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Ashley Downs, MPH

Lecturer and Tennessee Department of Health Workforce Development Liaison


Ashley Downs, MPH (she/her/hers) teaches and supports students in the undergraduate public health program at the University of Tennessee. She is the lead faculty instructor of Introductory Epidemiology (PUBH 202) and teaches the Practice Experience course (PUBH 489) where she supports students through their applied public health practice experience requirement. Ashley jointly works for the Tennessee Department of Health, where her work focuses on public health workforce development programs, projects, and initiatives. With her background in supervising, mentorship, and workforce development, Ashley is committed to the recruitment and retention of skilled public health professionals, including equipping the public health workforce with the training, resources, and tools needed to foster healthy communities. Ashley serves on the Workforce Development Plan Committee at the Tennessee Department of Health and is chair of the Tennessee Department of Health and University of Tennessee Steering Committee.

Before moving to Tennessee, Ashley worked for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in the Center for Injury Research and Prevention leading large NIH-funded R01 projects aimed at supporting the independent driving process for neurodiverse teens with ADHD and Autism. Alongside her team at CHOP, Ashley helped establish the scientific foundation for driving safety among Autistic teens and teens with ADHD. Ashley is currently interested in weight-inclusive frameworks in healthcare, anti-fat bias, climate change, LGBTQIA+ health, traffic safety, and harm reduction.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking, biking, live music, cooking, and being outdoors.


  • University of Pennsylvania, Master of Public Health
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Science in Community, Environment, and Development

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