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Deborah Porterfield

Senior research public health analyst


MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MD, University of California, School of Medicine, San Francisco
BA, Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges


Deborah Porterfield is a public health expert with experience in research, practice, and teaching. She is an expert in the control and prevention of chronic diseases, particularly diabetes and cancer. Her work aims to strengthen public health practice across the United States by focusing on the integration between healthcare and public health, quality improvement, and performance measurement. She has worked with a range of major clients, including federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the National Institutes of Health.

Currently, Dr. Porterfield serves as a clinical advisor on our efforts to evaluate organizations that are testing new models of health care delivery or payment as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Care Innovation awards. She leads two projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluating national efforts to scale up the delivery of diabetes prevention programs. 

Dr. Porterfield came to RTI in 2007 from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked as an epidemiologist in chronic disease. She also has clinical experience as a community health center physician in Virginia. In addition to her RTI role, she currently serves as an Associate Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Residency in the Department of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Dr. Porterfield holds a medical license in North Carolina and is board-certified in preventive medicine. A fellow and active member of the American College of Preventive Medicine, she has served in numerous roles including former chair of the Residency Directors Council. She is also a member of the American Public Health Association, AcademyHealth, and the North Carolina Medical Society.

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To speak to this expert or inquire about RTI services, you can reach us at +1 919 541 6000 or use the contact form below. For media inquiries, please reach out to our Media Relations team at news@rti.org.

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