Schoenfeld wins Presidential Award from the Association of Public Health Laboratories

On June 4, 2013, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) held its Annual Meeting & Seventh Government Environmental Laboratory Conference in Raleigh, N.C. This year’s Presidential Award was given to Ernie Schoenfeld, DrPH, Lecturer in the Public Health Leadership Program at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Senior Advisor to William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of the UNC Health Care System.

Schoenfeld wins Presidential Award from the Association of Public Health Laboratories click to enlarge Dr. Ernie Schoenfeld at the 2013 APHL meeting.

The award highlights outstanding achievements in laboratory science, creative approaches to solving today’s public health challenges, and exemplary support of laboratories serving the public’s health. Schoenfeld, who provides counsel, consultation, and guidance to the association, was honored to be recognized for his achievements.

“I was very moved to receive the award,” said Schoenfeld, who served as the APHL’s first director of the National Center for Public Health Laboratory Leadership (NCPHLL) before moving on to a senior advisor role with the Center. “It was a complete surprise to me.”

Schoenfeld’s work with the APHL drove the creation of the NCPHLL, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. He also wrote the famous “green book,” Who will Run America’s Public Health Labs, the precursor for the grant proposal that resulted in an award to establish the Center. But he is particularly proud of the role that UNC’s School of Public Health has played in training many of the leaders who served the public health laboratory community. “At one time, about half of the State Public Health Laboratories in the country were run by graduates of the program in our School of Public Health,” said Schoenfeld.

Schoenfeld has served the University of North Carolina’s Schools of Public Health and Medicine for more than 40 years. He has led in various capacities, including as associate dean, lecturer in the Department of Health Policy and Administration, assistant dean for operations and management, associate vice chancellor for health affairs, and in long-term positions as senior advisor to the Dean. Upon retirement in 2002, he assumed oversight for a number of consulting projects to streamline operations and to optimize leadership skills among the senior team. Today he continues to serve as advisor to the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine.

The recipient of the Presidential Award is selected by the APHL president, currently Charles Brokopp, and is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the association’s work to promote policies that strengthen governmental health laboratories. Dr. Laura Conn, associate director for informatics in the Public Health Surveillance and Informatics Program Office, in the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also received a Presidential Award.

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