Dr. Scott Zimmerman (’81): Gearing Up for a New Era in Public Health Strategy

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March 17 @ 11:30 am - 12:20 pm


South End Dining Hall

Dr. Scott Zimmerman will be presenting a talk titled “Gearing Up for a New Era in Public Health Strategy.” An abstract of the talk and a short biography for Dr. Zimmerman are found below.

Abstract: Public health is “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health…”; it is what we do together as a society to ensure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy. Public health has been evolving from the late 1800s through the advances in communicable disease control, epidemiology, and laboratory sciences, as well as implementation of sanitization standards to ensure a safe food and water supply and foster environmental health awareness. For the U.S. public health system, the past few years have been difficult. In 2008, the Great Recession decimated public health funding which led to draconian cuts to government public health departments. The impacts of a crumbling public health infrastructure are often experienced most intensely in the populations that are most vulnerable and have the greatest need. Despite these challenges, countless communities across the U.S. have collectively risen up to overcome these impediments that have an effect on an individual’s health. To shift public health into a new era, it is vital that communities begin a conversation on the importance of achieving good health beyond health care, alone. The public health of the future will require innovation, collaboration, and must address the drivers of health that impact everyone, regardless of where they are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and/or their age. This presentation will provide examples of public health in action and proven strategies that have led to improvements in the health of our communities.

Biography: Dr. Scott Zimmerman ‘81 joined LabCorp in April 2019 as the Senior Director of Science and Technology following a 25-year career in government public health. Most recently, he served as Director of North Carolina’s State Laboratory of Public Health from 2013-2019 after serving as the Assistant Commissioner for the Erie County Department of Health and Director of Labs in Buffalo for 19 years.

Scott obtained both his Doctoral and Master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health. His doctoral research was conducted at the CDC in Atlanta, GA.

Scott currently maintains a faculty appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

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