CHHS Dean Charles Hardy Wins “Health Care Heroes” Lifetime Achievement Award

Friday, October 18, 2019

Charles “Charlie” Hardy, founding dean of the UNCW College of Health and Human Services, will be the recipient of the 2019 Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s "Health Care Heroes" Lifetime Achievement Award. An awards ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 15.

Each year, the Greater Wilmington Business Journal recognizes individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in southeastern North Carolina. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual for achievements throughout his or her career. Judges consider the individual's professional accomplishments, impact on the community and assistance they gave to others. Hardy was a finalist for the award in 2013, the first year "Health Care Heroes" was launched.

“A health care hero, to me, is someone who understands that they exist to make this a better world and to enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities,” Hardy said. “To be in the company of other Lifetime Achievement Award winners is overwhelming to me. I don’t believe I am deserving of this award, but I am grateful for the opportunity to represent our university, our college and the entire spectrum of health and human services.”

The award is a tribute to the students, faculty and staff he has worked with over the years at UNCW, Georgia Southern University and UNC Chapel Hill, he added. 

“I am blessed to be able to do what I believe I was put on this earth to do – to teach and to work in a field that is helping others achieve their dreams,” Hardy said. “For me, it’s about being able to help each student change their life by focusing on enhancing health and quality of life for others. I don’t think it gets any better than that.”

The College of Health and Human Services has made significant contributions to improving health care through education, workforce development, research and community engagement. CHHS and regional public health care partners established the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Health Collaborative to improve individual and community health through programs and interventions. The collaboration involves health department directors and staff from nine counties. The group is currently working together to address the opioid epidemic.

“We are putting our heads together to facilitate a community effort toward dealing with the crisis,” Hardy said. “We weren’t the lead; we were a member of a collective impact model that was really powerful to see.”

Hardy said he believes health care is a basic human right. “If we could not only adopt that, but put that philosophy in our daily activities, I believe it would change the United States and the world.”

-- Venita Jenkins


Watch Dr. Hardy discuss this latest accolade in a video produced by UNCW's Office of University Relations.

Charles Hardy