Noreen M. Clark, Ph.D. (1943-2013)

Noreen Clark

Myron E. Wegman Distinguished University Professor of Public Health

Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education

Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases

Director, Center for Managing Chronic Disease

E-mail: Assistant:

Website(s): Center for Managing Chronic Disease

Professional Summary

This profile has been archived following the death of Noreen Clark in November 2013. Please visit our memorial website if you would like to learn more about her life and accomplishments, or share your memories of her in our online guestbook.

Noreen M. Clark was the Myron E. Wegman Distinguished University Professor; Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education; Professor of Pediatrics; and Director of the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan. From 1995-2005 she served as Dean of Public Health and Marshall H. Becker Professor of Public Health. She was interested in systems, policies and programs that promote health, prevent illness, and enable individuals to manage disease. Dr. Clark served in numerous leadership positions. She served as Director of the National Program Office of the Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes.  She served as National Program Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Allies Against Asthma Program. Prior to these appointments, she was a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and president of the Society for Public Health Education and chair of the Public Health Education Section of the American Public Health Association. She served as chair of the Behavioral Science Section of the American Thoracic Society; as a member of the Pulmonary Diseases Advisory Committee for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and as a member of the institute's Advisory Committee on Prevention, Education, and Control. Dr. Clark was a member of the Coordinating Council of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program and of its Science Base Committee and chaired the American Lung Association (ALA) Technical Advisory Group on Asthma, as well as the Lung Diseases Care and Education Committee. Dr. Clark served on both the Board and Council of the ALA. She was the former editor of Health Education and Behavior and Associate Editor of Annual Reviews of Public Health. Among other honors, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Fellow Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Society for Public Health Education; the Derryberry Award for outstanding contribution to health education in behavioral science given by the American Public Health Association (APHA); the Health Education Research Award conferred by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for leadership and research contributions; the Distinguished Career Award in Health Education and Promotion given by the APHA; the Behavioral Science Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Thoracic Society; and the Healthtrac Education Prize. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Clark had extensive international experience. Her work included testing of interventions designed to improve health status, quality of life, and collaborative activity among rural people in Kenya and in the Philippines, and urban dwellers in Beijing, China. In addition, she was a consultant for a wide range of international organizations including the Ethiopian Women's Welfare Association; the Ministry of Education in Nepal; the Asia Foundation in Pakistan; the Directorate of Health in Portugal; the World Bank; the United Nations Development Program; the Synergos Institute; the Community Health Authority of Madrid; and the Beijing Heart, Lung and Vessel Institute, among others. She served on the board of directors of World Education Inc. and of Family Care International. Dr. Clark served on the Overseas Development Council and on the board of the Aaron Diamond Foundation. She was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Ph.D., Adult Education Research, Columbia University, 1976
M.Phil., Adult Education Research, Columbia University, 1975
M.A., Higher and Adult Education, Columbia University, 1972
B.S., Political Science, University of Utah, 1965

Research Interests & Projects

Center for Managing Chronic Disease

Center for Managing Chronic Disease Dr. Clark directed the Center for Managing Chronic Disease from 2006-2013. The Center is a unique research and demonstration effort that involves a network of researchers and interventionists worldwide who study the social, behavioral, and clinical aspects of disease management. The Center's aim is to build the capacity for effective chronic disease prevention and management. The focus of this work is people at risk and those who can help them: family, clinicians, communities, and systems.

Dr. Clark's research specialty was management of disease, and she conducted many large-scale program evaluations. She attempted to identify the elements of self-regulation, and used management of asthma and heart disease as models for examining constructs. Her studies of disease management contributed to the research literature and the field of practice by demonstrating that educational interventions for patients and providers can decrease asthma and heart-related hospitalizations and medical emergencies. Her work resulted in an archetype educational program for health care facilities distributed by the NIH and used in hundreds of clinics nationally and internationally. A program that adapted the model for use in public schools is being disseminated by the ALA and has to date reached almost a million school children. Other model programs for management of asthma and heart disease by patients, clinicians, and communities, including PACE (Physician Asthma Care Education), are used worldwide. New models, for example, related to diabetes and obesity, were studied by Dr. Clark and her research team.

Selected Publications

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Clark, N.M, Lachance, L.L., Benedict, M.B., Doctor, L., Gilmore, L.G., Kelly, C., Krieger, J., Lara, M., Meurer, J., Friedman Milanovich, A.R., Nicholas, E., Song, P.X., Rosenthal, M., Stoll, S.C., Awad, D.F., Wilkin, M. (June, 2013). Improvements in health care use associated with community coalitions: Long term results of the Allies Against Asthma Initiative American Journal of Public Health, 103 (6), 1124-1127.

Pizzo, P., Clark, N.M. (January, 2012). Alleviating Suffering 101: Relieving Pain in America Begins with Educating the Public and the Medical Profession New England Journal of Medicine, 197-199.

Clark, N.M (April, 2012). Community-Based Approaches to Controlling Childhood Asthma Annual Review of Public Health, 193-208.

Clark, N.M., Baptist, A.P., Ko, Y., Leo, H.L., Song, P.X.K. (2012). The relationship of season of birth to asthma and allergy in urban African American children 10 to 13 years of age. Journal of Asthma, 10, 1037-1043.

Janevic, M., Sanders, G., Thomas, L., Williams, D., Nelson, B., Gilchrist, E., Johnson, T., Clark, N. (January, 2012). Study protocol for Women of Color and Asthma Control: A randomized controlled trial of an asthma-management intervention for African American women. B M C Public Health, 76

Clark, N.M., Lachance, L. Doctor, L.J., Gilmore, L., Kelly, C., Krieger, J., Lara, M., Meurer, J., Friedman-Milanovich, A., Nicholas, E., Rosenthal, M., Stoll, S.C., Wilkin, M.K. (2010). Policy and System Change and Community Coalitions: Outcomes from Allies Against Asthma. American Journal of Public Health, 100 (5), 904-912.

Professional Affiliations

1974 - 2013: American Public Health Association
1974 - 2013: Society for Public Health Education
1989 - 2013: American Thoracic Society
1987 - 2013: Family Care International, Board of Directors
1998 - 2013: World Education, Board of Directors
2010 - 2013: Synergos Institute, Board of Directors

Additional Information

Honors: Pi Sigma Alpha Mayhew Derryberry Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health Education in Behavioral Science, The American Public Health Association (1985) Distinguished Fellow Award, Society for Public Health Education (1987) First National Award for Health Education Research, National Asthma Education Program (1992) Distinguished Career Award, Public Health Education Section, American Public Health Association (1994) DeHaan Lecturer, Emory University School of Public Health (1997) Healthtrac Foundation Health Education Award (1997) Alexandra and Joshua Larman Lectureship in Asthma and Allergic Diseases, University of Indiana Medical School (2000) Elected to Membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (2000) John P. McGovern Award, University of Texas-Houston (2001) Leonard Ponder Distinguished Lecturer, University of Texas A&M (2004) Parran Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA (2005) Bicknell Lecturer, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA (2012)