UNC Lineberger’s Barbara Alvarez Martin, MPH, honored for her work to bring together public and business organizations to improve the health and well-being of Triangle-area communities and residents.
The Triangle Business Journal will honor Barbara Alvarez Martin, MPH, director of Research Development for Cancer Prevention and Control at UNC Lineberger, with a 2018 Women in Business Award. She will join 24 women recognized at a luncheon on March 23.
Meg McGurk, executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, nominated Martin for her work during the past 25 years to bring together public and business organizations to improve the health and well-being of Triangle-area communities and residents.
“Barbara’s most significant professional accomplishment is her success in changing policies and culture around underage and high risk drinking in North Carolina,” McGurk wrote in her nomination of Martin. “She improved state-level policies when she convened and led the first statewide coalition to reduce underage drinking. She engaged state business leaders in this effort, and with their trust and support, she successfully advocated for policy changes.”
Martin spearheaded the coalition’s efforts that led to the passage of state laws that increased penalties for adults who sell or provide alcohol to youth, reduced the amount of alcohol that can be sold in urban stores, and created more consistent penalties for underage purchasers, including when they use fake IDs.
“Her approach to coalition building stood out among other state coalitions nationally for the unparalleled partnership she created between state business leaders, the public health community and law enforcement officials to promote Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service,” added McGurk. “Bringing these stakeholders to the table was key to their policy success.”
Kurt Ribisl, PhD, chair of the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and program leader for Cancer Prevention and Control at UNC’s Lineberger, said Martin’s success in creating public-private collaborations to address public health issues is both noteworthy and life-affecting. “Barb is truly gifted in her ability to bring together disparate groups with seemingly little in common to focus on important public health issues, such as underage and binge drinking. While the impact of her efforts is immeasurable, they surely are life-saving.”
The Triangle Business Journal established the Women in Business Awards program to recognize women in the Triangle area who are proven dynamic and outstanding leaders with established track records of significant accomplishments in business and/or community service. This year’s recipients were selected from more than 150 nominations.