Chatham County Public Health Department scientist receives national recognition

Pittsboro, NC – Maia Fulton-Black, MPH, Population Health Data Scientist for the Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD), has received the 2023 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Presidential Priority Award.

Maia Fulton-Black (Linked-In image)

Fulton-Black presented at the annual CSTE Conference last month in Salt Lake City with a presentation titled “Addressing Equity One Stamp at a Time: Approaches to Conducting a Community Health Assessment in the Context of COVID-19,” which examined the CCPHD’s approach to the 2021 Chatham County Community Assessment. In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to engage the community throughout the community assessment process spurred an innovative approach that resulted in survey response numbers that were sufficient to disaggregate survey data across several demographic categories, including race/ethnicity, household income, age, and education, offering valuable insight into inequities within the county. The presentation was given during the Presidential Priorities section of the conference alongside epidemiologists and public health professionals across the country, and was co-authored by John Wallace, PhD, MPSH, Senior Data Advisor at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, and Zachary Horner, Communications Specialist/Public Information Officer for the CCPHD.

CSTE announced the award on June 29th on Twitter, stating that the award “recognizes excellence in putting forward the priorities of the CSTE President.” Fulton-Black was recognized along with epidemiologists from the Oregon Health Authority, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Indiana Department of Health. Learn more about the CSTE Presidential Priorities Award here.

Fulton-Black was named the 2021-22 CCPHD Employee of the Year in part for her leadership and innovative work on the 2021 Assessment.

“Maia’s leadership and vision with the Community Assessment are so deserving of recognition,” said Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “I am happy she was able to share her approach with a national audience and highlight the importance of centering equity in the work that we do.”

Fulton-Black added: “It is an honor to receive this recognition. I am so proud of the work that we have accomplished along with our partners and community members to further our mission of health equity in Chatham County.” 

The award comes as work has begun on the 2024 Chatham County Community Assessment process, the full-length follow-up to the 2021 Assessment. Chatham County residents will have several opportunities to participate in the 2024 Assessment, which, like its predecessors, is designed to produce an in-depth overview of health and well-being in the county. These reports are produced to both meet state requirements and provide data and context to the past, present, and future of Chatham County. Those opportunities will be announced in the very near future.

To see previous Community Assessments and other data and health reports produced by CCPHD, visit To learn more about the Chatham County Public Health Department, visit or