A passion for public health

By Sally Crocker

Public Health

The School of Public Health was in its infancy when Lilly Ramphal-Naley, MD, MPH, joined as adjunct faculty in 2000.

The school had been officially founded just one year before at UNT Health Science Center. Accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health was still a year away.

But since those early days, Dr. Ramphal-Naley has been a constant ­– teaching and mentoring, participating in faculty affairs, serving on advisory boards, developing courses, adapting instruction for online learning and supervising student practice experiences in the field.

In 2014, she created an international SPH student scholarship fund, donating her adjunct stipend each semester as a pledge to the program.

She was inspired, she said, to help “young minds find solutions to global issues like health care access, safe/healthy food and water, isolation of changing or emerging infectious diseases and other major public health issues that need attention.”

“Hopefully, the big world projects and challenges that our students are taking on can be translated back into ways they can help their own native countries and our world in the future,” Dr. Ramphal-Naley said.

In recognition of her longtime commitment to serving others first, Dr. Ramphal-Naley was recently honored at a reception by SPH faculty and staff.

“Over the years that I worked with Lilly in the Environmental and Occupational Health program, I came to consider her as full-time faculty,” said David Sterling, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.  “Her teaching and service alone are not what have made her unique as an adjunct, or a reason for honoring her. It is the dedication and passion she has put into this very part-time work.”

Dennis Thombs, PhD, Dean of SPH, said that another important aspect of Dr. Ramphal-Naley’s contributions has been “the wealth of ‘real world’ public health experience she’s brought to her teaching.”

During her career, she has held medical director positions for health care organizations such as Baylor Garland and Cook Children’s Medical Center. Most recently her work as medical director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has focused on population medicine for large employer accounts like American Airlines, Phillips Gas and Boeing.

Dr. Ramphal-Naley is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental and Occupational Medicine. She trained as an internal medicine physician at Rutgers University, completed a residency in occupational medicine and obtained a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota.

“As a physician, she well understands public health and population health and has been in key positions to promote public health in multiple areas, from health surveillance to health management and policy,” Dr. Thombs said. “Over the years, she has been both a supporter and a contributor to the success of the SPH and our students.”

Recent News

Sbs 2024 Grad Temioluwa Bolaji Oyenekan
  • Our People
|May 20, 2024

SBS grad wants to be a ‘beacon of hope’ for others

When Temiloluwa Bolaji-Oyenekan set her sights on medical school, finishing her undergraduate degree during the height of the COVID- 19 pandemic was not a part of the plan. Fortunately, resilience is a part of her character. The timing left her feeling unprepared to apply to medical schools, so she...
Sbs 2024 Grad Whitney Miller
  • Our People
|May 20, 2024

On her way to medical school, SBS graduate makes time to give back

When Whitney Miller crosses the stage at The University of North Texas at Health Science Center’s graduation ceremony, she’ll be celebrating some major accomplishments: earning a Master of Science in Clinical Research Management from the School of Biomedical Sciences and her recent acceptance in...
Sbs 2024 Grad Lane Hughes
  • Our People
|May 20, 2024

Med Sci program helps SBS grad get to medical school

Lane Hughes felt the call to give back during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a sophomore in college, he spent time volunteering with the Children’s Medical Center and the American Red Cross helping deliver blood donations and providing companionship to patients when their families could not visit. “...
A6db708d 247f 429b 8828 578ae70ec5eb
  • Our People
|May 16, 2024

Inspirational students part of HSC’s Class of 2024

A former Fort Worth tactical medic, a first-generation college student graduating as an osteopathic physician, a labor and delivery nurse, and a couple becoming physical therapists together are just a few of the inspirational students who will walk the stage during HSC’s commencement ceremony on W...