Cherry Maynor Beasley is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in public health, culture of health and education. She has devoted most of her 45-year career to rural, underserved populations. She is the first member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to receive a BSN, MS and PhD in Nursing. She was the first nursing faculty member of the Department of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, located in a rural, minority-majority community experiencing entrenched poverty, and currently serves as the Nursing Department Chair and the inaugural Anna Belk Endowed Professor for Rural and Minority Health.
The synergy of Dr. Beasley’s research and service interests evolves from a focus on health care decision-making and behaviors of rural, minority populations. This approach informs her extensive work with populations utilizing participatory community outreach and research to address health disparities, well-being, and environmental and healthcare policy. She is a sought after collaborator and mentor on research and service projects.
Dr. Beasley currently serves in several nursing and public health leadership roles including the North Carolina Future of Nursing Taskforce, the North Carolina Action Committee of the Health Care Quality Commission, local health boards and consultant to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Her numerous teaching awards include the coveted UNC Board of Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. As a Major in the Army Nurse Corp , she served in field hospital units, worked on research teams for HIV/AIDS and participated in NATO exercises to design health care systems.