Margaret Potter Is Awarded Faculty Honor

Issue Date: 
December 9, 2013

Margaret Potter, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, was awarded a 2013 Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health/Pfizer Faculty Award on Nov. 3 during the association’s annual meeting in Boston.

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice is a national award that honors graduate public-health faculty who have made outstanding contributions in teaching, practice, and research excellence.

“This award is a great honor for me,” said Potter, also the associate dean for public health practice and the director for the Center for Public Health Practice in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. “But it’s also a great way to recognize how valuable professional-practice relationships and experience are to public health education and research.”

Potter’s selection for the award was based, in part, on her national leadership in translating scholarship to improve public health systems, thereby improving the general population’s health and well-being.

Potter has served as chair of the board of the Public Health Foundation, was a member of the Model Design Working Group for the National Health Security Preparedness Index project, and currently chairs the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee on Public Health Laws.

She was an advisor to the Health Resources Services Administration in creating the Public Health Training Centers. And after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she led the Center for Public Health Preparedness at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Later, she led a consensus panel that assessed the effectiveness of training health professionals for emergency preparedness and response.

Her practice-based research has spanned a broad range of topics, including public health systems, law and policy, and use of computational modeling in preparedness research.

She was recently awarded a $3.2 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to work with Drexel University School of Public Health and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on providing public health training to Pennsylvania communities. Another current project, funded by an $8.4 million grant from the federal Centers for Disease control, will develop ways to measure and evaluate emergency preparedness plans for public health emergencies.

Potter earned a JD from the Rutgers-Newark School of Law and a master’s degree in biomedical science information from the Illinois Institute of Technology.