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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

UNC Public Health Thank You Day Activities

Public health organizations across the country take time during Thanksgiving week to recognize fellow public health professionals who work daily to protect people’s health.

[Photo: The Gillings School’s Dr. Anna Schenck (left) and alumna and doctoral student Ms. Jessica Islam join Research!America, APHA and other public health organizations in thanking public health partners and friends who help improve the lives of so many people in communities around the world.]

Around this time of year, Dr. Anna Schenck, professor of the practice and associate dean for practice at University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, traditionally sends a letter of appreciation to the Gillings School’s partners and collaborators.

This year’s letter reads, in part:

As we gather this week to contemplate and celebrate all that we are thankful for, I want you to know how much we appreciate you. Whether tackling the opioid crisis, responding to natural disasters, fighting disease or improving the social determinants of health, the dedication of public health practitioners makes our communities better places to learn, work and play. 

My colleagues and I are also grateful for your role in mentoring the next generation of public health professionals. Every year at the Gillings School, we graduate more than 400 students who enter the workforce equipped with the skills to match their passion for improved public health for all.

This readiness stems not only from the outstanding guidance of our faculty but from the real-world projects you offer students within your organizations. By taking the time to share your expertise and wisdom, you make a difference in the lives of our students and, through them, in the lives of people all around the world.

As part of ‘Public Health Thank You’ week, UNC Gillings School students, staff and faculty members will come together on November 20, as they do monthly, to cook and serve a meal at the local InterFaith Council Community Kitchen.

Throughout November, the Gillings School has promoted National Family History Day, encouraging students and others to use the Thanksgiving and winter holidays as a time to collect important health information from family members. Family elders are an important and time-limited resource for learning about health problems that seem to run in families. Learning about our families’ health histories may help ensure a longer, healthier future together.