Leigh F. Callahan has over 30 years of experience in arthritis and health outcomes research, and experience in public health as a former arthritis epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her specific areas of expertise are in four major areas: 1) outcomes and epidemiological research; 2) establishing collaborations across the UNC campus and in communities across North Carolina and the nation; 3) leadership roles in professional and nonprofit arthritis organizations; and 4) setting arthritis public health agendas.
Dr. Callahan received her PhD in public policy from Vanderbilt University. She is the director of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center, “Mitigating the Public Health Impact of Osteoarthritis”, at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center. She is the Director of Community and Outcomes Research at Thurston Arthritis Research Center. She is also the Director of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA) a coalition of more than 90 organizations committed to elevating osteoarthritis as a national health priority. The OAAA is based at Thurston Arthritis Research Center.
Dr. Callahan has served on a number of editorial boards, is a former editor for the Arthritis Care and Research journal and has been a reviewer for numerous journals including the Journal of Rheumatology, Arthritis and Rheumatism, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Medical Care. She recently served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dr. Callahan is a long-time volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation (AF) on both the state and national level, and received the Charles B. Harding Award for Distinguished Service in 2005 for her work with the Foundation. In 2006, she received the Addie Thomas Service Award from the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP). She received the ARHP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. This is the highest honor that ARHP bestows. She has authored more than 200 publications and articles, is a frequent presenter at conferences and meetings worldwide, and continues to spearhead a number of projects examining the factors surrounding arthritis, epidemiology, health outcomes, health literacy and health disparities. She has received numerous grants from the NIH and CDC.