Arcury, Thomas A

Thomas A. Arcury, Ph.D., is Professor and Research Director in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, with cross-appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, and the Maya Angelou Research Center on Minority Health.   He is also Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, Wake Forest University, and Adjunct Professor of Health Education and Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He received his doctoral degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Kentucky in 1983, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1996.  

Arcury is a medical anthropologist and public health scientists with a research program focused on improving the health of rural and minority populations.  Since 1996, he has directed a program of research on occupational and environmental health and justice among the families of immigrant workers in rural communities.  This research program, funded by grants from NIEHS and NIOSH, as well as state agencies, has examined pesticide exposure, green tobacco sickness, skin disease, injuries, and food security among migrant and seasonal farmworkers.   He is also involved in a study of the occupational health of immigrant poultry workers.  These projects have been undertaken within the framework of community-based participatory research.  In addition to empirical studies, this program has developed and implemented educational programs for immigrant workers and health care providers to prevent exposures and improve treatment.  Finally, he has worked with advocacy groups to use the results of this research to change occupational and environmental health regulations.

Throughout his career, Arcury has been involved in research addressing the nutrition and health self-management of rural older adults.  He has been a co-investigator on a series of NIA-funded studies investigating ethnic differences in nutrition and diabetes among rural elders living ethnically diverse communities.  He has also been the principal investigator of NCCAM-funded projects that consider ethnic variation in how older adults incorporate complementary medicine into their health self-management.

Arcury has authored or co-authored over 180 referred articles and chapters.  He has participated in the development of diverse educational materials, including videos, cartoons, comic books, and fotonovellas.  His contributions have been recognized by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health with the 2006 Innovative Research Award for Worker Health and Safety, the National Rural Health Association with the 2004 Outstanding Researcher Award, the Washington Association for the Practice of Anthropology with 2003 Praxis Award, and the National Council for Geographic Education in 2001 with the Journal of Geography Award:  Best Content Article.

Expertise: Families of Color: African American; Families of Color: Hispanic; Health and Wellbeing/Wellness; Community, Work and Family; Work-Family Conflict


Wake Forest University- Department of Family & Community Medicine
School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem NC 27157-1084
United States