August 4, 2020

Lisa Macon Harrison

Lisa Macon Harrison

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has elected Lisa Macon Harrison, MPH, vice president of the organization’s 2020–2021 board of directors. Harrison earned both a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Master of Public Health degree from the School’s Public Health Leadership Program. She has served as director of the Granville Vance District Health Department in North Carolina since 2012.

Harrison began as vice president of NACCHO, which represents the United States’ nearly 3,000 local health departments, on July 1, 2020. Election to this position placed her on track to serve as president-elect for 2021–2022 and president in 2022–2023. In these roles, she will lead the board in shaping NACCHO’s strategic direction, initiatives and legislative agenda, with the goal of improving the public’s health.

“It is an honor to be selected for this opportunity to work together with colleagues across the nation to elevate the practice of public health during such a critical time,” said Harrison. “Across rural and urban areas of our country, the local public health workforce remains dedicated, hardworking and effective whether we are focused on communicable disease during pandemic response, on health equity and systems change, or on so many other population health focus areas that have not slowed down as our work has intensified. I look forward to advocating for public health and the incredible people working for the health and well-being of every community.”

NACCHO supports city, county, metropolitan, district and tribal health departments across the country by promoting beneficial national policy. The organization documents learning about public health practice and systems and shares these lessons at the local level through resources and programs that cover community health, environmental health, public health infrastructure and systems, and public health preparedness.

“Lisa has been a strong volunteer leader within NACCHO’s board and executive committee and has contributed significant amounts of time, energy and expertise to the organization. I congratulate Lisa on her election to vice president of NACCHO and look forward to her continued leadership in this new role,” said NACCHO’s chief executive officer, Lori Tremmel Freeman, MBA.

Harrison has stayed connected with the Gillings School through research, practice, advocacy and policy development. She has led a number of initiatives at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, including the Public Health Incubator Collaboratives Program, which fostered innovation, collaboration and resource sharing among North Carolina’s rural health departments, and the Southeast Public Health Leadership Institute, which strengthened the leadership competencies of public health administrators in the region. As an adjunct faculty member at the School, she coordinates faculty work in local health departments. And — while she is a self-proclaimed ‘true Tar Heel’ — she also consults at the Duke University School of Nursing.

In her 23 years in the public health field, she has served as director of the Office of Healthy Carolinians, director of health education for the North Carolina Division of Public Health and president of the North Carolina Public Health Association. With all this experience, however, Harrison especially appreciates her current opportunity to advocate for rural public health because she particularly enjoys mentoring students interested in this focus area.

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