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Carney Receives President's Distinguished University Citizenship & Service Award

August 25, 2020 by Jennifer Nachbur

Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine, associate dean for public health and health policy, and senior advisor to the dean of the Larner College of Medicine, has been named the 2019–2020 recipient of the President’s Distinguished University Citizenship and Service Award in recognition of her innovative teaching, creative leadership and service to the University of Vermont community.

Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H.

Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine, associate dean for public health and health policy, and senior advisor to the dean of the Larner College of Medicine, has been named the 2019–2020 recipient of the President’s Distinguished University Citizenship and Service Award in recognition of her innovative teaching, creative leadership and service to the University of Vermont community.

Carney, who served as Vermont Commissioner of Health from 1989 to 2003, has been a passionate advocate for preventive medicine and public health throughout her career — at UVM, in Vermont and nationally.

Over the past 15 years, her public health projects course — run in collaboration with the United Way of Northwest Vermont — has resulted in the completion of well over 200 public health projects that address critical health issues in the local community. She has championed policy efforts to reduce the health consequences of tobacco use and sugary beverage consumption in Vermont and co-chaired the UVM Tobacco-Free Steering Committee, whose work led to UVM’s Tobacco-Free Campus Policy in 2015.

Carney, a Distinguished Educator in the Larner College of Medicine Teaching Academy, is committed to preparing the next generation of physicians to be advocates for their patients and help shape evidence-based health policy. She developed Vermont’s first Master of Public Health degree and other graduate-level online public health programs and directs the Rural Health Research and Delivery Core for the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network, engaging clinicians, communities, and public health advocates in the development of research relevant to rural health needs.

An active national and statewide leader in the American College of Physicians, Carney is a recent past vice-chair of the ACP Health and Public Policy Committee; she was awarded a Mastership in the ACP earlier this year in recognition of the significance of her contributions to the field of medicine. She volunteers for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Less Cancer board of directors, the Vermont Public Health Institute, and the Vermont American Heart Association.

In recent months, Carney has stepped up once again, helping educate Vermonters about COVID-19 safety protocols and information through webinars and media interviews, as well as assisting UVM leaders to develop the Return to Campus plan.

In a recent interview, Carney said she is passionate about public health because “the diseases we see as physicians, including several chronic conditions, are preventable and linked to such behaviors as tobacco, alcohol or drug use, poor nutrition or sedentary behavior. Helping to make even a small improvement in that behavior can have a beneficial impact on many people.”