Faculty: Mary V. Davis, DrPH, MSPH; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


*Please complete an evaluation of this seminar once you have finished viewing the presentation.

Course Level: 101

Duration: 90 min.

Abstract: The quality and relevance of public health research may be improved through the adoption of participatory approaches. These approaches can increase the relevance of research questions; improve participation in research, through increasing response rates to data collection instruments and decreasing study attrition; and ensure that research questions and interventions are appropriately tailored to target populations. While much of the focus of participatory research has been on efforts with community organizations, such as nonprofits and faith-based groups, and specific target populations, such as vulnerable communities, these approaches also are facilitating research with public health agencies and systems, and categorized under the emerging discipline Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR).

This webinar illustrated how participatory research approaches can be applied through PHSSR, with examples of current activity. Building on a previous AcademyHealth webinar on community-based participatory research, this webinar focused on strategies to improve engagement on critical PHSSR questions among researchers and public health agencies and organizations. Webinar topics included specific examples of participatory research projects and infrastructures, such as Practice Based Research Networks and Academic Health Departments; strategies that individual researchers can undertake to engage public health agencies in PHSSR; as well as cautions when undertaking participatory approaches.

Thanks to generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this webinar was free.

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Davis Dr. Mary Davis is director of evaluation services at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, both of which are part of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Since 2001, Evaluation Services has provided program planning and evaluation services to more than 40 programs at NCIPH, the School of Public Health, and national efforts. Dr. Davis conducts public health systems and services research using participatory approaches; specialty areas are accreditation, quality improvement, and public health partnerships. Dr. Davis earned a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and a master's degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Doug UrlandDouglas W. Urland is a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC with a BA in Political Science and The American University, Washington, DC, with a Master of Public Administration degree.  In addition, he has been a Scholar in both the Southeast Public Health Leadership Institute (2001-2002) and the National Public Health Leadership Institute (2009-2010) through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He has been a Local Health Director in North Carolina for 17 years and previously served in Caldwell and Greene counties.  He has served as Catawba County Health Director since 2004.

Prior to his public health career, Doug was an Administrator for Skill Creations, Inc., a private company that provides services to adults and children with developmental disabilities.  In addition, he has worked in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

He is active in civic groups, various boards and committees, and professional associations including: Council President, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Council; Lenoir-Rhyne University Board of Visitors; National Association of County and City Health Officials, American Public Health Association, North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, - Vice-President,  North Carolina Public Health Association, Past Chair, Preparedness Committee, and Education and Awards Committee;   Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina – Board of Directors, Catawba County Partnership for Children – Board of Directors, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council – Past-Chair, Unifour Air Quality Committee – Chair, North Carolina Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center – Synergy and Translation Committee, Hickory Rotary Club.

He was the Snow Hill, NC Rotary Club’s Rotarian of the Year in 1996 and received the 2002 Citation of Merit from the North Carolina Public Health Association.

He enjoys spending time with his family, reading and is a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and Carolina Panthers.  An avid runner, he has completed several half and full marathons and participates annually in the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon.

Doug and his wife Laurie live in Hickory, NC with their two sons, Wil and Luke.