Dr. Dorothy Cilenti has worked in local and state public health agencies in North Carolina for more than 20 years. She is primarily interested in improving systems of care for vulnerable women and children. Dr. Cilenti is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health and Administrator of the NC Local Health Department Accreditation Program at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill. She currently directs the National Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development Center, a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Division of MCH Workforce Development. She has served as Principle Investigator for more than 25 contracts and grants totaling more than 10 million, ranging from training grants to public health systems research awards. In her previous role as Deputy Director of the NC Institute for Public Health, she led the NC Public Health Practice-Based Research Network which brings together practitioners and researchers to study areas of public health systems and services. She was also the primary architect of the NC Public Health Leaders in Practice Program which matches graduate students seeking internships with local and state health departments.
Prior to her work at UNC, Dr. Cilenti was the Local Health Director of Alamance and Chatham counties in North Carolina. She also served as Interim Health Director for the Orange County Health Department. Her state level public health experience included her role as the Deputy Director of the NC Division of Public Health. Her awards include the NC Public Health Association Robert S. Parker Leadership Scholarship and the NC Public Health Association Outstanding Contributions to Social Work in Public Health. She is an active member of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, and the North Carolina Public Health Association. She received her master’s degrees in public health and social work from UNC-Chapel Hill. She later returned to UNC and completed a doctoral program in Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has an undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, NC.