Public Health

A good week gone: Carolina basketball, departmental events and Bill McDonough

April 7, 2009

Departmental events

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The past week was a fabulous one for the School. Wednesday afternoon, several of our departments had reunions and other kinds of get-togethers. They made awards, reconnected with people and had a good time.

Then, everyone moved on to a reception before our annual Foard Lecture. It was fun for me to see many faculty members and alumni. It’s more fun each year since I know more of the people and enjoy the chance to thank them for their many contributions to the School.

Barr and Greenberg awards given

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At the Foard Lecture, the School awards very important School-level awards. The Harriet Hylton Barr Award was given to Rebecca King, DDS, MPH, for the outstanding work she has done to improve dental health in North Carolina. Dr. King is really a role model for the kind of impact one can have in public health. She credits Gary Rozier, DDS, MPH, professor health policy and management, as a very special mentor and could not say enough to me about the effect Gary has had on North Carolina. Anita Farel, DrPH, MSW, clinical professor and associate chair for graduate studies maternal and child health, received the Greenberg Award in recognition of her teaching, research and service. I am especially grateful to Dr. Farel for her incredible service over the past 20 years to the School.

McDonough gives Foard Lecture


World-renowned architect and designer, author of multiple books, including Cradle to Cradle, Bill McDonough, gave the 41st Foard Lecture. We were pleased to co-sponsor the event with Greenbridge Developments, LLC and the UNC’s Institute for the Environment. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything McDonough says, he is a really thought-provoking thinker and speaker who got us to think about environmental issues a little differently, perhaps even a lot differently. For example, thinking about the life cycle of products instead of just how “green” it appears to be might change our behavior in fundamental ways. As I said when I introduced him at the lecture, we also should think comprehensively about built environments. We know now from research and multiple evidence reviews (e.g. see those done by the group for which I am vice-chair, that how we build individual structures and communities has a lot to do with how safe we feel, how much we walk and bike, our levels of obesity and mortality rates. Public health, environmental and economic issues intersect in important ways when we confront this topic.

p892133431-3.jpgMcDonough was wonderful. And his slides make one think about the act of communication through slides in a different way. If you missed the talk, it will be available on our website. You can also learn more about Bill McDonough’s work by visiting his website.

Saturday night fever

Saturday was a gorgeous day in Carolina. The flowers are beautiful, the flowering trees are perfect, the streets were filled with people, and everyone seemed excited about the forthcoming game. And the men’s Tar Heels  won-by a lot! The portable lights are in waiting on Franklin Street, and the porta-potties are being staged for Monday night. I so hope we win. I cannot imagine that a lot of work is going to get done tomorrow. I decided to do my part for Carolina so I got my nails painted blue-not a shocking blue but a conservative Carolina blue-blue nonetheless.

Happy Monday! Go Tar Heels.

Note: all photos by Tom Fuldner Photography

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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.