Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center

Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center

Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center

Posting Date: 06/28/2022

Closing Date: 09/30/2022

Job Information/Description:


The University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine (UAB Heersink SOM) and the Division of Preventive Medicine (DOPM) is currently seeking an energetic and innovative executive leader to serve as the next Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement in the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center (O’Neal). This Director will be an outstanding academic leader with a demonstrated track record of success in the research, service and administrative domains. This is an extraordinary opportunity for a progressive and visionary leader to advance a well-established program at a storied institution with significant growth on the horizon.

The mission of the O’Neal is to provide the highest quality of life for people diagnosed with cancer, while advancing the world’s understanding of cancer, and translating this knowledge into prevention, detection, treatment and survivorship. The O’Neal has been recognized as a leader in community outreach, most notably for its work in increasing education and awareness of cancer in medically underserved populations. The vision of the O’Neal is Life without cancer. O’Neal Community Outreach and Engagement collaborates with healthcare providers, administrators, policymakers and community-based nonprofit agencies to reach specific audiences within our catchment area. We seek a dynamic leader who will lead O’Neal Community Outreach and Engagement into this exciting new era with energy, vision, and creativity.

The O’Neal’s nationally recognized model for cancer outreach, engagement, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions was established with previous funding by NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) Community Networks Program and Special Populations Network. In the past, the Center has targeted 12 counties in Alabama (11 rural, 1 urban) with the greatest racial disparity in cancer mortality. With the appointment of the Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement in 2018, the Office of Community Engagement (OCOE) more than doubled to 26 targeted counties. Expanded counties were strategically determined based on population and patient data and focused on counties for which there were higher cancer mortality and/or significant racial/ethnic or geographic disparities.

General Responsibilities

The Associate Director for COE is responsible for the bilateral communication between O’Neal members and the population of our catchment area. This communication is critical for our catchment-focused research efforts. To achieve this, the Associate Director for COE works directly with the Community Advisory Board and over 250 Community Health Associates (CHAs) that we have trained to work in the field and facilitate bilateral communications. The O’Neal AD for COE:
• Reports directly to the O’Neal Director for Center related responsibilities and to the DOPM Director for all other activities;
• Fosters transdisciplinary cancer research in cancer burdens and disparities that are important to the catchment area;
• Advises the O’Neal Director on matters effecting the catchment area;
• Works with O’Neal Senior Leadership and Program Leaders to provide real time assessments of ongoing changes in cancer burdens and disparities in the catchment area;
• Oversees the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement and the mandate of the office to continuously monitor cancer burdens in our catchment area;
• Promotes bi-directional communication between O’Neal, Program Leaders, and the community through interactions with the COE Community Advisory Board;
• Promotes community education to the underserved regarding the importance of clinical trials and prevention;
• Is a member of the Strategic Planning and the Clinical Research Operations Committees
• Is a member of and actively participates in O’Neal Senior Leadership;
• Oversees O’Neal Invests catchment relevance in the evaluation of pilot grant and investigator initiated clinical trial proposals.

Candidate Profile

The new Director will possess the following qualifications:

• Internationally recognized researcher with a proven track record of independent, federally-funded, community-based research and high impact publications in the field of behavioral/community-based research and cancer prevention
• MD, MD/PhD or PhD degree in relevant field; understanding of community outreach and engagement particularly in underserved populations.
• Credentials to support a UAB appointment at the Associate Professor or Professor level
• Experience with successfully obtaining individual and programmatic NIH grants
• An innovative and progressive leader who thinks “outside the box” and challenging the status quo for strategies to achieve growth in a changing research environment
• An agile thinker capable of navigating a complex and multifaceted campus environment with a collaborative, interdisciplinary and team-oriented mindset.
• An excellent communicator and listener with the leadership presence to unite and inspire a diverse group of faculty and staff around a clearly articulated vision
• A leader with high emotional intelligence and good interpersonal skills; someone who embodies UAB, Heersink SOM and O’Neal core values and characteristics
• Contributions in scholarship and research, community advocacy, teaching and service (e.g. mentoring, recruitment, community action, research on issues related to diversity, social inequalities and social justice) that shows a commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.


The UAB Heersink SOM** is a multi-campus medical school with its main campus in Birmingham and three regional campuses in Huntsville, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. With more than 1,700 full-time faculty and almost 2,000 medical and graduate students, the Heersink SOM ranks 21st nationally in NIH research funding and in the top 8 for all public institutions. Three departments within the Heersink SOM are ranked in the top 10 for NIH funding in 2021: Dermatology – #2; Microbiology – #9; Biomedical Engineering – #10.

UAB currently is experiencing major and sustained investment and growth, due to both its exceptional research faculty and its culture of collaboration. UAB, through concerted and strategic investments in its clinical and research enterprise, has undergone an amazing transformation in the past five years and has strengthened its status and reputation as a leader in medical training, biomedical discovery, innovation, and patient care.

UAB has been named the Best Large Employer by Forbes in 2021 and is ranked #4 for diversity. Driven by an intensely collaborative and entrepreneurial character, UAB is one of the leading economic engines of the State, with a nearly $4 billion budget and a statewide economic impact exceeding $7 billion annually. UAB is Alabama’s largest employer with more than 23,000 employees; it supports more than 64,000 jobs statewide. UAB received nearly $849 million in research grants and extramural awards for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2021.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

UAB Heersink SOM is located in Birmingham, Alabama***. Relocation to the Birmingham area is required for this role.


The UAB Heersink SOM welcomes inquiries, nominations, and applications. To receive full consideration, interested individuals should electronically submit a Curriculum Vitae, a letter of interest, and a diversity statement.

The letter of interest is a brief cover letter detailing your experience and key achievements related to this position and your thoughts on how you see yourself contributing to the programs and responsibilities described in this position specification. Statements of diversity should outline your efforts/experience at promoting diversity and inclusive excellence. Letters should be addressed to the UAB Community Engagement Search Committee and submitted electronically.

Materials will be reviewed immediately and will continue to be reviewed until the positions are filled. All inquiries should be emailed to Josh Carter, Ph.D., Executive Director for Heersink SOM Strategic Leadership Recruitment at [email protected]

For a more detailed position announcement and to apply, please visit:

*For more information about the UAB OCCC Community Outreach and Engagement Office, please visit:

**For more information about UAB Heersink SOM, please visit:

***For more information about Birmingham, please visit:

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