Veronica Carlisle, MPH, CHES, a community health educator with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Peers for Progress, was honored with a Dean’s Performance Award for Community Service in recognition of her exemplary work that has contributed to UNC achieving its vision of becoming the nation’s leading public school of medicine. She was one of six to earn the award, which included a $1,000 prize.
“Veronica is a treasure to our Cancer Center and to the people of North Carolina,” said Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, MPH, associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement at UNC Lineberger and professor of Health Policy & Management at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “She is committed to improving the health and cancer outcomes of so many diverse populations throughout our state, as evidenced by her 18-year history serving as a community health educator, community advisor and peer support coordinator for UNC Lineberger. We are so fortunate to have her as a consistent link to the community.”
Barbara Alvarez Martin, MPH, assistant director for Community Outreach and Engagement and Population Sciences at UNC Lineberger, said Carlisle’s unwavering commitment and passion to serve the community inspires the Community Outreach and Engagement team. “She consistently brings the community’s voice into our conversations. Serving the people of North Carolina is central to the cancer center’s mission. Veronica‘s efforts remind us to listen to those we are here to serve.”
Cristy Page, MD, MPH, executive dean of UNC School of Medicine, shared in a video announcing Carlisle as an award recipient that “It seems that Veronica knows everyone in the state, and everyone who knows her absolutely loves her.”
The Deans Award recognized Carlisle for her work to reduce cancer disparities by improving access to and participation in cancer clinical trials in communities disproportionately affected by cancer.
In 2019, Carlisle identified and recruited a diverse group of community members across the state to serve as Lineberger’s Community Advisory Board. She brought them together in an environment where their lived experiences and perspectives were valued. She led this group to develop a strategic plan, identify priorities, and advise on ways to increase minority recruitment to clinical trials with the goal to reduce burden of cancer on historically underserved communities.