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Dr. Paul C. Erwin

Paul Campbell Erwin, MD, DrPH

Adjunct Professor


Paul Campbell Erwin, MD, DrPH is an adjunct professor and former head for the Department of Public Health from 2010-2018. He joined the faculty at UT in 2007 to establish the Center for Public Health, which served as the springboard for establishing the Department of Public Health in 2010. Before joining the University of Tennessee, he worked with the Tennessee Department of Health for 16 years, with the last 12 years spent as the director of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office. During that time, he focused extensively on community-based health assessment and planning, engaging local county health councils, faculty, and students at the University of Tennessee. He was a member (and later chair) of the national work group which produced MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships), including the local tool of the National Public Health Performance Standards Program.

Prior to serving with the Tennessee Department of Health, he spent two years as a fellow in international health at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. He is boarded in internal medicine and public health and preventive medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Erwin is currently (as of August 2018), Dean of the School of Public Health at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Erwin’s research interests are in the field of public health services and systems research, focusing on local and state health departments, population health outcomes, evidence-based public health, and health disparities, particularly in rural areas. Dr. Erwin is the lead investigator for the Public Health-Practice Based Research Network in East Tennessee, involving public health practice partners at the Knox County Health Department and the East Tennessee Regional Health Office, which has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He has also received research funding as either PI or co-PI through the National Science Foundation, the Tennessee Department of Health, and indirectly through sub-awards or contracts originating from Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  • BS (cum laude) - University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee - 1979
  • MD - University of Alabama in Birmingham, School of Medicine - 1983
  • MPH - The Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, concentration in International Health - 1988
  • DrPH - University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health, Policy, and Administration - 2009

Professional Service

Dr. Erwin has been one of the leaders in establishing formal Academic Health Department collaboratives with public health practice partners. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for America's Health Rankings; the Profile Work Group of the National Association of County and City Health Officials; and the Research Advisory Council of the Public Health Accreditation Board. He is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Public Health; Member, Editorial Board, MEDICC Review (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba); and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Dr. Erwin leads the department’s annual offering of the Public Health Summer Academy to local public health practitioners, and has participated in state-level training for practitioners in Evidence-Based Public Health.

Awards and Recognitions

2005       National Center for Infectious Diseases/CDC; 2005 Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service

2009       Jacob Koomen Public Health Practice Award for Doctoral students, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill

2009       The Dean’s Service Award, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, the University of Tennessee

2015       Reviewer of the Year, American Journal of Public Health



Most Recent:
  1. Erwin PC, Brownson RC. The Public Health Practitioner of the Future. Am J Public Health. 2017;107(8):1227-1232.
  2. Erwin PC. Tracking the Impact of Policy Changes on Public Health Practice. Am J Public Health. 2017 May;107(5):653-654. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303733.
  3. Barnes P, Erwin PC, Moonesinghe R, Brooks A, Carlton EL, Behringer B. Functional Characteristics of Health Coalitions in Local Public Health Systems: A Case Study Exploring the Function of County Health Councils in Tennessee. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 2017 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Erwin PC, Lindley L, Meschke LL, Ehrlich SE. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in East Tennessee: Characteristics and Risk Factors among Mothers and Infants in one area of Appalachia. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2016. In Press.
  5. Erwin PC, Meschke LL, Ehrlich SE, Moran, JW. A Population Health Driver Diagram to address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 2017 Feb 8. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000533. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. Erwin PC, Brownson RC. Macro Trends and the Future of Public Health Practice. Annu Rev Public Health. Dec 15 2016.
  7. Leider JP, Shah G, Rider N, Beck A, Castrucci BC, Harris JK, Sellers K, Varda D, Ye J, Erwin PC, Brownson RC. Challenges and Innovations in Surveying the Governmental Public Health Workforce. Am J Public Health. Nov 2016;106(11):1967-1974.
  8. Beatty KE, Erwin PC, Brownson RC, Meit M, Fey J. Public Health Agency Accreditation Among Rural Local Health Departments: Influencers and Barriers. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Jan 11 2017. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. Siddiqi A, Jones MK, Bruce DJ, Erwin PC. Do racial inequities in infant mortality correspond to variations in societal conditions? A study of state-level income inequality in the U.S., 1992–2007. Social Science & Medicine. 9// 2016;164:49-58.
  10. Erwin PC, Harris J, Wong R, Plepys CM, Brownson RC. The academic health department: Academic–practice partnerships among accredited U.S. schools and programs of public health, 2015. Public Health Reports. 131 (4), 630-636. 2016
  11. Erwin PC. Public Health and Cuba: Trading on a Two-Way Street. Am J Public Health. Oct 2015;105 Suppl 4:S561-562. Published simultaneously in Spanish: Erwin PC. La salud publica y Cuba: un intercambio reciproco. Am J Public Health. Oct 2015;105 Suppl 4:S559-560.
  • Erwin PC and Brownson RC, eds. Scutchfield and Keck’s Principles of Public Health Practice. 4th edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. 2016
Most cited:
  • Gerhardt RR, Gottfried KL, Apperson CS, Nasci RS, Davis BS, Erwin PC, Panella PA, Smith AB. The first isolation of La Crosse encephalitis virus from naturally infected Aedes albopictus. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 7:807-811, 2001. (123 citations in Scopus, 117 in Web of Science)
  • Erwin PC. The performance of local health departments: a review of the literature. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 14(2), e9-e18, 2008.(48 citations in Scopus)
  • Erwin PC, Greene SB, Mays GP, Ricketts TC, and Davis MV. The association of changes in Local Health Department resources with changes in state-level health outcomes. American Journal of Public Health.101(4):609-15, 2011. Epub Jun 17, 2010. (44 citations in Scopus, 39 in Web of Science)
Highest Altmetrics:
  • Bassett DR, Fitzhugh EC, Heath GW, Erwin PC, Frederick GM, Wolff DL, Welch WA, Stout AB. Estimated Energy Expenditures for School-Based Policies and Active Living. Am J Prev Med. 2013 Feb;44(2):108-13. (Altmetrics score: 50)
Dr. Paul C. Erwin

Contact Information

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, 1665 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294
  • E-mail: