The Colorado School of Public Health today announced the appointment of Cathy J. Bradley, PhD, MPA, as its next dean.
“I am incredibly excited and humbled to become the first female dean for the Colorado School of Public Health,” Bradley said. “It sets a different tone for the school; a different way of approaching problems. I am very happy to have that opportunity.”
Bradley is currently the Associate Dean of Research for ColoradoSPH and Deputy Director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. She will take the reins from Jon Samet, MD, MS, who has held the position since October 2017. She will be the fourth dean in school history and the first woman appointed to the position, following interim deans Judith Albino and Elaine Morrato. In addition to CU Anschutz, the ColoradoSPH is composed of experts and students from Colorado State University and University of Northern Colorado.
“Cathy is a remarkable leader, well known, and highly regarded at the school and on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus,” said Samet. “She takes over as the school continues on a great trajectory and she will undoubtedly take the Colorado School of Public Health into new realms. I look forward to seeing the great work she will accomplish as dean.”
A first-generation college graduate, Bradley developed a passion for public health and health policy as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She began her career in academia at Michigan State University where she was drawn to researching cancer-related healthcare policies and disparities.
She later headed the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the CU Anschutz Medical Campus as the Paul A. Bunn, Jr. Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and professor of health systems, management and policy for ColoradoSPH in 2015.
During her tenure at CU Anschutz, Bradley became the first health economist deputy director of a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. As Associate Dean for Research, she was integral alongside Dean Samet as the ColoradoSPH nearly doubled its NIH-funded research. In her cancer center role, she expanded the Cancer Prevention and Control research program, developed the Population Health Shared Resource, recruited leaders for the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement and helped recruit leaders of the newly formed Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access within the CU Cancer Center.
Bradley has had a passion for public health throughout her career, becoming a renowned health economist, effecting change not just on the CU Anschutz campus but nationally. “I chose public health to change things for the population,” she said. “I want to help improve health and healthcare access for everyone, not just one person at a time. We can reach the most lives through policy, healthcare delivery, and making changes to prevent diseases from ever occurring.”
“The Colorado School of Public Health will be in extremely capable hands under Cathy’s leadership. She has demonstrated skill, compassion and empathy throughout her career in cancer prevention research, focusing on helping the largest populations of people possible,” said Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. “The growth that happened at the Cancer Center under her leadership is incomparable, and we look forward to seeing what that energy can bring to the Colorado School of Public Health.”
As dean, Bradley aims to emphasize philanthropic efforts and support for students as well as build on the successes of her predecessor, Jon Samet, by continuing to elevate the school’s position as one of the top 20 in the nation. “I’m very grateful to Dean Samet for elevating the school the way he did during COVID and beyond,” said Bradley. “He showed enormous leadership and is leaving things on sound, solid, secure footing. He improved school culture, school morale, and we owe a great debt to him.”
Bradley’s position will begin August 1st.