Meet Sterling Ta’Bon: Epidemiology Program Coordinator at HC Department of Health | Blogs


Sterling Ta’Bon (’20 MSPH) explains how his experience in the public health program has equipped him with the necessary knowledge and tools.


Campbell University made an impact on me and prepared me to serve others. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology / Exercise Science from Campbell University in 2018, I had the opportunity to extend my training at Campbell as part of the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) and to become a two-humped camel. During my time at Campbell Public Health, I also served as a Graduate Assistant for Adult and Online Education at the Wiggins Memorial Library, as an Interprofessional Student Facilitator for the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS) and as resident DJ and host of several CPHS. events.

The MSPH program and framework have become a catalyst for the thought processes and actions that I use as a public health official. At Campbell Public Health, we has had extensive discussions on the social determinants of health, interventions for migrant farm workers who do not have access to appropriate protection against chemicals in areas of agriculture in North Carolina, and mapping of active to help facilitate the community resources available in the rural town of Dunn, North Carolina. These topics kept me daily. I was enlightened by professors like Dr. Tillman, who provided me with educational terminology on systemic racism and its effects on the health of minority communities. These interactive discussions with my colleagues fanned the flame that was already burning in me to become a role model healthcare professional in my community. My experiences in the Campbell Public Health Program have equipped me with the knowledge and tools to navigate a world that, since COVID-19, now knows the importance of public health to our society.

While attending a school in the rural south, I was aware of the potential barriers, prejudices and perceptions that have evolved in the rural areas of the south. As I traveled north from my home in Sumter, South Carolina, about 40 minutes from Campbell University, I was greeted by the wave of the Confederate battle flag, a reminder of the Civil War of our country. This symbol, which still floats today and represents an ideology and the belief that one group is superior to another, has become for me a motivation to have an impact. While Campbell University has provided a euphoria of safety and education, I feel like the color of my skin scares those I love and want to love, even with education and love. training of my two diplomas.

I immersed myself in the articles and readings presented by my public health courses. I have learned and studied the depths of racism as one of the main causes of social and health disparities affecting minority and underfunded communities. These disparities in health status and health outcomes among minorities have been well documented in publications including the 2003 Institute of Medicine Report and the Sullivan Report – Missing Persons. The notion of “unequal treatment” faced by minorities in the health care delivery system is supported by compelling evidence. These courses have provided me with the terminology, as well as qualitative and quantitative data on lived experiences, to better understand what I face as a high melanin American citizen.

“The MSPH program and framework have become a catalyst for the thought processes and actions that I use as a public health officer. “

As a black, male, medical professional, I am responsible for repairing the relationships of previous decades of mistrust between patient and provider. For centuries, the black community has often proven to be disposable subjects for science and medicine, from the cruel treatment of women as test subjects to the Tuskegee experiments, to the emerging environmental threat to communities that have been bathed. in plant chemicals and toxins. distributed among neighboring farms. The historical misperceptions of health care providers have caused black communities to succumb to higher rates of health disparities, including heart disease, cancer, and unintentional accidents. The representation of black healthcare providers plays a major role in improving the quality of life for our entire community, both economically and socially.

These disparities will continue to grow unless we can influence medical education with black teachers and other minorities in the classroom, serving on admissions committees, and mentoring children throughout education. Health services research shows that minority health care providers are more likely to serve minority and medically underserved communities. Even, the Institute of Medicine has recommended increasing the number of minority health professionals as a tactic to help reduce health disparities. It is essential that our communities be served by a more diverse team of health professionals.Sterling TaBon makes the difference

It is my mission and my role as a health officer to be a valuable resource and a reliable entity for the community. As the co-founder and director of the non-profit DiamondStackz Organization, I am able to use my passion to provide youth mentors and opportunities to improve their skills. Our non-profit organization uses sport and community involvement to improve their leadership skills. In addition, I was recently appointed Community Activities Coordinator for the Sumter Leaders of Faith Working Group. The purpose of our organization is to repair and reconcile race relations within the Sumter community. I intend to lead by example and help all members of my community.

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