August 18, 2022

Dr. John Wiesman

Dr. John Wiesman

Leadership at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health has appointed John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, as associate dean for practice. In this role, he will provide guidance to achieve the school’s vision and goals for putting public health training into action and will represent the school’s commitment to practice across the University, the state and beyond.

“We had two outstanding candidates for the role of associate dean for practice, and I am grateful to everyone who participated in the search process,” said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean of the Gillings School and Alumni Distinguished Professor of health behavior. “I am thrilled that John Wiesman has agreed to serve as associate dean. He has an illustrious background in practice, having led public health in Washington state during the pandemic. As a Gillings professor of the practice and director of the Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH), his work is tied indelibly to equity and practice. He is going to lead the implementation of our new strategic plan for practice 2028 and take our school to new levels of quality and engagement.”

Wiesman, who earned his Doctor of Public Health degree from the Gillings School in 2012, has more than 30 years of experience in governmental public health practice and policy. Through his work with local and state health departments in Connecticut and Washington state, he has taken a community-based, equity-driven approach to implement public health services and address topics ranging from HIV/AIDS, tobacco regulation, infant and family support, firearm safety, and emergency response planning. He most recently served as secretary of health for Washington state under Governor Jay Inslee and led the response to the first known case of COVID-19 in the United States.

“John is an incredibly well-respected colleague who brings the reality of public health leadership, policy and advocacy into the classroom,” said Morris Weinberger, PhD, Vergil N. Slee Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Quality Management and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. “I look forward to him bringing that leadership to the entire school and furthering our connections with communities throughout North Carolina.”

Wiesman joined the Gillings School in 2021, where he leads the DrPH program and teaches. Along with Leah Devlin, DDS, he guided the development of the School’s updated strategic plan for practice. In the role of associate dean for practice, he will build on the strong community partnerships and commitment to service learning established by the previous associate dean for practice, Anna Schenck, PhD.

Wiesman will also participate in the recruitment of a deputy director for the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH), the primary public health service and outreach arm for the Gillings School.

“I am pleased to have John at the helm with regards to practice,” said Robert Smith III, PhD, vice dean of the Gillings School. “He is a visionary with significant ‘in-the-field’ experience. He is a welcome addition to the NCIPH leadership team, and his input in the process of selecting the new director is critical. Additionally, John will integrate opportunities for practice enhancement within the entirety of the Gillings School, placing excellence in practice on par with existing excellence in research and education.”

“The Gillings School is known for its role as a trusted practice-academic partner, and I am excited to expand our reach and provide communities with the support they need to address pressing public health needs,” Wiesman said.

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