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Member Spotlight: Carlton Allen

June 26, 2024 2:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Meet Carlton Allen, MS, CHW, MCHESCarlton is a dedicated healthcare professional with over a decade of experience in cancer prevention and research. As the Program Manager for Prevention at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), he coordinates and evaluates crucial prevention programs. Carlton holds a Master of Science in Health Sciences from UT Tyler and has received recognition for his work, including the American Cancer Society's 2021 Volunteer Staff Partnership Award.

Notably, Carlton serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Society for Public Health Education (TSOPHE) as a General Board Member, where he extends his expertise to support and advance public health education across the state. His commitment to cancer prevention extends to various advisory roles and board positions, making him a influential advocate in the field.

Q: Can you share a little about your professional trajectory and what brought you to choose a career in public health? 

A: Of course! My career path in public health has been driven by a deep-rooted commitment to improving health outcomes in underserved and rural communities. As with some in our field, I really fell into public health during grad school, but truly embraced it during my first position right after. My journey began with working with a broad range of chronic diseases, involving evidence-based interventions, working on developing and fostering community partnerships. It has evolved into a passion for advancing cancer prevention and research striving for health equity. This foundation has enabled me to develop comprehensive programs and interventions that resonate with diverse populations that create impactful change along with becoming an advocate for cancer prevention.

Q: As an active member in various organizations, what strategies have you found effective in fostering collaboration among professionals from diverse backgrounds?

A: I have found that one of the best ways is by creating inclusive environments. To me this means that I should always look at how to highlight the unique contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds.  I have also tried to prioritize those that I have had the opportunity to work with and feel comfortable sharing their ideas and perspectives. I have also learned the power that communication can have. This involves actively listening, clear and consistent communication, and lastly being purposeful in choosing the language that I use. 

Q: What role do you believe public health education plays in chronic disease prevention and research?

A: Public health education is a cornerstone in the prevention and management of chronic diseases and plays a vital role in how the field continues to grow. At the core, public health education focuses on empowering communities by fostering community engagement and empowerment, encouraging individuals to take active roles in their health and the health of the communities they represent. This coupled with raising awareness and knowledge allows individuals to make informed decisions about their health and puts them in a better position to advocate for themselves and who they represent. 

Q: What advice would you give to students who want to learn more about pursuing a career in public health?

A: Ask all of the questions…and when you think you finally have the answers, ask some more! Having a strong educational foundation is good but the hands-on experience and getting involved is critical. I would say 90% of what I know and learned in this field is because of the practical experience through internships, volunteering, and on the job learning. 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring public health educators and/or practitioners who want to make a significant impact in chronic disease prevention and research?

A: Some of the best advice I can give aspiring public health leaders is to learn how to truly immerse yourself in community engagement. Engage with communities to understand their specific health needs, cultural contexts, and barriers and more importantly, involve the community and genuinely get to know your community and the ones you are working in/with better. Lastly, grow your network! Work collaboratively with professionals from various disciplines, build partnerships, and communicate with them often. Collaboration is key!

About Us

The Texas Society for Public Health Education (TSOPHE) is a nonprofit professional organization (EIN 32-0302790) that represents a diverse membership of health education professionals and students across Texas.


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