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UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention research associate Katie Barnes was elected last month to be the vice-chair of the National Community Committee that advises the Centers for Disease Control Prevention Research Center (PRC) program.

The election took place during the annual meeting of the NCC in Chapel Hill October 18-21. Barnes organized the meeting as part of her duties as Southeast regional director for the committee.  The meeting included presentations by HPDP researchers and a tour of Sampson and Duplin counties.


Barnes has been part of the NCC for seven years. She has served as co-chair of the communication committee for three years and as a regional director for one year. Barnes is also a research assistant for the Seeds of HOPE Project at UNC HPDP, a project she’s been involved with for nine years.

The NCC leadership rotates each year and is a four year commitment. Barnes’ responsibilities will increase within the next four years as she advances through the leadership process. Her positions will progress from vice-chair to chair-elect to chair to past-chair.

“I will be supporting, grooming and building leadership in the next four years,” she said.

Barnes will be working closely with Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. She will be presenting information on community-based participatory research and health advocacy at the upcoming training session on Wednesday, November 18th as part of the 2009-2010 Educational Conference Call Series on Building Community Capacity for Research.

“I believe when you invite community to the table it always improves the research,” Barnes said.

Barnes will also be participating in monthly conference calls and helping to plan the NCC’s annual planning meeting and the NCC’s spring pairing with the PRC program directors meeting.

“I think the transition will be an easy one. One of the roles of the vice chair is the election process and I’ve been a part of that before,” Barnes said. “Each year the responsibility level will go up.”

Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education with a minor in Leadership from Heritage Bible College in Dunn, N.C., and a certificate for nonprofit management from Duke University. She has lived in Benson, N.C., for eight years.

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