Cheryl Healton

Cheryl Healton
Cheryl Healton

Dean of School of Global Public Health

Professor of Public Health Policy and Management

Professional overview

Dr. Cheryl Healton is responsible for building the School of Global Public Health’s academic, service, and research programs, which focus on domestic and international health with an emphasis on prevention, systems intervention, and innovation in public health practice.

Previously, as the founding President and CEO of Legacy – a leading organization dedicated to tobacco control – Dr. Healton worked to further the foundation’s mission: to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. During her time with Legacy, she guided the national youth tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign, truth®, which has been credited with reducing youth smoking prevalence to near record lows. Legacy launched a national smoking cessation campaign, public education campaigns, technical assistance, and a broad program of grant making. Additionally, Legacy established the Steven A. Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Studies.

Prior to Legacy, Dr. Healton held numerous roles at Columbia University, worked to expand the scope of public health programs, and undertook innovative educational initiatives to advance public health practice.  

Through her research, she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and special reports on public health related topics including HIV/AIDS, public health education, health policy, substance abuse, and tobacco. She was the founding chair of the Public Health Practice Council of the Association of Schools of Public Health and is an active member of the public health community, serving on the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the Betty Ford Institute, and Lung Cancer Alliance. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, and the Board of Directors at HealthRight International.

Dr. Healton has given presentations around the world and is a frequent commentator on national and local broadcasts and print news coverage of tobacco control issues.

Education

MPA, Health Policy and Planning, New York University, New York, NY
DrPH, Sociomedical Sciences (with distinction), Columbia University, New York, NY

Areas of research and study

Public Health Law
Public Health Policy
Tobacco Control

Publications

Publications

Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment in the Dominican Republic: Perspectives of Focus Group Participants in the Santo Domingo Area

Liebermann, E. J., VanDevanter, N., Shirazian, T., Frías Gúzman, N., Niles, M., Healton, C., & Ompad, D.

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Journal of Transcultural Nursing

Volume

31

Issue

2

Page(s)

121-127
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction: Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the Dominican Republic, and high rates persist despite existing Pap smear screening programs. The purpose of this study was to explore Dominican women’s knowledge and attitudes regarding human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, cervical cancer screening practices, and perceived barriers and facilitators to early detection of cervical cancer. Method: Six focus groups (N = 64) were conducted in Spanish in urban, suburban, and rural locations, in private and public school settings, community and workplace settings, in or near Santo Domingo, as part of a larger study on barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccine implementation. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and translated from Spanish to English. Qualitative data analysis used inductive and deductive approaches. Results: Knowledge regarding HPV and cervical cancer varied across groups, but all agreed there was significant stigma and fear regarding HPV. Most women reported having Pap screening at least yearly. Follow-up of abnormal Pap testing was less consistent, with cost and uncertainty about provider recommendations identified as barriers. Discussion: Broader examination of provider-level and health system barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer prevention in the Dominican Republic is essential, in order to inform interventions to improve the effectiveness of cervical cancer screening and treatment programs and reduce preventable deaths.

Parent-Level Barriers and Facilitators to HPV Vaccine Implementation in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Liebermann, E., Devanter, N. V., Frías Gúzman, N., Ompad, D., Shirazian, T., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Journal of Community Health

Volume

45

Issue

5

Page(s)

1061-1066
Abstract
Abstract
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the Dominican Republic. Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) could reduce mortality from cervical cancer globally by as much as 90%. The purpose of our study was to explore multi-level barriers and facilitators to implementation of a national HPV vaccine program in the Dominican Republic; this article focuses on parent-level barriers and facilitators. In this qualitative study, we conducted six focus groups (N = 64) with parents of school-age children in the Santo Domingo area of the Dominican Republic, representing diverse socioeconomic groups and geographic settings. Thematic content analysis, using inductive and deductive approaches, was done following transcription and translation of audio-recordings from focus group discussions. Among this group of parents in the Santo Domingo area, facilitators to vaccine uptake were favorable attitudes towards vaccines in general and concern about cervical cancer as a health issue. Barriers found were low to moderate knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer, especially in the rural and suburban groups, and cost and lack of public awareness of the vaccine. This study identified key barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccine implementation in the Dominican Republic. Health messaging, incorporating specialist providers as opinion leaders, will need to be tailored to broad audiences with varying levels of information and awareness, anticipating misinformation and concerns, and will need to emphasize HPV vaccine as a method to prevent cancer.

Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Academic Public Health: 20-Year Update

Goodman, M. S., Plepys, C. M., Bather, J. R., Kelliher, R. M., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Public Health Reports

Volume

135

Issue

1

Page(s)

74-81
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: This study is a follow-up to an examination of the racial/ethnic composition of public health students (1996) and faculty (1997) at schools of public health that was conducted 20 years ago. We examined data on the race/ethnicity of students, graduates, and faculty among Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)–member institutions during 2016-2017 and how these data have changed in the past 20 years. Methods: We obtained data on the race/ethnicity of students (in 1996 and 2016), graduates (in 1996 and 2016), and faculty (in 1997 and 2017) at ASPPH-member institutions from the ASPPH Data Center. We tabulated frequencies, percentages, and 20-year percentage-point changes by race/ethnicity. We examined data for all current ASPPH-member institutions and for comparable subcohorts of 1996 and 1997 member institutions that are current ASPPH members. Results: In graduate student enrollment, the 20-year increase in each nonwhite racial/ethnic subgroup was ≤5 percentage points. Among tenured faculty, the 20-year increase was greatest among Asians (8 percentage points) but was <3 percentage points for black, Hispanic, and Native American faculty. Conclusions: The increasing racial/ethnic diversity among students, graduates, and faculty in schools and programs of public health contributes to parallel increases in racial/ethnic diversity in the public health workforce. Schools and programs of public health should recruit clusters of racial/ethnic minority students using holistic application review processes, provide enrolled students with racially/ethnically diverse role models and mentors, and dedicate staffing to ensure a student-centered approach. In addition, those who mentor racially/ethnically diverse students and junior faculty should be rewarded.

Evidence, alarm, and the debate over e-cigarettes

Fairchild, A., Healton, C., Curran, J., Abrams, D., & Bayer, R.

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Science

Volume

366

Issue

6471

Page(s)

1318-1320

The tobacco master settlement agreement - Strategic lessons for addressing public health problems

Healton, C.

Publication year

2018

Journal title

New England Journal of Medicine

Volume

379

Issue

11

Page(s)

997-1000
Abstract
Abstract
The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the tobacco industry and 46 state attorneys general (AGs), five U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., remains the largest legal.

Pedagogical Scholarship in Public Health: A Call for Cultivating Learning Communities to Support Evidence-Based Education

Merzel, C., Halkitis, P., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974)

Volume

132

Issue

6

Page(s)

679-683
Abstract
Abstract
Public health education is experiencing record growth and transformation. The current emphasis on learning outcomes necessitates attention to creating and evaluating the best curricula and learning methods for helping public health students develop public health competencies. Schools and programs of public health would benefit from active engagement in pedagogical research and additional platforms to support dissemination and implementation of educational research findings. We reviewed current avenues for sharing public health educational research, curricula, and best teaching practices; we identified useful models from other health professions; and we offered suggestions for how the field of public health education can develop communities of learning devoted to supporting pedagogy. Our goal was to help advance an agenda of innovative evidence-based public health education, enabling schools and programs of public health to evaluate and measure success in meeting the current and future needs of the public health profession.

The US Cancer Moonshot initiative

Aelion, C. M., Airhihenbuwa, C. O., Alemagno, S., Amler, R. W., Arnett, D. K., Balas, A., Bertozzi, S., Blakely, C. H., Boerwinkle, E., Brandt-Rauf, P., Buekens, P. M., Chandler, G. T., Chang, R. W., Clark, J. E., Cleary, P. D., Curran, J. W., Curry, S. J., Roux, A. V., Dittus, R., Ellerbeck, E. F., El-Mohandes, A., Eriksen, M. P., Erwin, P. C., Evans, G., Finnegan, J. R., Fried, L. P., Frumkin, H., Galea, S., Goff, D. C., Goldman, L. R., Guilarte, T. R., Rivera-Gutiérrez, R., Halverson, P. K., Hand, G. A., Harris, C. M., Healton, C. G., Hennig, N., Heymann, J., Hunter, D., Hwang, W., Jones, R. M., Klag, M. J., Klesges, L. M., Lahey, T., Lawlor, E. F., Maddock, J., Martin, W. J., Mazzaschi, A. J., Michael, M., Mohammed, S. D., Nasca, P. C., Nash, D., Ogunseitan, O. A., Perez, R. A., Perri, M., Petersen, D. J., Peterson, D. V., Philbert, M., Pinto-Martin, J., Raczynski, J. M., Raskob, G. E., Rimer, B. K., Rohrbach, L. A., Rudkin, L. L., Siminoff, L., Szapocznik, J., Thombs, D., Torabi, M. R., Weiler, R. M., Wetle, T. F., Williams, P. L., Wykoff, R., & Ying, J. In The Lancet Oncology.

Publication year

2016

Volume

17

Issue

5

Page(s)

e178-e180

Tobacco control: How are we doing?

Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2016

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

106

Issue

7

Page(s)

1164-1166

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul with our Lives, Huffington

Healton, C., & El-Mohandes, A.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

The Huffington Post

To be ready for Ebola, hospitals need proper equipment, training and a plan

Healton, C., & Ogedegbe, O.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

The Huffington Post

Tobacco control since the 1964 Surgeon General's Report: Reflecting back and looking forward

Mulshine, J. L., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

ONCOLOGY (United States)

Volume

28

Issue

3

What would it really take to halt Ebola and prevent future epidemics?

Healton, C., & Dickey, C.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

The Huffington Post

Public attitudes regarding banning of cigarettes and regulation of nicotine

Connolly, G. N., Behm, I., Healton, C. G., & Alpert, H. R.

Publication year

2012

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

102

Issue

4

Page(s)

e1-e2
Abstract
Abstract
Knowledge of current public opinion is important as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies the best scientific evidence available to tobacco product regulation. Based on a nationally representative survey of the US adult population, we report 43% support for banning of cigarettes, 65% for reducing nicotine, and 77% for reducing nicotine if such an action could cause fewer children to become addicted to cigarettes. The FDA should consider protecting children by removing all but nonaddictive cigarettes from the marketplace.

Who will deliver on the promise?

Northridge, M., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2012

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

102

Issue

1

Page(s)

17-21
Abstract
Abstract
The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Core CompetencyModel aspires to rigorously train future leaders of public health practice to direct and advance societal efforts that address socially rooted causes of health and illness. Although there is no proven formula for success, 3 principles derived from practice may guide the way forward: (1) institutionalize mutual learning and reciprocity between schools of public health and public health agencies and organizations, (2) capitalize on the full resources of the larger university to enrich the educational experiences of DrPH candidates and public health leaders, and (3) globalize the search for model DrPH programs that may be adapted for US schools. Schools of public health must ensure that DrPH programs gain the status and resources needed to fulfill their societal mandate.

Depictions of tobacco use in 2007 broadcast television programming popular among US youth

Cullen, J., Sokol, N. A., Slawek, D., Allen, J. A., Vallone, D., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Volume

165

Issue

2

Page(s)

147-151
Abstract
Abstract
Objectives: To determine the quantity of tobacco use in network television programming popular among US youth and to examine variation in tobacco depictions by TV Parental Guidelines system rating and television network. Design: A content analysis was conducted of broadcast network television programming popular among youth. Nielsen viewership rating data were used to identify a sample of top-rated television series for youth aged 12 to 17 years during the fall 2007 television season. Depictions of tobacco use per television episode were examined by TV Parental Guidelines rating and television network. χ2 testing was used to examine differences in proportions of tobacco depictions across television episode ratings and networks. Setting: Data collection and analysis were conducted at the American Legacy Foundation (now known as Legacy). Subjects: Broadcast television viewers in 2007. Main Outcome Measure: Tobacco use depictions on broadcast television were examined. Results: Forty percent of television episodes examined had at least 1 depiction of tobacco use. Of these depictions, 89% were of cigarettes. Among episodes rated TV-PG (ie, parental guidance suggested) (N=73), 50% showed 1 or more incidents of cigarette use, in contrast to 26% of TV-14 (ie, parents strongly cautioned) episodes. The percentage of episodes with any tobacco use depictions was highest on the FOX network (44%; n=32), followed closely by The CW (CBS-Warner Brothers) (41%; n=30). Conclusions: Substantial tobacco use was observed in television shows popular among youth. It is projected that almost 1 million youth were exposed to tobacco depictions through the programming examined. Tobacco use on television should be a cause for concern, particularly because of the high volume of television viewing among younger audiences.

The Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium: a foundation-university partnership to reduce tobacco use.

Healton, C., & Curran, J. W.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Health promotion practice

Volume

12

Issue

6

Page(s)

112S-3S

Tobacco and NIH: More than addiction

Seffrin, J. R., Brown, N. A., Connor, C. D., Myers, M. L., Healton, C., & Richland, J.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Tobacco control

Volume

20

Issue

3

Page(s)

175-177

Tobacco: An equal-opportunity killer?

Curry, L. E., Vallone, D. M., Cartwright, J., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Tobacco control

Volume

20

Issue

4

Page(s)

251-252

US attitudes about banning menthol in cigarettes: Results from a nationally representative survey

Winickoff, J. P., McMillen, R. C., Vallone, D. M., Pearson, J. L., Tanski, S. E., Dempsey, J. H., Healton, C., Klein, J. D., & Abrams, D.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

101

Issue

7

Page(s)

1234-1236
Abstract
Abstract
Menthol is a cigarette flavoring that makes smoking more appealing to smokers. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority to ban mentholated cigarettes to reduce youth uptake and encourage adult cessation. Survey findings indicate that more than half of all Americans (56.1%) and of Blacks alone (68.0% in one sample and 75.8% in another) support banning menthol. Endorsement of a ban-especially by Blacks, who have the highest rates of menthol cigarette use-would support FDA action to ban menthol to protect the public's health.

Camel No. 9 cigarette-marketing campaign targeted young teenage girls

Pierce, J. P., Messer, K., James, L. E., White, M. M., Kealey, S., Vallone, D. M., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

Pediatrics

Volume

125

Issue

4

Page(s)

619-626
Abstract
Abstract
CONTEXT: The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) restricted tobacco industry advertising practices that targeted teens. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether cigarette-advertising campaigns conducted after the MSA continue to influence smoking among adolescents. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Participants were a national longitudinal cohort of 1036 adolescents (baseline age: 10-13 years) enrolled in a parenting study. Between 2003 and 2008, 5 sequential telephone interviews were conducted, including the participants report of brand of "favorite" cigarette advertisement. The fifth interview was conducted after the start of RJ Reynolds' innovative "Camel No. 9" advertising campaign in 2007. Smoking outcome reported from the fifth survey. RESULTS: The response rate through the fifth survey was 71.8%. Teenagers who reported any favorite cigarette ad at baseline (mean age: 11.7 years) were 50% more likely to have smoked by the fifth interview (adjusted odds ratio: 1.5 [95% confidence interval: 1.0-2.3]). For boys, the proportion with a favorite ad was stable across all 5 surveys, as it was for girls across the first 4 surveys. However, after the start of the Camel No. 9 advertising campaign, the proportion of girls who reported a favorite ad increased by 10 percentage points, to 44%. The Camel brand accounted almost entirely for this increase, and the proportion of each gender that nominated the Marlboro brand remained relatively stable. CONCLUSIONS: After the MSA, adolescents continued to be responsive to cigarette advertising, and those who were responsive were more likely to start smoking. Recent RJ Reynolds advertising may be effectively targeting adolescent girls.

Home and workplace smoking bans in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, France and the Czech Republic

Heck, J. E., Stücker, I., Allwright, S., Gritz, E. R., Haglund, M., Healton, C. G., Kralikova, E., Sanchez Del Mazo, S., Tamang, E., Dresler, C. M., & Hashibe, M.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

European Respiratory Journal

Volume

35

Issue

5

Page(s)

969-979
Abstract
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to report predictors and prevalence of home and workplace smoking bans in five European countries. We conducted a population-based telephone survey of 4,977 females, ascertaining factors associated with smoking bans. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were derived using unconditional logistic regression. A complete home smoking ban was reported by 59.5% of French, 63.5% of Irish, 61.3% of Italian, 74.4% of Czech and 87.0% of Swedish females. Home smoking bans were associated with younger age and being bothered by secondhand smoke, and among smokers, inversely associated with greater tobacco dependence. Among nonsmokers, bans were also related to believing smoking is harmful (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.11-1.30) and having parents who smoke (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.52-0.73). Workplace bans were reported by 92.6% of French, 96.5% of Irish, 77.9% of Italian, 79.1% of Czech and 88.1% of Swedish females. Workplace smoking bans were reported less often among those in technical positions (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.50-0.82) and among skilled workers (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32-0.88) than among professional workers. Workplace smoking bans are in place for most workers in these countries. Having a home smoking ban was based on smoking behaviour, demographics, beliefs and personal preference. Copyright

Menthol Cigarettes are Harmful

Healton, C.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

The Wall Street Journal

Misinformation about tobacco

Malone, R. E., & Healton, C. G. In American journal of public health.

Publication year

2010

Volume

100

Issue

1

Prohibiting menthol in tobacco products: A policy whose time has come

Healton, C. G., Beck, S. E., Cartwright, J., & Vallone, D. M.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

Addiction

Volume

105

Page(s)

5-7

The truth® Campaign: Using Countermarketing to Reduce Youth Smoking

Healey, B. J., Zimmerman, R. S., & Healton, C. In The new world of health promotion.

Publication year

2010

Page(s)

195 - 215

Contact

cheryl.healton@nyu.edu 665 Broadway New York, NY 10012