Our Mission

Our Department of Public Health is committed to educating professionals and conducting research to improve the health of communities in our region and beyond. We practice a combination of science and social approaches to reduce disease and systematically address the multiple determinants of health. Our work is rooted in strong partnerships with the community, health and social services, industry and business, academia, and the media.

News & Announcements

News & Announcements
S Pitts
Changes in Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight

Dr. Stephanie Pitts is one of the authors of the article "Examining the Association between Intervention-Related Changes in Diet, Physical
Activity, and Weight as Moderated by the Food and Physical Activity Environments
among Rural Southern Adults
" in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The data analyzed was from the Heart Healthy Lenoir project, a nutrition and physical activity lifestyle intervention for residents of Lenoir County.

The results of the research were the opposite of what was expected. The participants who lived in less healthy neighborhoods, with less access to healthy eating and exercise opportunities, seemed to make greater health improvements than those living in healthier areas.

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Ann Rafferty
Health Inequities among LGB Adults in North Carolina

A team of ECU researchers that included Melissa Barnhill, a recent MPH graduate, Joseph Lee in the Department of Health Education and Promotion, and Ann Rafferty in the Department of Public Health, have a new publication looking at disparities for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults in North Carolina using data from the NC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Study results show that being part of the LGB population in NC is associated with worse health. Both genders showed inequalities in mental health with LGB individuals having higher prevalence of five or more poor mental health days in the past month and of ever having been diagnosed with a depressive disorder compared with heterosexual individuals. Sexual minority women also had higher prevalence for ever having smoked cigarettes, current smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke both in the workplace and at home, and both alcohol risk factors, binge and heavy drinking.

Barnhill MM, Lee JGL, Rafferty AP. Health Inequities among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in NorthCarolina, 2011-2014. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(8):835.

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Greg Kearney
In the News

Dr. Greg Kearney is partnering with Vidant Health and Legal Aid of North Carolina to address the environmental triggers of asthma. Click this following link for more information on this partnership.

Dr. Greg Kearney has been named the state's Asthma Champion by the Asthma Alliance of North Carolina.

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Ari Mwachofi
APTR Awards Grants for Development of Population Health Case Studies

Congratulations to Dr. Ari Mwachofi for receiving an ATPR grant.

APTR is pleased to announce the grantees for two CDC-sponsored population health case study development projects, which will be completed by August. Two faculty teams will develop a series of interprofessional problem-based case studies and reflection exercises in population health for public health and clinical health professions students. The aim is to deepen health professions students' understanding and ability to apply population health concepts and principles through exploration and analysis of three CDC and HHS initiatives: Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5), Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), and Million Hearts.


A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
PI - Barbara Maxwell, DPT, MSc
University Director of Interprofessional Education & Collaboration

Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University
PI - Ari Mwachofi, PhD
Associate Professor, Public Health

Another faculty team will develop a problem-based case study aimed at deepening health professions students' understanding of the value of public health-health care collaboration, through application of the CDC 6|18 Initiative.


Western Michigan University,School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs
PI - Shannon McMorrow, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor

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Broughton Madson Delia
Grant Aims To Improve Health in the East Through Consistent Assessments


Photo above: From left: Will Broughton, coordinator of the Office of Health Access at the Brody School of Medicine; James Madson, health director for Beaufort County Health Department; and Al Delia, director of the Office of Health Access.

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Upcoming Events

Mari Hawkins

Morehead City-native Mari Hawkins is expanding her scope from rehabilitating individual athletes to considering the health of whole populations.

Research In The Region

A private funding source for research at ECU's Brody School of Medicine is supporting pediatric asthma research by Dr. Greg Kearney.

MPH Program at ECU

Learn more about whether our master's of public health program is the right graduate degree for you.

Council on Education for Public Health

The ECU MPH Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). A copy of our final self-study report (2012) and a subsequent interim report (2013) on compliance with all accreditation criteria are available here. To request a copy of our official accreditation reports, please contact Wanda Strickland at or by calling (252) 744-4037.