Dr. Ann Chelminski is a physician with the NC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program of the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and with UNC Campus Health. Her responsibilities at NC DHHS include working with the medical community to provide education and outreach, serving as a resource for clinical questions, and encouraging medical providers to test for lead and follow-up on lead test results. Contrastingly, in her role at UNC Campus Health, she is responsible for providing primary care for UNC students.
After graduating from Duke University with a degree in English literature, Ann discovered her interest in medicine while working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. Following this two-year experience, she worked with migrant farmworkers for a summer and eventually attended medical school at Duke University. Ann completed her residency in family medicine and a fellowship in preventive medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill while earning her MPH in epidemiology.
As part of the preventive medicine fellowship, she interned with the NC DHHS Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (OEEB). Upon completing her internship, she was offered a medical epidemiologist position at OEEB working on harmful algal blooms and other water quality issues as well as on pesticide exposure of farmworkers. When the grant funding for this position ended in 2006, she began working in a rural community health center and then at UNC Campus Health.
While she enjoys clinical practice, she was excited to find another opportunity to work in environmental health with NC DHHS, this time in the NC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. She has a personal interest in the intersection of human health and the environment and has pursued opportunities throughout her career that combine these interests.
Ann often collaborates with the NC CLPPP outreach team at UNC and the Lead and Healthy Homes Task Force to communicate the health effects of lead poisoning to the medical community. Her goal is to contact every local health department in North Carolina to ask how she can help each clinical team with childhood lead poisoning testing, education, and outreach. According to Ann, the most exciting part of her work is meeting different people in the environmental health realm and seeing these people come together to work on an issue.