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Stephen M. Modell, MD, MS

Stephen Modell headshotEx-Officio Member, Action Board Chair

Stephen M. Modell first presented at APHA Annual Meetings 24 years ago; he has served 35 years in academic public health. Based in the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, he has been the Research and Dissemination Activities Director of the Center for Public Health and Community Genomics since 2001. The Center promotes the integration of genomic discoveries into public health practice utilizing community input, with the goals of improving health and reducing or eliminating health conditions and disparities. Prior roles include research and teaching with the Department of Health Management and Policy, and providing research support to the University’s Genome Ethics Committee. Dr. Modell has served as chief data analyst for numerous National Human Genome Research Institute- and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded projects, among them “Health in Our Hands: A New Genomic Framework for Schools and Communities” employing the Next Generation Science Standards to teach diabetes and substance use prevention; the 5-state “Midwest Community Genomics Forums”; and the “Communities of Color and Genetics Policy” Project. He has developed new evaluation methodology for community-based participatory research in the area of genetics and genomics, and published findings in numerous peer-reviewed genetics, health policy, and public health journals. His focus has always been on the community and population levels. Seeking input from community members on breaking technologies and their equitable use, and educating the community on new health developments occupy a major portion of this effort.

Stephen Modell holds an A.B. in philosophy from Stanford University (1980; continuing activity with Stanford Alumni in Public Service) and an M.D. from Medical College of Ohio (1984), where he was first exposed to the field of epidemiology. He received an M.S. in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis in 1991, followed by certification in epidemiology, both from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Modell served as chair of the American Public Health Association Genomics Forum Policy Committee from 2012-13; he received the Forum’s Distinguished Service Award in 2021 and Public Health Genomics Award in 2023. He is also a longstanding member of the APHA School Health and Wellness and APHA Ethics Sections, the Caucus on Public Health and the Faith Community, and the Michigan Public Health Association. He is the Chair of the APHA Action Board and an active member of the APHA Joint Policy Committee. Dr. Modell was principal author of the 2013 APHA policy statement “Advancing Cancer Genomics in Public Health.” He has authored / co-authored 11 book chapters, most recently with Dr. Sharon L.R. Kardia “Genetic Determinants of Health and Applications in Public Health and Preventive Medicine,” appearing in the 2022 reissue of Maxcy-Rosenau-Last Public Health & Preventive Medicine. Dr. Modell is currently serving as Guest Editor for the peer-reviewed journal Healthcare Special Issue “Policy Interventions to Promote Health and Prevent Disease.” Community-wise he has kept busy delivering talks on the diabetes and substance use prevention project to Rotary and high school audiences, and on environmentally friendly investing to congregants from a variety of churches as a member of the Dayenu Climate Action Circle of Ann Arbor. Stephen, Wanpen, and their daughter Marrisa live in Ann Arbor, MI.