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News Archives

 BCBS Check Presentation

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation makes gift to FitKids 

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation presented a check for $825,000 to Memphis FitKids.  It is the second award in a three-year grant to fund a demonstration project of FitKids in the Memphis community.  Developed with the support of the FedEx Institute of Technology, FitKids is addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity in the Mid-South.  The web-based tool was created by Drs. Ken Ward and Lisa Klesges from the School of Public Health and Dr. Ramin Homayouni, director of the Center for Translational Informatics.  Click here to read the press release.

New SPH 

The University of Memphis Receives a $575,00 Gift to Create New MPH Fellowships

Click here to read the full announcement.

asos mahmood syria

MPH Student Addresses Health Issues in Syrian Refugee Camp

Asos Mahmood, an MPH student, conducted his practicum in the Arbat Camp in Iraq this summer with the World Health Organization's Regional Office of the Eastern Mediterranean.  He worked to identify potential innovative approaches to improve health systems in refugee camps.

Dr Ward

2014 Tennessee Men's Health Report Card Kickoff

The kickoff of the Tennessee Men's Health Report Card will take place on Friday, June 13th at the University of Memphis, in Room 304 of the University Center.  Preceded by a light lunch at 12:30 pm, the presentation of the report findings will begin at 1:00 pm, and will be followed by round table discussions of local priorities and strategies for improving men's health in our community.  Space is limited. Please contact Clare Sullivan at to register.  Dr. Kenneth Ward, professor and director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health, served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel that developed the report.   For more information on the Tennessee Men's Health Report Card, please click here.

Dr. Klesges

Dean Lisa Klesges installed as President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Dr. Lisa M. Klesges, Dean of the School of Public Health, is the new president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), a multidisciplinary organization of clinician educators and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.  Dr. Klesges is a Fellow of SBM and has served on its Membership Council, nominating and program committees, and chaired the Translational Research to Practice Track.

Dr Pichon

Homelessness and HIV in Memphis:  Results from a Convenience-Based Survey of Adults Receiving Emergency and Transitional Housing Services

Dr. Latrice Pichon partnered with Christ Community Health Services, the Memphis TGA Ryan White Part A Program and the Shelby County Health Department Epidemiology section to assess health indicators and HIV-risk behaviors of homeless and transitionally housing adults in Memphis.  Click here to read the health brief.

mbgaward The University of Memphis was recognized by the Memphis Business Group on Health for its exemplary commitment to health.  The School of Public Health is proud to be part of the steering committee for Memphis Healthy U, which provides campus-wide environmental support for students, faculty, staff and visitors to "move more, eat healthier, and be tobacco-free."
ken ward

Dr. Kenneth Ward was honored with the 2014 Willard R. Sparks Faculty Award at an awards luncheon on Thursday, May 1. 

Dr. Ward is a professor and director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health.  His research applies behavioral science to prevent and manage chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.

batalden 2014 School of Public Health Awards Luncheon
The University of Memphis School of Public Health welcomed Dr. Paul Batalden, a prominent expert on healthcare improvement, as the keynote speaker for this year's awards luncheon.  The School  recognized four individuals with the Public Health Champion Award:  Bill Tuttle, vice president, Planning Memphis Metro Market, for Baptist Memorial Health Care; Ed Rafalski, senior vice president, Strategic Planning and Marketing, for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Doug McGowen, director of the Memphis Innovation Delivery Team; and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.  The event was held on Wednesday, April 2, in the University Center River Room, with close to 120 attendees from the community.  Click here to see Dr. Batalden's keynote address.

2014 ACHE Congress in Chicago
University of Memphis School of Public Health MHA students, alumni and faculty attended the Annual American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Congress in Chicago, March 24-27.  Pictured, left to right, are first year students Andrew Timms, Tiffany Champagne, Taylor Bell, Jacques de Marche, alumnus Al Desilva, second year student Drew Eaton, and Dr. Dan Gentry, Professor and HSMP Division Director.  The Division also sponsored an Alumni, Students and Friends Reception at Congress, with almost 30 people in attendance.

 Dr Powell

Dr. M. Paige Powell Discusses the ACA Healthcare Deadline Dr. Powell was interviewed on WHBQ last week to discuss the approaching March 31 deadline, and what it means for those who have not yet enrolled.

SOPHAS Presentation

SOPHAS Presentation
The University of Memphis School of Public Health recently hosted a visit from SOPHAS, the centralized application system for schools of public health.  Ms. Allison Foster, ASPPH deputy executive director, Ms. Stephanie Williams, manager of student affairs, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, and Ms. Ann Donnelly of Liaison International shared their expertise.

Midday Moves

Midday Moves
Midday Moves is a great way to participate in 20 minutes of fitness on campus each day at 12:30pm. Two MPH graduate assistants (Marshall Varnum II and Bianca Jackson) coordinate the activities on behalf of Memphis Healthy U.  Join in the fun on the Alumni Mall! (Click here for video and pictures)


Health Care Interpreter Program IMIA-Accredited
The School of Public Health's Health Care Interpreter Training Program, directed by Espi Ralston, MA, MAT, MA, CMI-Spanish, CHI, has been accredited by the International Medical Interpreters Association, the only international body that accredits medical interpreter education programs.  Our training program is the first IMIA-accredited program in the United States. Click here to view the Acceptance Letter.

 Maureen Bisognano

Expert on Improving Health Care Systems Spoke at U of M Nov. 7
Maureen Bisognano, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, visited the University of Memphis Nov. 7 for a talk and panel discussion. She gave the keynote address at a luncheon hosted by the School of Public Health in the University Center. Bisognano also participated in a panel discussion. (Click here to read more and here for photos)

 APHA Logo

SPH presentations at APHA Annual Meeting
SPH faculty, doctoral students, and alumni have been selected to present research and moderate panels at 21 sessions of the 141st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in Boston (click here for listing) November 2-6.  The  APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition is the premier public health educational forum and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world. Faculty will also participate in the meeting of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, the voice of CEPH-accredited public health education. The School of Public Health is an ASPPH Associate member.

 Paige Powell

The Operations and Effects of the Affordable Care Act
Dr. Paige Powell, Assistant Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy, provides insight into the operations and effect of the Affordable Care Act. (Click for video and FAQ’s)

Ken Ward 

SPH Professor Presents at Waterpipe Tobacco International Conference
Dr. Kenneth Ward conducted a training workshop and delivered two keynote presentations at the First International Conference on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking, held October 20-23 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  Use of waterpipe (or “hookah”) has increased dramatically in recent years around the world, including the U.S. This conference brought together, for the first time, the world’s leading researchers in this field. Dr. Ward conducted a training workshop on the assessment of nicotine dependence, and delivered keynote presentations on treatment of waterpipe addiction, and social and psychological issues in waterpipe use.

Pradeep Podila 

SPH Student Leads Team in SAS Analytics 2013 Competition
Pradeep Podila, MS, MHA, doctoral candidate in Epidemiology, led a team that ranked 3rd in the 7th National SAS Analytics 2013 Data Mining Shootout competition.

 Justin Hendrix

SPH Student Conducts Assessment in Northern Uganda
Justin Hendrix, an MPH student, conducted a community based needs assessment in northern Uganda to identify support services for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence stemming from the conflict in that country.

 Tiger Blue Goes Green

Tiger Blue Goes Green 2013
The School of Public Health and Herff College of Engineering led this annual campus-wide celebration to promote eco-responsibility on Tuesday, October 8 from 10am-2pm in the Student Plaza. For more information contact Dr. Marian Levy.

 Affordable Care Act: Opportunity Knocks

School of Public Health Hosts Affordable Care Act Symposium
On Wednesday, September 25, 2013 the School of Public Health hosted the “Affordable Care Act: Opportunity Knocks for the Nation and Shelby County” Symposium. Click here for more information.

 Dr. Klesges

Dr. Klesges Named President-Elect of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Dr. Lisa M. Klesges, Dean of the School of Public Health, has been named president-elect of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. (Click here to view the Press Release)

 Dr. Dan Gentry

Dan Gentry Elected Chair of CAHME Board
Dan Gentry, PhD, MHA, Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy and Associate Dean for Academics at the University of Memphis School of Public Health, has been elected Chair of the Board of Directors for the Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Management Education (CAHME) for 2013-2014. Dr. Gentry served as a CAHME Fellow from 2006 to 2009, has been both a Commissioner and Board Member since 2011, and was CAHME’s lead faculty consultant on implementation of competency-based education from 2008 to 2013.

 Dr. Vikki Nolan

2013 Public Health Summer Institute
The School of Public Health conducted its 2013 Public Health Summer Institute with twelve workshops in Memphis and Jackson. The workshops were aimed at enhancing Tennessee's public health workforce. Faculty from the School of Public Health (Dr. Vikki Nolan pictured) provided the workshops to a total of 449 physicians, nurses, administrators, health educators, and social workers from the Shelby County Health Department and West Tennessee Regional Health Department. Click here for a description, listing of topics, and photos.

 Chee Lam

SPH Graduate Accepts Appointment by CDC
Chee Lam (MPH 2012) has accepted an appointment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Public Health Analyst. He was awarded a two-year, paid CDC fellowship through the PHAP program and has been assigned to work with the East Metro Health District in Lawrenceville, Georgia. This award was highly competitive. Of the 4400 applicants, 1000 were invited to submit a personal statement. Of those, 500 interviews were granted; and only 133 individuals were accepted. Mr. Lam was among the top 3% of applicants ultimately selected.

 Michael Schmidt Speaks at UNICEF

Michael Schmidt Speaks at UNICEF Canada Symposium
Michael Schmidt, Social & Behavioral sciences doctoral student in the School of Public Health, spoke to an international audience of child rights leaders at the invitation of UNICEF Canada. Schmidt gave a one-hour presentation on SHELBY Child Impact Assessment—the system he developed for conducting child rights impact assessments (CRIA) in Shelby County, Tennessee—to a group of 45 officials, advocates, and academics from the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick and the countries of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Belgium, New Zealand, and Italy. (Click here to read the full article)

 Mid-South's Healthiest Employers Competition

Mid-South's Healthiest Employers Competition
The University of Memphis was named a finalist in the Mid-South's Healthiest Employers competition. Memphis Healthy U was recognized as an exemplary program for providing campus-wide environmental support for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to “move more, eat healthier, and be tobacco free.” The School of Public Health is proud to be part of the steering committee for Memphis Healthy U.

 Interdisciplinary Case Competition

Interdisciplinary Case Competition
On March 30, 2013, the School of Public Health hosted its first Interdisciplinary Case Competition. This competition brought together graduate students from seven different academic units on campus—Anthropology, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Health Promotion, Law, Public Health, Public & Nonprofit Administration, and Social Work—to develop innovative, population-based approaches to addressing a pressing health concern in Shelby County. The topic for this year was Child Obesity. The distinguished panel of judges included Dr. Debra Bartelli, Dr. Henry (Hank)Herrod, and Ms. Renee' Frazier. (Click here to view pictures)

 Dr. Blanton Godfrey

School of Public Health Awards Luncheon
The School of Public Health Awards Luncheon was held on April 2nd and featured keynote speaker Dr. Blanton Godfrey, internationally renowned quality expert and former Chairman of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Awards were given to graduate student teams participating in the inaugural School of Public Health Interdisciplinary Case Competition. The following were recognized as 2013 Public Health Champions: Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr.; Yvonne S. Madlock; Cristie Upshaw Travis; and Jabie and Helen Hardin. (Click here for pictures)

 Doctoral students visit Tennessee Department of Health

Doctoral Students Visit Tennessee Department of Health
Six doctoral students met with top administrators of the Tennessee Department of Health to learn about research and collaborative opportunities. Bruce Behringer, Deputy Commissioner for Continuous Improvement and Training, extended the invitation in support of the Department’s partnership with the School of Public Health. (Click for pictures)

 Pratik Banerjee

Dr. Pratik Banerjee Leads FDA Grant
Dr. Pratik Banerjee, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, is a Principal Investigator of a multi-institutional, multi-million dollar collaborative grant funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide standardized, effective training for food safety inspectors and stakeholders at all levels. (Click for more information)

 Distinguished Teaching Recognition

Distinguished Teaching Recognition
Professor George Relyea, Assistant Research Professor of Biostatistics, was named a finalist for the Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award.  The prestigious award is based on nominations from students, alumni, and faculty colleagues.

 Public Health Services & Systems Research Award

Public Health Services & Systems Research Award
Dr. Erik Carlton, Assistant Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy, received an award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the integration of public health and medical care systems. His research will be based on principles in the 2012 Institute of Medicine report on integrating public health and primary care. The award seeks to examine the organization, financing and delivery of public health services. (Click for more information)

 SPH Researchers Recognized

SPH Researchers Recognized
School of Public Health faculty and a doctoral student were honored at the University of Memphis’ 2013 Research Celebration. Pictured from left to right: Michael Schmidt, SPH doctoral student and Assistant Professor of Art, was recognized for his research totaling $1 million dollars. Dr. Latrice Pichon, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. SangNam Ahn, Assistant Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy; and Dr. Chunrong Jia, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, were recognized as First Time Principal Investigators.

 Commissioner John Dreyzehner

Public Health is Everybody's Business
The School of Public Health hosted Tennessee Commissioner of Health Dr. John Dreyzehner and his health policy team at a “town hall” discussion of public health and economic issues that affect our community. The event, titled "Public Health is Everybody's Business," was sponsored by the FedEx Institute of Technology. (Click for more information)

 TPHA Award

TPHA Named APHA’s 2012 Outstanding Affiliate
The Tennessee Public Health Association, Tennessee’s affiliate to the American Public Health Association, has been named APHA’s 2012 Outstanding Affiliate of the Year. Dr. Marian Levy, Assistant Dean of the School of Public Health, submitted the nomination for this award in July during her tenure as President of TPHA. She accepted the award on TPHA’s behalf at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in October in San Francisco. (Click for pictures).

 HMCT Report

Dr. David Rosenthal a Featured Panelist at
Care About Your Care

Dr. David Rosenthal is a featured panelist in a national discussion to explain best practices for improving health care transitions. The cornerstone activity of Care About Your Care will occur on February 13, 2013, when Drs. Nancy Snyderman—chief medical correspondent for NBC News—and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will moderate this live event that will be simulcast on the internet.  Dr. Rosenthal co-authored the Take Charge for Better Health status report to RWJF on behalf of Healthy Memphis Common Table. (Click for more information)

 MPH Graduates Lead Breastfeeding Advocacy

MPH Graduates Lead Breastfeeding Advocacy
Dr. Julie Ware (MPH, 2012), chair of the Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition, spearheaded the development of a new billboard/transit communication to promote breastfeeding in the county’s areas with the lowest breastfeeding rates. Dr. Ware's research with underserved groups, funded by a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics, identified key communication messages. Ginger Carney, RD, IBCLC (MPH, 2012) co-chairs the Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition and contributed to this effort. (Click for pictures).

 MPH Student Visits Bolivia

MPH Student Visits Bolivia
MPH student Staci Somerville traveled to Yarvicoya, Bolivia as part of "Engineers without Borders" to help assess health aspects of the local water supply as engineering students evaluated water sources and worked to develop new water supplies. (Click for video).

 Congressman Steve Cohen

Congressman Steve Cohen Visit
Congressman Steve Cohen recently met with students and faculty of the School of Public Health to discuss national issues and policies that impact public health. The Congressman represents Tennessee's 9th Congressional District in Washington. (Click for pictures).

Crosby Visit 

Molly Caldwell Crosby meets with Doctoral Students
Molly Caldwell Crosby, author of "The American Plague," made a guest appearance in the SPH Doctoral Seminar. Her depiction of the Yellow Fever epidemic and its significance to Memphis' history was seminal reading in Professor Dan Gentry's doctoral course.


U of M School of Public Health's MHA Program Receives Maximum CAHME Re-Accreditation
The Master of Health Administration program of the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis has been re-accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) for a full seven years, the maximum period awarded by the agency. The MHA program was recognized by CAHME for its "continuing commitment to excellence in the field of Healthcare Management."  (Click here for CAHME accreditation letter, and MHA picture)

 Chunrong Jia

SPH Collaborates with Shelby County Health Department on Air Toxics Federal Grant
The School of Public Health is a major collaborator with the Shelby County Health Department in a $574,404 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the Air Pollution Special Studies Grant Program. (Click for more details).

 Public Health

Public Health Student Association Featured in The Nation's Health
The Public Health Student Association's campaign during Public Health Week is featured prominently in the July 2012 issue of The Nation's Health, the official newspaper of the American Public Health Association.

 David Rosenthal

HIE Evaluation Contract
The State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Division of Health Care Finance and Administration, Office of eHealth Initiatives has awarded a 16-month, $265,000 contract to the University of Memphis' Division of Health Systems Management and Policy in the School of Public Health, to conduct an evaluation of the State of Tennessee's Health Information Exchange (HIE) Program.


APHA President visits the School of Public Health
Mel Shipp, OD, DrPH, MPH, President of the American Public Health Association, visited the School of Public Health in May 2012.  In meeting with faculty, students, and SPH Advisory board members, Dr. Shipp shared his views on national and global public health concerns.


SPH Partners with Ampro, Inc. on Food Distribution
The School of Public Health partnered with Ampro, Inc, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, and Memphis Feeds to package 20,000 meals for the Memphis Food Bank.

Open House

The School of Public Health hosted an Open House on April 26th to welcome the community and campus to our new building. President Shirley Raines, Dr. Kenneth Robinson, Mr. Calvin Anderson, and Dr. Rosie Bingham assisted Dean Klesges with the ribbon-cutting.


School of Public Health Strengthens the Public Health Workforce
The University of Memphis School of Public Health is part of the consortium of universities and public health agencies that comprise Tennessee’s Public Health Training Center. Funded by a HRSA grant, the collaborative provides comprehensive competency-based training for the state’s public health workforce.

The MPH program has initiated their online courses. The program is offered online so apply now! Check out the recommended course sequence for the MPH On-Line Program.

Memphis Healthy U

Memphis Healthy U
The School of Public Health is a partner in the Memphis Healthy U campaign.
  The School of Public Health, in partnership with Loewenberg School of Nursing, recently received a grant from U.S. Department of Defense.

SPH 2014 Magazine
True Blue Goes Green 2013 Video
New SPH Video
What Students Are Saying

Master of Health Administration
Master of Public Health
SBS PhD Program
Epi PhD Program
HSP PhD Program
Healthcare Interpreter Program
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Three MHA students were finalists at the National Association of Health Services Executive (NAHSE) Annual Everett V. Fox Student Case Analysis and Presentation Competition. The team placed 5th in the 2014 Case Title: "Innovating Healthcare: Transforming the Care Model."

National Public Health Week

The University of Memphis School of Public Health celebrates National Public Health Week March 31 through April 4.  Click here for more information about the great events scheduled this week!

April 9 is National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

The University of Memphis School of Public Health, together with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Shelby County Health Department, will recognize National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day with an event on April 9 at the University Center from 10 am to 2 pm.  Please click here for details!

New Presidential Tuition-Service Scholarships

The University of Memphis is offering new Presidential Tuition-Service Scholarships for Graduate Students. The scholarships will cover the costs of tuition and fees for six hours of graduate coursework per semester. More information and the application can be found by clicking here.


The graduate programs in the School of Public Health have new deadlines for student applications.

Pre-doctoral fellowships in Epidemiology at the School of Public Health

The School of Public Health currently has three predoctoral fellowships in the following areas:

  • Epigenetic epidemiology
    (Dr. Wilfried Karmaus)
  • Molecular epidemiology
    (Drs. Wilfried Karmaus &
     Pratik Banerjee)
  • Environmental epidemiology
    (Dr. Chunrong Jia)

Pre-doctoral trainees receive approximately $16,500/year, a waiver of the tuition for the Fall and Spring semester, and health insurance.

Application materials are available here.

PhD Programs

MPH for Attorneys

MPH Program Internship available at the Tennessee Department of Health

Find out about Federal Internships / Fellowships (NIH, CDC, FDA, EPA, DOD)

Navy's Health Services Collegiate Program (scholarship)

Student Town Hall Meetings

Memphis Healthy U

The School of Public Health was recently featured in a cover story for the Daily News.

SPH ranked second "most media friendly School of Public Health"

The University of Memphis School of Public Health ranked second among the "Top 25 Most Social Media Friendly School of Public Health for 2012."

More information about this very unique honor and how we were chosen can be found at this link:

SPH Social Media


Upcoming Events

Saturday, March 29, 2014:

SPH Interdisciplinary Case Competition

9am-noon; University Center Fountain View Room (UC 350)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014:

SPH Awards Luncheon

University Center River Room (UC 300)

May 3, 2014

Health Care Interpreter Course begins

 Click here to view flyer.

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Last Updated: 12/11/14