Examining public health effects of racial disparities in access to public water and sewage services in North Carolina

The Foundation's National Program for Public Health Research was designed to further the growth and impact of the field of public health services and systems research (PHSSR) by coordinating current PHSSR investments, supporting real-world applications of research, strengthening the capacity of researchers and practitioners, catalyzing the translation and application of findings into practice, increasing visibility and champions for the work, and attracting other funders to the field.This award provides two years of mentored support for junior PHSSR scientists, with matching salary support and guaranteed protected research time from the sponsoring institution.Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. She holds PhD degrees in Engineering and Public Policy and in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on improving quantitative decision analysis tools to evaluate solutions to public health environmental threats. Her current projects include a National Science Foundation grant in decision, risk, and management sciences to compare the effects of alternative environmental health risk communication formats on community decision-making. Gibson's career development plan includes developing future research projects and a graduate course on research methods to assess effectiveness of public water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) services; and completing coursework on disease mapping and policy-oriented analysis of population data. Her project will study disparities in WASH service access including examining: (1) race and SES status in WASH access; (2) the health and economic effects of disparities in WASH access; and (3) policy and institutional barriers that perpetuate WASH disparities. Gibson will also aim to identify potential public health service solutions and benefits to increased WASH access. Jamie Bartram, UNC Water Institute Director and former WASH coordinator for the World Health Organization, will serve as the on-site mentor. A former NC Director of Public Health will serve as practice mentor to advise on engaging state and local public health officials. Dissemination plans include: (1) stakeholder forums to share results in targeted communities; (2) results summary and in-person policy briefings to NC state and local public health directors and state public health association; (3) publications and presentations to researchers; and (4) a press release to statewide media to reach the NC public.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $100,000.00

Awarded on: 11/29/2012

Time frame: 12/1/2012 - 12/31/2014

Grant Number: 70580


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health

400 Market Street, Suite 205
Chapel Hill, 27516-4028


Jamie Bartram
Project Director


Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson
Project Director