Carlos “Kent” Campbell, MD, MPH, pediatrician and former interim public health dean passes away

March 1, 2024

Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Carlos “Kent” Campbell, MD, MPH, an esteemed public health physician, malaria expert and global health champion, passed away on Feb. 21. Campbell was instrumental in the creation of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Campbell began his professional career as a pediatrician working with the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control. He was stationed in El Salvador for four years working with the Ministry of Health on malaria control. Returning to Atlanta, he served as chief of the CDC’s malaria branch from 1982 through 1996.

Following his service with CDC, Campbell joined the UArizona and worked with James Dalen, MD, MPH, emeritus vice president of the University of Arizona Health Sciences, to lead the development of the UArizona College of Public Health which was later renamed the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Following the college's accreditation, he served as interim dean for two years. Campbell and his wife initiated the Kent & Liz Campbell International Public Health Internship, created to assist exceptional Masters in Public Health students dedicated to advancing public health initiatives in global communities.

As a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2003, Campbell contributed to the development of the foundation’s malaria control program in Africa. Based on that experience, he launched the Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa, or MACEPA, with the nonprofit global health organization PATH, and went on to serve as the founder and director of the PATH Malaria Center of Excellence. As director, Campbell worked collaboratively to develop malaria control programs that currently operate in more than 40 African nations. These programs have substantially reduced the spread of the disease on the continent, where more than 90 percent of malaria deaths occur.

Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean and professor in the Zuckerman College of Public Health, wrote in an email to the college: "We mourn the loss of Dr. Campbell, one of our 20th Anniversary Honorees for the Zuckerman College of Public Health. His leadership, vision, and collaborative spirit inspired many others in global health, and he leaves an awesome legacy of public health service. We are forever grateful for his many contributions to the college, and we thank him for all he has done to eliminate malaria around the world. Kent, your exemplary life is sincerely appreciated and will be remembered with gratitude."

Campbell's family will honor him in a private memorial service later this year. The family asks that a donation be made to the Kent & Liz Campbell International Public Health Internship in lieu of flowers.

Remembering Dr. kent campbell