Alumni Profile: Dr. Eleanor Fleming

“Of the many things that I have done in my life, being affiliated with the RWJF Center for Health Policy at Meharry is certainly one of the smartest decisions I have made.  What I learned at the health policy center has helped me to transition from a dental student interested in public health and aspiring to work in health policy to a public health professional using my work to shape policy and programmatic activities.”


Since graduating from Meharry, Dr. Fleming completed the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' premier applied public health training program, the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). She was a “disease detective” assigned to the CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention Office of Health Equity. Dr. Fleming conducted domestic and international ethnographic field research on congenital syphilis and barriers to prenatal care and performed comprehensive epidemiologic studies on social determinants of health. The following publications are from those projects:

  • Fleming E., Truman B.I., Moonesinghe R., et al.  Differences in the Influence of Education and Family Income on Six Health Indicators among Sub-groups of the African Diaspora Living in the United States, 2000-2010.  Legacy of the Crossing: Life, death and triumph among descendants of the world’s greatest forced migration.  IN PRESS.

Above is a chapter in a book that Dr. Thomas LaVeist is working to get published. Because of relationships Dr. Fleming forged while at the Center, she was able to submit an abstract to the International Conference on Health and the African Diaspora, in which the Center co-sponsored, and have that abstract be accepted as a book chapter.

  • Fleming E, Oremo J, O’Connor K, et al.  Evaluation of the Integration of Rapid Syphilis Testing in Routine Antenatal Services, Mbita and Suba Districts, Kenya.  Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.  2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/674584.

  • Fleming E., LeBlanc T., Reid L.  An examination of the Status of HIV Testing and Care Services for Women in Corrections Facilities.  The Journal of Women's Health.  2013; 22(12): 1-4.  DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2013.4522

  • Moonesinghe R., Fleming E., Truman B.I., et al.  Linear and Non-Linear Associations of Gonorrhea Diagnosis Rates with Social Determinants of Health.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2012; 9(9):3149-3165. DOI:10.3390/ijerph9093149

  • Kroeger K,. Fleming E., Loosier P., et al.  Provider and Community Member Perspectives on Factors Contributing to Congenital Syphilis Increases in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.  Findings from a rapid ethnographic assessment.  [Technical Report]

As a result of her scholarly works, Dr. Fleming was nominated for the 2013 Charles C. Shepard Science Award for special contribution to the mission of CDC/ATSDR and to public health.


After completing EIS she accepted a position as a CDC chronic disease epidemiologist field assignee.  In this role, Dr. Fleming works in the North Carolina Division of Public Health Chronic Disease and Injury Section and serves as the lead epidemiologist supporting the Chronic Disease and Injury Section in developing and monitoring its state health promotion plan. She works with colleagues in the analysis and reporting of state data, chairs a section wide Health Data Community of Practice, and co-chairs the Section’s Health Equity Workgroup. She has presented work at national conferences (e.g., American Public Health Association and Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologist).  In addition to two manuscripts currently in review, she has produced one publication from this assignment:

  • Reed J, Fleming E.  Community Health Assessments Impact on Population Health.  NC Medical Journal 2014; 75(6). Full text article


Dr. Fleming is also a Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), where she serves as the Dental Liaison to the Junior Officer Advisory Group (JOAG) and as a voting member of the USPHS Dental Professional Advisory Committee. She received a  Foreign Duty Award and an Achievement Medal for evaluating an antenatal syphilis testing intervention in Kenya and a Special Assignment Award for her work as a Dental Liaison to JOAG. She was nominated for an Achievement Medal for her public health leadership in improving chronic disease prevention in North Carolina. 

Finally, as if that was enough to boost anyone's career, Dr. Fleming is one semester away from completing a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology at East Tennessee State University. Dr. Fleming currently holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Meharry Medical College, and a bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree in political science from Vanderbilt University. She plans to complete a Dental Public Health residency within the next two years and apply her work as an chronic disease epidemiologist to dental public health practice. 

Connect with Dr. Fleming on LinkedIn.