About Us
The Gillings School's Department of Public Health Leadership and Practice (PHLP) is home to Master of Public Health concentrations in Leadership in Practice, Population Health for Clinicians and Place-Based Health. We also co-lead the Global Health concentration and graduate-level online certificates. We work to prepare public health practitioners for leadership positions by developing population-level knowledge and skills with an interdisciplinary emphasis. Building upon their varied professional experience, students collaboratively learn to assess community health needs, develop innovative policies and programs and ensure that new systems are maintained and improved.

Department Leadership

Below you can find the new leadership team for PHLP’s academic programs
Associate Chairs:
Associate Chair for Academics—Lori Evarts
Associate Chair for Strategy and Innovation—Amy Joy Lanou
Associate Chair for Research and Scholarship—TBA

Masters of Public Health (MPH) Graduate Degrees:
Leadership in Practice — Lead Aimee McHale
Population Health for Clinicians — Co-Leads Minzhi Xing and Cindy Feltner
Place-Based Health — Lead Sarah Thach
Global Health —Co-Lead Marie Lina Excellent

Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH):
Public Health Executive Leadership — Co-Leads Oscar Fleming and John Wiesman

Graduate Certificates:
Graduate Certificate Director— Rhonda Stevens
Core Concepts in Public Health — Zunaid Ahsan
Field Epidemiology — Lorraine Alexander (Epid)
Global Health — Laura Villa-Torres
Public Health Leadership — Karl Johnson

Our History

The Department of Public Health Leadership and Practice (PHLP) is an interdisciplinary program that has been described as "a department without walls." PHLP was founded in 1997 as an interdisciplinary academic program at the Gillings School. Growing out of a schoolwide initiative called the Interdisciplinary Curriculum in Practice and Leadership, PHLP was designed to provide public health professionals with leadership education to meet the challenges inherent in assuring and improving population health.
  • 1997 – PHLP Founded, enrolled the first distance MPH cohort
  • 2000 – First distance MPH cohort graduated
  • 2003 – Expansion to national/international MPH cohort (online)
  • 2006 – Online Public Health Leadership Certificate initiated
  • 2007 – Online Occupational Health Nursing Certificate initiated
  • 2009 – Online Global Health Certificate initiated
  • 2012 – Consolidation of online certificates administered by PHLP
  • 2015 – GO MPH (global online MPH track) first cohort
  • 2018 – Gillings MPH Concentrations initiated
    • Leadership in Practice
    • Population Health for Clinicians
  • 2019 – Gillings MPH Global Health Concentration initiated
  • 2020 – Gilling MPH Place-Based Health Concentration initiated in Asheville, NC
  • 2024 - Public Health Leadership Program becomes Department of Public Health Leadership and Practice

Anne Berry, MD, MPH

Dr. Berry, a preventive medicine resident alumna and Population Health for Clinicians (MPH) concentration alumna, talks about her interesting path to UNC.

Our Work in the Community
We are dedicated to making a meaningful impact on the community through our work in public health. We strive to cultivate the next generation of leaders who are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and passion to address the complex challenges facing public health today. PHLP is committed to advancing public health leadership and making a lasting difference in our community and beyond.
PHield Innovation Lab (PHIL)
Fernandez and Corbie-Smith author book highlighting vital role of community based change in achieving health equity
Two public health leadership students receive NC Schweitzer Fellowships
Our Numbers
Current enrolled students in our programs
MPH Degrees Conferred
Total number of Online Certificate Graduates
Employment-Education Rate for PHLP Graduates
Our Programs
Leadership in Practice Concentration
Population Health for Clinicians Concentration
Place-Based Health Concentration
Global Health Concentration
Global Health Certificate (online)
Certificate in Field Epidemiology (online)
Public Health Leadership Certificate (online)
Change agents wanted
Apply Now

Support Us

Individuals interested in helping provide financial support for the following awards may do so online at the Gillings School of Global Public Health Donate Now page by selecting the Department of Public Health Leadership and Practice.

Contact Public Health Leadership

135 Dauer Drive
4104 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7469
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7469
(919) 966-5285