Debra Farrington, MSW, LCSW, is North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Deputy Secretary and Chief Health Equity Officer, leading the agency’s work focused on health disparities and the health needs of North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. The 2022 John R Larkin award recipient was recognized for commitment to justice and equality in the workplace and in the community. Debra is a native North Carolinian reared and educated in rural Columbus County. Debra’s values of fairness, equity and concern for others along with her deep faith were shaped by her grandparents and mother, a factory worker who earned her GED at the age of 45. With their love, support and guidance, Debra received a BA in Psychology and Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience in community-based services for children and adults with behavioral health needs.