Eugenia Eng

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Geni Eng

Geni Eng

Director, Cancer Health Disparities Postdoctoral Program
Principal Investigator, Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism and Equity
Professor, Department of Health Behavior
Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Eugenia Eng has, over the past 30 years, developed a body of community-based participatory research (CBPR) work that is recognized, both nationally and internationally, for three contributions to public health practice. One is the relevance and measurement of the concept of community competence as an outcome of community-based interventions. The second is her demonstration research projects on the lay health advisor (LHA) intervention model, which is distinguished by its focus on the concept of natural helping. This model builds on the social support function of naturally occurring social networks in ethnic minority populations to address socially stigmatizing health problems. Her third contribution is the application of the Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis, which is a community assessment procedure that combines the principles of community organizing with those of the social ecological framework for health promotion. Dr. Eng has assisted health practitioners and researchers alike on the design and conduct of community-based assessments, interventions, and evaluations in the US, Cameroon, People’s Republic of China, Lebanon, and 12 nations in Southeast Asia, Central America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

The relevance of Dr. Eng’s work to public health practice is reflected in the courses she teaches, her keynote addresses to national and statewide public health organizations, as well as her consultancies with multilateral agencies (e.g., UNICEF, WHO, PAHO), private foundations (e.g., WK Kellogg, MacArthur, and Soros Open Society), and federally-funded research projects (e.g., AHRQ, NCI, NHLBI, NIAID, USAID, and CDC). In 2016, she received a Teaching Innovation Award from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health for her course, Leading for Racial Equity: Examining Structural Issues of Race and Class. She was inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship in 2014. From the Association of Schools of Public Health, she received the Pfizer Award for Faculty Excellence in Public Health Practice in 2011. She received the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Society for Public Health Education in 2009, the Thomas A. Bruce Award of Honor from the Community-Based Public Health Caucus, American Public Health Association in 2008, and the UNC Provost Award for Engaged Scholarship to the Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis conducted by the Department of Health Behavior, MPH Program in 2006.

Dr. Eng is the senior advisor to the Community Engagement, Partnerships and Technical Assistance (formerly CBPR) Core Unit at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is the Director of the Cancer Health Disparities Program, which offers postdoctoral training in cancer prevention and control research, at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.