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Arnold School of Public Health

Jan Eberth named 2020 Outstanding Researcher of the Year by National Rural Health Association

June 23, 2020 | Erin Bluvas,

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has selected Jan Eberth, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and director of the Rural and Minority Health Research Center, as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award. Eberth is one of 10 individuals/organizations recognized with one of the NRHA’s prestigious national awards during their annual conference this month.

Eberth joined the Arnold School in 2013, directly after completing a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Texas' School of Public Health and a postdoctoral fellowship in health services research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research examines disparities in access and quality of health care services in the United States, with a focus on screening and treatment services for commonly diagnosed cancers.

The Rural and Minority Health Research Center, which is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, works to identify and address problems experienced by rural and minority populations to guide research, policy and advocacy. After joining the Center (then known as the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center) upon her arrival at the Arnold School, Eberth soon took on a leadership role as deputy director and has been leading the Center as director since 2018.

Her efforts have resulted in more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and over $3 million in competitive research funding. Committed to mentoring the next generation of public health researchers and professionals, Eberth has engaged 40 plus students from undergraduate to doctoral levels in her research projects.

Eberth’s service activities have included numerous roles at the department, university, and state levels. Nationally, Eberth is an invited member of the National Lung Cancer Roundtable, a member of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, a grant reviewer for the NIH, an editorial board member for the Journal of Rural Health, and an elected Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology’s Board of Directors.

A member of NRHA since 2015, Eberth was selected to participate in the organization’s Rural Health Fellowship program in 2016 and has been applying the knowledge, skills and connections she cultivated from the program ever since. Every year, she attends the NRHA Health Policy Institute to network with colleagues from all over the country and disseminate the Center’s research to federal policy makers.

“There are many researchers I look up to in the National Rural Health Association family, so I accept this award with great respect,” Eberth says. “I also want to recognize the many individuals who work with me at the Rural and Minority Health Research Center that share in this honor, as their efforts play a major part in helping to dismantle rural health disparities in America.”

In addition to the 2020 Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award, Eberth is the recipient of the Distinguished Research Service Award (2020) and the Breakthrough Star Award (2017) – both sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s Office of the Vice President for Research.


Press Release from National Rural Health Association

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