Welcome, Tish Singletary, new Head of Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch

Eat Smart, Move More NC warmly welcomes Tish Singletary as Branch Head for the Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health (DPH).

While new in this role, Tish is not a stranger to the Branch and is a long-time supporter of Eat Smart, Move More NC. She joined DPH in 2006 as the Director of Training in the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch for five years, and as grant manager and then project manager for the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund from 2010-2012. Tish then transitioned to serving as the lead project consultant for Community Transformation Grant and later served as a Block Grant Team Program Consultant.

She has returned to the Branch after working two years as the first NC DHHS Community Health Worker Program Coordinator housed within NC Office of Rural Health. Prior to her time in state government, Tish worked for the NC Academy of Family Physicians, Physicians WebLink of NC – Duke Prospective Health now DukeWell, and Management Services On-Call. She brings much experience in multiple areas including medical billing, healthy eating, active living, tobacco-free living, health equity, and chronic disease clinical care.

Tish is a graduate of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, a proud mother of a North Carolina State University rising junior, spouse to a North Carolina State University graduate, and mom to a dog who could care less!

Interview with Tish Singletary

Joanne Lee, Chair of Eat Smart, Move More NC, had the pleasure of chatting with Tish to hear her perspectives on health in our state and learn more about her.

Joanne: You began in your role as Branch Head just three months ago. What attracted you to the role?

Tish: First, it’s hard to believe that much time has passed since I first began. There are multiple reasons that attracted me to this role. However, the primary reason is because of my appreciation of the public health approach in addressing population health with a “built-in” expectation here in NC as Everywhere, Everyday, Everybody. Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate to work with a wide array of stakeholders in communities across the state and have seen the impact of policy, systems and environmental changes that establish norms not once thought to be achievable. Through those stakeholder encounters, I’ve learned so much about what remains at the center of all efforts and that’s the ability to thrive wherever we live, work, pray, play and learn regardless of who we may be.    

Joanne: How do you see Eat Smart, Move More NC aligning with your vision?

Tish: As a longtime supporter and believer in Eat Smart, Move More NC, I see the alignment of the vision in the goal of working to create healthy eating and physical activity opportunities for everyone in NC. 

Joanne: To add a personal touch, and so our members can get to know you beyond “the role”, feel free to answer the following questions:

Joanne: How you personally “walk the talk” with regards to health and/or equity and/or community?

Tish: There is a hymn that is sung in the church I attend with the lyrics – “May the work I’ve done speak for me.” I’d like to think that the work that I’ve done and continue to do are grounded in the voices of the community and that I’m reflecting those voices with each decision made.  

Joanne: Who/what inspires you?

Tish: I find inspiration all around me. Sometimes it’s listening to my daughter and her peers, it’s in the conversations with colleagues or community stakeholders, it’s reading daily devotionals, it’s walking the greenways or watching hummingbirds and bees zoom around my garden.

Joanne: What book, film, or podcast would you recommend because it moved or inspired you?

Tish: Right now, I’m reading 4 different books…

  1. 28 Ways of Compassion: A Guide to Transformation and Leadership for a Relationship-Centric Healthcare Culture – Dee Borgoyn
  2. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches and Meditations- Toni Morrison
  3. Trying Hard is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities – Mark Friedman
  4. Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional- Chandra L. Ford, Derek M. Griffith, Marino A. Bruce, Keon L. Gilbert (editors)

Many thanks to Tish Singletary for sharing her insights with us!