Cornell P. Wright, MPA is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. Wright serves as a subject-matter expert, consultant, advisor, and presenter around the areas of health equity, health disparities, and minority health.
In his most recent position, Wright served as the Outreach and Screening Patient Navigation Coordinator for the Duke Cancer Institute’s Office of Health Equity and Disparities. Mr. Wright has previously served as the Interim Director of Community and Multicultural Health Initiatives with the American Heart Association’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate. Before that placement, Wright was the Programs Manager with the Center for Health and Healing, Inc., a nonprofit affiliate of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He previously served as Project Coordinator for the Center’s Minority Health Careers Initiative, funded by a grant by The Duke Endowment to the North Carolina Hospital Association. Wright also has experience working on a Lower G.I. Surgery Unit at UNC Health Systems.
Wright is an active member in the health community, serving various groups, organizations and boards including; the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) where he serves on the Communication and Dissemination Advisory Panel, and the Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC), as part of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA), serving as the Co-Chair to the Social Determinants of Health Committee.
While completing a graduate school internship, through an American Legacy Foundation grant focusing on tobacco prevention control and advocacy among Historically Black Colleges/Universities, Mr. Wright co-founded the Student Coalition Against Tobacco Use at North Carolina Central University. This group is responsible for the educational policy change campaign that mandated campus residence halls to become 100% tobacco-free. As an AmeriCorps Fellow, he served as an assistant to the Picture Me Tobacco Free Photovoice Project that assisted predominately African-American churches in North Carolina to adopt and implement Tobacco Free Church Ground Policies.
A much-sought after speaker, Wright has provided his expertise in various speaking roles through keynote addresses, conferences, panels, and presentations in national and local platforms. During one of the more recent speaking engagements, Wright served as the closing keynote speaker for the first annual North Carolina Sexual Health Conference, where his presentation, “From the Color Purple to Purple Rain: Exploring the Historical Context of Sexual Violence, Sexual Expression, and Sexual Health Equity”, provided a unique and innovative approach to public health messaging through the use of interactive media including music, poetry, and visuals to intimately connect with his audience. This presentation was recently turned into a TEDxTalk, “#ColorPurpleRain: Sexual Health Equity in Context” at TEDxUNC.
In 2011, Wright was a contributor to the, award-winning video “Let’s Talk About SELF: Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids”, which received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2010 – 2011 Plain Language/Clear Communication Bronze Award. In 2012, he was a recipient of the North Carolina Central University Inaugural “40 Under 40” Alumni Award, for his contributions to the field of health. In 2013, Wright was awarded the Patient Services Award by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for his commitment to working with communities and individuals while providing health services and resources. In 2016, Wright was named to the inaugural selection class of the National Minority Quality Forum’s 40 Under 40 Award for Minority Health Leaders. Most recently, Wright was named the Spectacular Magazine 2017 Man of the Year in Health.
Always ready to serve, Wright is passionate about his work and assisting all in need.
March 2015 - present: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities
October 2013 - February 2015: Duke University, Duke Cancer Institute, Office of Health Equity and Disparities
Outreach and Screening Patient Navigation Coordinator
August 2013 - October 2013: American Heart Association, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate
Interim Director, Community and Multicultural Health Initiatives
June 2013 - February 2015: University of North Carolina Healthcare System, 6 East – Lower GI Surgery
Health Unit Coordinator
August 2009 - October 2013: Center for Health and Healing, Inc. (a non-profit affiliate of the General Baptist State Convention of NC, Inc.)
Agency Programs Manager
August 2005 - August 2009: Center for Health and Healing, Inc. (a non-profit affiliate of the General Baptist State Convention of NC, Inc.),
Minority Health Careers Initiative Project Coordinator
September 2004 - August 2005: Center for Health and Healing, Inc. (a non-profit affiliate of the General Baptist State Convention of NC, Inc.) Picture Me Tobacco Free Project
Project Assistant/ AmeriCorps Fellow
January 2003 - May 2004: American Legacy Foundation, Historically Black Colleges, Universities Tobacco Control Advocacy Project
Graduate Assistant, Lead Evaluator
North Carolina Central University.
Master's of Art, Public Administration (MPA)
2002 - 2005
North Carolina Central University.
Bachelor's of Art, Political Science
1997 - 2002
Contract/ Grant/ Cooperative Agreement Management
Focus Group Facilitation