Connecting across cultures leads public health professor to new international role

By Sally Crocker

Dr. Marcy Paul

On the right: Dr. Marcy Paul in Israel

Dr. Marcy Paul has spent a lifetime following the teachings of Tikkun Olam, the Jewish concept of “repairing the world.”

The foundations of Dr. Paul’s work in public health today, and her belief that every person has a responsibility to make the world better, have deep roots back to the convictions of her family, faith and upbringing.

As Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Systems in the UNTHSC School of Public Health, Dr. Paul’s research and teaching is focused on social justice, health equity and improving quality of life in maternal and child health as a means of building healthier communities for current and future generations.

Her research in these areas, which began locally in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, extended in recent years to a larger, global perspective through connections with Israel and now a new appointment to co-chair a U.S. Academic Task Force on women in multicultural communities as the fabric for strengthening overall community health.

Through the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Western Galilee Central Area Partnership Consortium, Dr. Paul will serve as co-chair in this new position with Dr. Janan Faraj Falah, Professor and Chair of Gender Studies at the Arab Academic College of Education in Israel.

The two first met when Dr. Paul was invited to speak to a class of future teachers at the college, and in addition to working on research projects since, they have also developed a close family friendship.

“What started out as a one-time class lecture turned into a larger experience for all of us,” Dr. Paul said.

Since then, Dr. Paul has conducted research with multicultural Israeli populations in Western Galilee, connecting with the community’s largest government medical center and groups like “Women Cooking a Dialogue” in the Mateh Asher region, where Christians, Arabs, Bedouins, Muslims, Druze and Jewish Israelis all live and work together for a healthier environment and healthier families.

In March, she and Dr. Faraj Falah will travel to an international conference in Budapest, Hungary, to speak on the role of women in multicultural societies.

“The mutual understanding gained when communities move beyond differences to get to know each other and work together can greatly impact health and quality of life,” Dr. Paul said. “In being able to facilitate discussions on this through my research, I feel that my work in public health is bringing me back full circle to the tenets of Tikkun Olam, of repairing the world.”

Bhatti Fc
SPH student experiences politics and policy firsthand through Capitol Hill internship

By Sally Crocker   The last few months have ushered in a whirlwind of change for UNTHSC School of Public Health student Megan Bhatti, who is interning this spring in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, representing the 12th District of Texas. Bhatti’s days are busy attending...Read more

Mar 22, 2018

Match Day
Match Day excitement grips TCOM medical students

By Jan Jarvis   The anticipation kept Vincent Wang awake all night. “It’s like Christmas,” the fourth-year medical student said. “You know you’re getting a present, but you don’t know what it is.” Wang was among 213 Texas of College of Osteopathic Medicine fourth-year ...Read more

Mar 20, 2018

Sara Bryd
Public health student to bike across Africa for medical, educational mission

By Sally Crocker   Sara Byrd is looking forward to UNT Health Science Center graduation day for two very big reasons. After crossing the stage in cap and gown at this spring’s commencement ceremonies, the School of Public Health MHA graduate will board a plane for Africa. There she w...Read more

Mar 19, 2018

TCOM Students
Student-led charity golf tournament reaches endowment goal

By Alex Branch   In 2012, medical students Sammy Lee Chong and Nicole Hocevar Howerton helped brainstorm ideas for students to work together for a good cause outside the classroom. They started Tee Off F.O.R.E. TCOM, a golf tournament that raised money for student scholarships at UNT H...Read more

Mar 16, 2018