Alumna Hakenewerth dies at 62

January 21, 2019

Dr. Anne Hakenewerth

Dr. Anne Hakenewerth

Anne Marie Kuensting Hakenewerth, PhD, Gillings School of Global Public Health alumna, died Jan. 17 as the result of being hit by a car in Raleigh, N.C. She was 62.

Born to Francis and Agnes Kuensting on Aug. 4, 1956 in Jefferson City, Mo., Hakenewerth loved science and learning from an early age. She earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Saint Louis University and a master’s degree in biology from UNC-Charlotte.

She served as director of health informatics from 1997 to 2006 in UNC-Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services.

Having developed a passion for solving big problems, with big data, she realized she would need more training to do the work she wanted to do. To that end, she enrolled at the Gillings School and earned a doctorate in epidemiology in 2011, while in her mid-50s.

In 2011, she joined the Carolina Center for Health Informatics as director of research. From 2012 to 2014, she was senior epidemiologist and manager of the epidemiology group at the Texas Cancer Registry. There, she led a staff of seven epidemiologists and directed cancer-related epidemiologic studies. In 2014, she joined the Communicable Disease Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, as manager of the surveillance systems unit.

“Anne was a stellar epidemiologist and consummate professional,” said Andrew Olshan, PhD, Barbara Sorenson Hulka Distinguished Professor in Cancer Epidemiology and former epidemiology chair at the Gillings School. “She was a wonderful student and advisee, and more recently as the key contact for our department partnership with her branch, an engaged and productive collaborator. Her unwavering kindness, smile and commitment to helping others will be sorely missed.”

A visitation was held Jan. 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Road, in Raleigh. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Raleigh on Tuesday, January 22 at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow.

For those wishing to make a charitable donation in Hakenewerth’s name, the family has suggested Raleigh Rescue Mission and The Marianists.

Hakenewerth is survived by Paul, her husband of 41 years, two daughters, Katherine and Mary, three grandchildren and four siblings.


Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at

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