Advancing Health Equity in North Carolina | Tar Heels Together

Advancing Health Equity in North Carolina

Meet the Presenters:

Crystal Wiley Cené, MD, MPH, FAHA, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and cardiovascular epidemiologist in the UNC Department of Medicine and the Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology. She is also the System Executive Director for Health Equity for UNC Health and Director of the Program on Health Disparities at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. The pursuit of health equity is a unifying theme for her research, teaching, and leadership roles.

In her role of System Executive Director for Health Equity, Dr. Cené is leading efforts across UNC Health to plan, implement, and evaluate evidence-based strategies and interventions to help address the structures, policies, and practices that perpetuate health disparities and impede health equity for our patients. In collaboration with stakeholders across the health system and the state, she will partner with other entities and organizations in the creation of healthy communities in North Carolina.

Randi Towns, PMP, serves as the operational leader for the UNC Health Office of Health Equity. In this role, she leads the development, implementation and ongoing management of programs to ensure equity for the patients and communities served by UNC Health. Over the course of her career, Randi has led teams that have improved access to health information through mass communication efforts, improved the rates of preventive screenings and immunizations amongst high risk populations, developed tools to address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), and most recently delivered a mobile COVID-19 testing program to address the disproportionate impact of the virus on historically marginalized communities. She is passionate about social justice and considers health as her frontier in the battle for equality and equity. 

Randi has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and is currently working towards a Master of Health Administration, both from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anita R. Brown-Graham rejoined the UNC School of Government in 2016 to lead ncIMPACT— a special initiative that seeks to expand the School’s capacity to work with public officials on complex policy issues. ncIMPACT has devised programs to support communities working on economic mobility, poverty, the expansion of pre-k and opioid misuse. Brown-Graham’s first tour as a faculty member was from 1994–2006, when she specialized in governmental liability and community economic development. In 2007 Anita became the director of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University. There, she led IEI’s work to build North Carolina’s capacity for economic development and prosperity. She is a William C. Friday Fellow, American Marshall Fellow, and Eisenhower Fellow. In 2013, the White House named her a Champion of Change for her work at IEI. Anita earned an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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