|Devlin, alumna and former state health director, joins School as Gillings Visiting Professor|
|September 22, 2009|
Leah M. Devlin, DDS, MPH, who until recently was North Carolina's State Health Director, has been appointed as a Gillings Visiting Professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. The position is based in the Department of Health Policy and Management.
In her new role, Devlin will work with faculty, students and staff throughout the public health school to effectively talk with state leaders and residents about the many ways the School can and does serve North Carolina. She also will strengthen the relationships between the School and the practice community, including student involvement with the N.C. Institute for Public Health.
Devlin will serve on the steering committee for the new Center for Performance Excellence in Public Health, in partnership with the N.C. Division of Public Health and the N.C. Hospital Association and on the National Public Health Accreditation Board. She will partner with groups across the campus and beyond on selected projects that focus on quality improvement efforts in the public health system.
A native of Buies Creek, N.C., Devlin has championed and improved the health of her fellow North Carolinians for more than 25 years. As a dental student at UNC, she completed a rotation with the Wake County (N.C.) Health Department, an experience that initiated a lifetime interest in public health. She received a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and a Master of Public Health degree from UNC.
Devlin was N.C. State Health Director from 2001 to 2009. Previously, she was deputy state health director and health director for Wake County. In 2008, she received UNC's Distinguished Alumni Award.
Under Devlin's leadership, the state successfully handled outbreaks of new and emerging infectious diseases (including E. coli, SARS and West Nile virus), reduced infant mortality rates and strengthened school health services. The state has become a national model of preparedness for public health emergencies, whether from natural disaster, emerging infectious disease or bioterrorism. On her watch, the state also became the first to mandate accreditation for local health departments to make quality and capacity consistent across the state. A hallmark of her career is her ability to bring together diverse groups for the common good.
"We are delighted to have Dr. Devlin here," said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean of the public health school. "Her depth of understanding of public health, combined with her experience as a practitioner and her love for North Carolina, will enable us to better serve our students, our state and our world."
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|Last updated September 22, 2009|