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(Posted 5-18-04)
Contact: Sean Olson, 336-334-5371

UNCG Names First Full-Time Women’s Health Center Director

GREENSBORO – The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has named Dr. Paige Hall Smith the first full-time director of the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness.

Smith is an associate professor of public health education at UNCG and most recently served as acting director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program while the director has been on an overseas fellowship.  She was recently appointed the Linda Carlisle Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, a title she will hold for two years.

In addition to her teaching, Smith’s work has included research on breastfeeding, domestic violence, and other women’s issues, all of which make her a natural fit for the center, according to Dr. David Perrin, dean of the School of Health and Human Performance (HHP), which oversees the center.

“Paige was selected to be the center’s first full-time director from a national search,” Perrin said. “Her own research themes on understanding and preventing violence against women and promoting breast feeding are a perfect match for the center. She will work closely with Keith Howell, HHP’s director of research, to foster collaborative research among faculty within the school and across the university that advances our understanding of girls’ and women’s health and wellness. The center will also provide important public service to women of the Piedmont Triad by disseminating research findings through seminars, workshops and other educational forums.”

Established in 2002, the center aims to advance the health and wellness of women through research and educational programs. The center emphasizes the promotion of positive health, quality of life and sense of well-being for girls and women of all ages.  Dr. Diane Gill, professor of exercise and sport science at UNCG, helped found the center and directed it during its first two years.

Smith hopes to further the center’s growth through research and partnerships in the UNCG community and the community at large.

“Our long-term goal is to promote women’s health research at UNCG and look to become the new face for women’s health research in North Carolina and beyond,” Smith said. “One of the things we want to do through our research and education is to try to better understand and help create the conditions within which all women and girls can be healthy.”

To do that, Smith hopes to mobilize the UNCG community to build on existing strengths, including its history of educating women and the wealth of research on women’s health. In addition, she wants to engage the larger community by sponsoring collaborations between university faculty and the community, to find out what women’s needs are in the community and use the university as a resource to meet those needs through the center. Finally, she wants to build the center’s profile through grant writing, publication and alumni support.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and master’s and doctoral degrees from the School for Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill. She joined the UNCG faculty in 1995 and, before that, was an adjunct assistant professor and adjunct clinical instructor at UNC-CH.

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