An associate professor in East Carolina University¹s Department of Public Health has been elected president of the North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA).
Dr. Suzanne Lea, who also serves as the vice-chair of the Brody School of Medicine Women Faculty Committee, began leading the state affiliate of the American Public Health Association in September.
The NCPHA, which was founded over 105 years ago, is a professional association of both individuals and organizations that work together in order to improve the public¹s health through political advocacy, public awareness, professional development, and the interface between research and practice.
“Traditionally, NCPHA membership has been comprised of dedicated professionals working in the state and local health departments providing preventive and public health services,” said Lea, in her first memo as president. “As the role of public health has expanded in recent decades, NCPHA has a goal to broaden our reach to proactively engage all individuals who embrace their role within public health systems in our state.”
As president, Lea intends to boost the engagement of young professionals through leadership training and to develop collaborations with other professional associations in North Carolina that promote health improvement.
Lea, whose professional experience spans over 20 years in the field of applied epidemiology and public health practice, joined the Brody faculty in 2008. Prior to that, she served as a research epidemiologist at Triangle Institute International in Research Triangle Park. She has also worked as a communicable disease epidemiologist for the Department of Health and Human Services in San Rafael, California; as the chief epidemiology officer for the Arkansas Department of Health in Little Rock, Arkansas; and as a communicable disease epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, California.
She holds a master¹s in public health from Yale University and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. She has authored numerous research articles, papers and textbook chapters focused on cancer, public health practice and health disparities.
– Amy Ellis