Melanie Napier, PhD, MSPH, is a Public Health Epidemiologist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a PhD in Epidemiology in 2016, Melanie knew she wanted to get involved in state or local health departments. Some of her responsibilities at the state department include improving the quality of environmental surveillance data entered into the NC lead surveillance system (NCLEAD) and providing consultation and technical assistance to laboratories, clinicians and other agency personnel. Melanie’s interest in environmental exposure connects her previous work involving water quality and contaminants with her current work on childhood lead poisoning, a new subject for her. She appreciates studying different environmental contaminants and applying her educational background to her interest in applied public health.
Melanie enjoys organizing data and believes that it is vital to have good data with which to make informed public health decisions. She explains that this is a common characteristic of epidemiology. Melanie anticipates that creating a connection between labs and data systems will help disseminate accurate information and she is excited to go on lead investigations and meet new people in the field. As data quality improves within the NCLEAD system, she is excited to use the information to target at-risk geographic areas and populations.