June 22, 2020
Members of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Maternal and Child Health have selected 2011 graduate Annie-Laurie McRee, DrPH, to receive the Sidney S. Chipman Award for 2020. McRee works to improve adolescents’ access to preventative services, especially related to sexual and reproductive health. Many adolescents still are not vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, and her research focuses on increasing acceptance rates for this vaccination, which can prevent several types of cancer.
Chipman, for whom the award is named, founded the Department of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) at the Gillings School. Since 1970, the department has given an annual award bearing his name to a graduate who has shown outstanding promise in the field of maternal and child health. Other selection criteria are the awardee’s dedication to human welfare; their ability to work effectively with others while being sensitive to their needs, feelings and ideas; and their effectiveness at getting a job done!
McRee is an associate professor of general pediatrics and adolescent health at the University of Minnesota, where she earned the honor of becoming a McKnight Presidential Fellow based on her excellence in research, scholarship and leadership. She serves as associate director of training for the University of Minnesota’s Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program, where she works to develop the next generation of child and adolescent health leaders. McRee is also deputy director of the Healthy Youth Development Prevention Research Center, which is funded by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About her time at the Gillings School, McRee says: “I appreciated both the interdisciplinary and collaborative environment of the MCH program. No single discipline garners all the requisite knowledge and skills to promote the health of young people and families, so I believe that learning to work with each other and across systems is critical.”
Before coming to the Gillings School, McRee worked for more than a decade in Title X family planning programs in Boulder, Colorado. In her spare time, she volunteers as a board member at a local teen clinic and enjoys exploring Minnesota state parks.
Though the Chipman Award recipient typically is recognized at a spring MCH Family Reunion held at the Gillings School, plans to celebrate McRee’s achievement have been put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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