|Marci Campbell, cancer and nutrition researcher, dies|
|December 14, 2011|
Marci Campbell, PhD, professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, died Dec. 14 after living with cancer with grace and caring for almost two years.
She was a member of UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and program leader for cancer prevention and control at the Center, and member of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
Throughout her career, Dr. Campbell was committed to reducing risks for cancer, especially among low-income and minority populations. She was known for her work in developing innovative, research-tested interventions for an impressive number of health risks and conditions.
Dr. Campbell worked with a variety of organizations, among them, churches, community groups and voluntary health organizations. She had collaborators around the world. She focused particularly on nutrition behavior change for improving health and preventing diseases.
"She was one of the most committed, enthusiastic, energetic and innovative interventionists anywhere. Marci had enthusiastic collaborators around the world, in part because of her infinite capacity for reaching out and wanting to solve cancer control and public health problems, wherever they occurred. Perhaps, though, her greatest and most profound contributions were as a result of the research she did with low-income North Carolinians. She was the kind of faculty member who showed communities that what we do here matters to them and makes their lives better," Rimer said.
"Marci received her doctorate from our department and has been an active collaborator and researcher with a number of our faculty and students for many, many years," said Jo Anne Earp, ScD, chair of UNC's Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. "She mentored and supported many students over the years and was an incredibly prolific researcher with a large grant portfolio. Beyond any titles, or degrees, however, Marci was a wonderful, warm, nurturing human being. I will miss her greatly - her laugh, her humor, her wisdom, her support."
One of Dr. Campbell's renowned intervention efforts is "HOPE Works," a community-based strategy to support, educate and strengthen women in reducing obesity and leading healthier and more fulfilling lives. These programs developed into the HOPE projects, a series of initiatives focused on lowering obesity and improving overall health and socioeconomic status of women in eastern North Carolina. The efforts have spanned more than 18 years and served as the Core Research Project for the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, working in close partnership with the Community Action Council. The projects use HOPE Circles, small groups of women led by a trained community member, to help empower women to eat healthy foods, exercise more and achieve financial goals.
"Body and Soul," another intervention project, began with an earlier study, "Black Churches United for Better Health," co-directed by Dr. Campbell. Project researchers worked with 50 black congregations in rural North Carolina communities using church activities, pastor involvement and peer counseling to encourage church members to eat more fruits and vegetables. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) combined Dr. Campbell's program with similar efforts being implemented by Ken Resnicow, PhD, now at the University of Michigan, and created "Body and Soul." This pilot became the basis for the current "Body & Soul" program disseminated by the National Cancer Institute nationally through Cancer Control - P.L.A.N.E.T.
In 1984, former Governor James B. Hunt awarded Dr. Campbell the Order of the Longleaf Pine, one of North Carolina's highest civilian honors, for her work to improve the health of North Carolinians.
In order to support other researchers, Dr. Campbell developed the Communication for Health Applications and Interventions (CHAI) Core, which provides services for research projects that are developing interventions aimed at promoting health and disease prevention.
Dr. Campbell also was co-director of Lineberger's LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Center of Excellence, part of a network of eight Lance Armstrong Foundation centers that direct survivorship services and increase effectiveness of survivorship care through research, development of new interventions and sharing of best practices, such as Peer Connect, a support program for cancer survivors.
In addition to these achievements, Dr. Campbell was a devoted mentor to students and faculty members. She created a legacy that will live on.
The public health school has established a blog site that will offer friends and colleagues an opportunity to leave their remembrances. Visit http://marcicampbellremembered.web.unc.edu.
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UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Last updated December 16, 2011|