Publications and Awards


The impact of funding disruptions on large-scale teen pregnancy prevention research projects - Health Policy OPEN 5 (2023) 100101
To advance the field of teen pregnancy prevention, new interventions must be developed and tested. The federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention program (TPP) funds the evaluation of promising interventions. We report on a funding disruption to 21 TPP Tier 2B research grantees across the US that was unusual for its ideological causation, sudden timing, severity, and ultimately court decisions compelling the agency to reverse the decision. We address the following question: How did challenges presented by the attempted funding termination impact grantees’ ability to continue with their intended research? Results from grantee surveys in 2019 demonstrate the funding disruption negatively impacted participant recruitment, organizational collaboration, program delivery, research rigor, and compromised grantees’ ability to complete high-quality evaluations. Results also show most projects could continue, with modified research goals, when funding was reinstated. We conclude administrations should avoid arbitrarily and prematurely terminating research projects. However, there is merit in reinstating funds to projects should a disruption occur. Results from this work are particularly relevant as we anticipate how health research projects may manage other disruptions to funding or timetables, such as those caused by COVID-19. Results are relevant to policy makers, researchers, government and private funders, grantees, and technical assistance teams. Learn more by clicking here.

Walmart Giving: Healthy Food Access Grant
Eating nutritious food is crucial to maintaining a healthy life. But in communities across the US, systemic factors have prevented people from being able to access the affordable, healthy food they need for themselves and their families. Busy, working parents face decision fatigue at the end of the day and can lack the energy to think through healthy meal planning and preparation; instead, they may resort to cheap and convenient options like fast food. With funding from the Walmart Foundation, CHA, in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), and Meals on Wheels (MOW), aims to improve access to easier and healthier food choices through this innovative pilot program.

In 2020, parents with young children enrolled at three local childcare centers had the opportunity to purchase healthy family-sized dinners at their daycare sites. When parents came to pick up their child at the end of the day, they are able to take the dinner home for their family to eat. Learn more about the program and its impact by clicking here.

2022 AwardsErin Shoe P1000943

Erin Shoe, Deputy Health Director received the Reynolds Achievement Award from the North Carolina Public Health Association. The Reynolds Achievement Award is awarded to an individual NCPHA member who has made the greatest contribution to public health in North Carolina during the past year.

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Dr. Eleanor (Elly) Steel, CHA Dentist received the GlaxoSmithKline Child Health - Individual Recognition Award

The Individual Recognition Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improving children’s health services through a single effort. Dr. Steel was nominated by fellow North Carolina dentist, Dr. Natasha Mofrad. CHA’s Dental Clinic provides preventative and restorative care to both children and adults, as well as emergency appointments daily. The clinic also operates a Community Dental Program which visits all schools within Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City Schools at least one time per year, seeing patients with signed parent consent.

2020 Awards

Dr. Russell Suda, OB and Medical Director, received the 2020 Anne Laukaitis Award from the Cabarrus Partnership for Children

Dr. Suda was selected by the Cabarrus Partnership for Children board members after reviewing all the applicants. Click here to view video presentation of the award.

The Anne Laukaitis Champion for Children Award is in honor of Anne’s distinguished Smart Start leadership and her long career dedicated to the service of young children and families in Cabarrus County.  This award is given annually to an exceptional individual at the local level who is devoted to public service and whose leadership qualities have resulted in significant change for the betterment of young children, families, and communities.  

 Abraya Johnson named the 2020 School Nurse of the Year Award by the School Nurse Association of North Carolina

Abrimage0000001aya was recognized for her work to provide health education and healthy living initiatives for students and staff at Kannapolis City Schools - GW Carver Elementary School, as well as the greater Kannapolis Community. Abraya’s work makes it very clear that she has a sincere heart for service and a desire to improve the lives of those around her. We were told that this year was particularly competitive, so we wanted to be sure to recognize Abraya for her efforts!!


Cabarrus Health Alliance’s WIC Department received the GlaxoSmithKline – Local Health Department Recognition Award

The Local Health Department Recognition Award acknowledges local health departments that have developed an innovative program which has produced measurable, sustainable outcomes. The award recognizes the work done by Program Coordinator, Pady Doroodchi and the entire WIC team to implement an online appointment scheduling tool for WIC participants. – minute 14

Since December 2019, more WIC participants are on time for their appointments because of the reminder text messages that are sent out the day before and 30 minutes before the appointment time. Also, many participants express satisfaction with their in-office wait time because of the display queue monitor in the lobby. Caseload numbers have also greatly increased in the months that the online appointment system has been in use.


Sonja Bohannon-Thacker awarded the North Carolina Public Health Association, Outstanding Contributions to Social Work in Public Health Award

The Outstanding Contributions for Social Work in Public Health Award seeks to acknowledge the person who has made significant efforts to advance the cause of Public Health Social Work.

 Sonja began her career at Cabarrus Health Alliance in 1998, and continues to serve clients in the organization’s Maternal High Risk Clinic, Strengthening Families Program, Substance Use Network Clinic, and the Connections Program. Suzanne Knight, CHA Clinical Director, submitted the nomination and shared the following “She (Sonja) exemplifies the true meaning of being a social worker. Sonja is a champion for the disenfranchised and underserved, and continues to guide the growth of CHA’s behavioral health services, increasing access to care for so many in our community.”


Cabarrus Health Alliance’s Minority Diabetes Prevention Program received the 2020 John Bowdish Community Award

The award recognizes a person or organization that has provided community support in one or more strategies outlined in the North Carolina’s Guide to Diabetes Prevention and Management.

 The CHA MDPP teamJohn Bowdish Community Awards works with and serve community members in an 11 county region who have prediabetes or other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. The Journey to a Healthier Me, uses Prevent T2, an evidence-based diabetes prevention program. This lifestyle change intervention can help you make lasting changes to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Prevent T2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).