finance and administration; and Rachel Wilfert ( regarding workforce training and education.

New Faces

Danielle Butts, Rose Byrnes and Destiny James recently joined NCIPH. Danielle joins as Online Learning Specialist with the Workforce Training and Education team, Rose is Qualitative Assessment Coordinator with Community Assessment and Strategy and Destiny joins as Community Engagement Coordinator.

New titles

  • Margaret Benson Nemitz was hired permanently and now holds the Strategic Approaches Coordinator position with the Community Assessment and Strategy team.
  • Gene Matthews is stepping down as director of Southeastern Region of the Network for Public Health Law. Dawn Hunter will be taking the role of director. Gene will continue his work with the Network for Public Health Law and continue leading the Becoming Better Messengers trainings.


We said ‘bon voyage‘ to three NCIPH members this fall: Community Engagement Coordinator Elizabeth Thomas, Human Resources Consultant Karen Capps, and NCIPH Director Doug Urland. Join us in wishing them all the best in their new endeavors or relaxing retirements!

NCIPH Workshops and Training

Spring Courses Enrolling Now

Applications are open for the Spring 2022 session of our Physical Assessment of Adults and STD Nurse Clinician Training Combined Practicum Course! Enhanced role nurses who complete this training can provide important, billable services for their local health department, including STD screenings and breast and cervical cancer screenings. As always, the course will be taught mainly online!

The Spring 2022 session of Management and Supervision for Public Health Professionals will begin registration soon. The content of this course is applicable for all managers and supervisors working in local health departments including those new to their position (less than 2 years), experienced managers and supervisors with little or no formal supervisory training, and those aspiring to be promoted to a role in public health management.

Just a reminder that NCIPH has multiple online trainings available for local public health governing boards including orientation training and a newly revised rulemaking authority training.

#PublicHealthNerd Reads

Feeling nerdy? Here’s a sample of the fun, interesting public health reading we’ve come across in the past few months.

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