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Welcome from the Department Head

Dr. Paul C. ErwinAs department head, I want to thank you for your interest in the public health programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students are the reason we exist. We provide quality teaching and mentoring, research and outreach opportunities, and an environment which supports quality of life, all because of you, the student. Whether you are in our “backyard,” somewhere else in the state or nation, or international, we welcome you.

We have the oldest accredited MPH program in the nation outside a school of public health or medicine. After more than forty years of accreditation, we have produced over 1,200 alumni, many of whom continue to stay involved by serving as field practice preceptors for current MPH students. Our graduates have achieved success in local, state, and federal governmental health agencies; in nongovernmental organizations; in the private healthcare setting; and in academia. We hope you can join our illustrious list of alumni!

Our faculty includes a diverse, talented group of educators who bring a high level of academic preparation from many of our best institutions and expertise ranging from bench science research to medical coding to community health assessment and planning. 

I invite you to explore our website and discover the many ways to get involved. Reach out to our faculty, staff, students, and community partners. In doing so, I hope you will decide to join us in bridging knowledge and improving health, whether as a future student, alumnus, or community partner.

Paul Erwin, MD, DrPH
Professor and Head, Public Health

Paul Erwin is professor and head of the Department of Public Health. He joined the university in 2007 to establish the Center for Public Health, which served as a springboard for establishing the Department of Public Health in 2010. Prior to joining the university he served twelve years as director of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office. He is responsible for a number of collaborations between public health academia and practice, including serving as a co-principle investigator for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded East Tennessee practice-based research network (PBRN). He teaches in the areas of epidemiology and health policy, with a research focus on public health systems and services research (PHSSR).