Barbara Pullen-Smith, Ph.D. has more than 35+ years of public health experience. Her early career included community engagement, health advocacy and lay health advisor work for organizations such as the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and American Cancer Society. At the state government level, she served in key positions during her 27 years in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services(DHHS), including founding Director of the NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, serving in that role for 19 years. National leadership roles included serving as past President of the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH) and contributor to the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities, Health and Human Services.
Since retiring from DHHS in 2012, Dr. Barbara has continued to serve the broader community as an author, Public Health consultant, and entrepreneur. For five years, she served as a Professor at a local HBCU, where she developed and coordinated an Internship Program for undergraduate Public Health majors. As a consultant, my work continues to focus on issues of diversity, health equity, healthcare access, health disparities and health advocacy. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Barbara’s home-based business model builds teams to promote wellness, a positive self-image and cultural experiences throughout the world.
Three years after retirement, Dr. Barbara Pullen-Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2015, which altered not only the course of her life, but affirmed her life’s work for others.
Dr. Barbara is a wife of 39 years and mother of two adult sons.