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The UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Health Sciences (DHS) hosted its 50th anniversary event on Friday, Nov. 4. The theme of the evening was recognition of the department’s past, celebration of present accomplishments, and looking ahead toward the future.

The event was held at George Watts Hill Alumni Center and about 130 guests attended, including former and current faculty members, staff and special guests. As guests arrived around 5:30 p.m., food was served, the bar opened, the photo booth kicked into gear and a string quartet comprised of UNC music students played upbeat classical background music.

Dr. Stephen Hooper, Associate Dean and Chair of the Department of Health Sciences, was the host and primary speaker of the evening. He introduced the former chair of the DHS, Dr. Lee McLean, to speak about her time as the department’s chair in the 2000’s.

A video interview of McLean and Dr. David Yoder, another former chair of the DHS, highlighted their time as the department’s chairs and included well-wishes well the current faculty and staff.

Hooper introduced the current accomplishments of the department along with videos of division directors, associate chairs and students celebrating the accomplishments and growth of the department in the mission-centric areas of teaching, research and clinical care.

To end the evening, Hooper invited junior faculty to the stage to introduce the final portion of the program. Shawn Luby (CLS), Dr. Khalilah Johnson (OSOT) and Dr. Terra Rose (CRMH) discussed their roles as teachers, researchers and clinicians, and how they hope their work will shape their respective professions. The future of the department is bright, as was shown in a video of junior faculty and students reflecting on the potential impact of their work and their future goals.

“I’m very proud to be leading this department. We are responsible for training the next generation of leaders to go out and provide health care in the state, the region and the country. The future of health professions is bright,” Hooper said after the event.

The Department’s 50th anniversary celebrations will continue into the spring with additional opportunities for engagement with donors and alumni.

Videos from the event program and opportunities to give back to the department can be found on the 50th anniversary web page.