College of Public Health names three interim chairs

JOHNSON CITY – Interim chairpersons have been named for the three new academic departments within the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University.

Dr. Jim Anderson has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Dr. Jim Florence is Interim Chair of the Department of Community Health, and Dr. Amal Khoury was named Interim Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration. 

Until now, these programs were housed within the ETSU Department of Public Health, but, with the creation of the new college and the expansion of its educational offerings, that department has been divided by specific disciplines—a model used by most colleges of public health.

“With the recent addition of doctoral programs in epidemiology and community health, and the expansion of our master’s programs, we felt that student academic needs would best be met by creating individual departments that each address one of the core disciplines of public health,” said Dr. Randy Wykoff, ETSU Dean of Public Health.  “Those concentrations were in the former Department of Public Health, which has now been dissolved.  The Department of Environmental Health, which encompasses another core area, was already in existence and will remain part of the College of Public Health. The college also includes the Department of Health Sciences, whose cross-cutting programs span the core disciplines.”

Wykoff added that searches for the permanent chairs will begin within the next several months.

Anderson is an assistant professor and joined the ETSU faculty in 2002.  He holds M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif., and received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health.  He previously worked as a pathologist in Illinois and Oregon and was director of a county health department in Wyoming.  His research activities and interests include lifestyle risk factors and chronic diseases, such as central nervous system birth defects, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.  In recent years, he held a leadership role in developing ETSU’s Doctor of Public Health degree program with a concentration in epidemiology.

Florence holds a Doctorate of Public Health in Preventive Care, and master's degrees in biology and nutrition/health education from the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University.  At ETSU, he is an associate professor and has taught graduate and undergraduate health courses for 14 years. He has served as the graduate coordinator for the Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health programs and recently served as Interim Chair of the then Department of Public Health.  Florence has also been active in ETSU’s Community Partnerships for Health Professions Education Program.  Prior to joining the ETSU faculty, he coordinated research and training programs in rural health and geriatrics at Meharry Medical College in Nashville.  He is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and has conducted research in the areas of behavioral and community health.

Khoury is an associate professor and is also chairing the accreditation steering committee for ETSU’s College of Public Health.  Her research includes studies related to access to breast cancer screening and clinical trials in the rural South, cancer control practices of primary care providers, and utilization of preventive services among Medicaid beneficiaries.  Findings from her work have appeared in such journals as Women’s Health Issues, Medical Care Research and Review, Public Health Reports, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, and Southern Medical Journal. She serves on the editorial board of Women’s Health Issues and on the Scientific Merit Review Board (women’s health and equity portfolio) of the Veterans Affairs’ Health Services Research and Development Service.

She is a founding member and current Chair of the Gender and Health Interest Group of AcademyHealth.  She is also an elected officer of the American Public Health Association and chairs the Women’s Health Committee of the Medical Care Section. Khoury holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.