East Tennessee State University (ETSU) College of Public Health was officially created in December 2007 with the division of the previously existing College of Public and Allied Health to form two new Colleges in ETSU’s Health Sciences Division. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) had previously approved ETSU’s request to create the first College of Public Health in the state of Tennessee. Following this approval, in August 2007, ETSU submitted its request to the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) to initiate the accreditation process to transition from the accredited MPH program to a school of public health. CEPH approved the request in October 2007. Subsequently, in November 2007, the College was accepted as an Associate Member in the Association of Schools of Public Health.
As with the previously existing College of Public and Allied Health, the two new Colleges, the College of Public Health, and the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, are both independent Colleges within ETSU’s Health Sciences Division. The division also houses the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, and the College of Nursing, making ETSU one of only 25 Universities in the United States with Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health.
The College of Public Health was created by transferring three Departments from the previously-existing College: Department of Health Sciences, Department of Environmental Health, and Department of Public Health. As approved by TBR, the latter Department has been subsequently divided into three new Departments—Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Community and Behavioral Health, and Health Services Management and Policy. The Departments in the College now offer 6 Undergraduate degrees, 6 Masters degrees and 3 Doctoral degrees, as well as several Minors and several Graduate Certificates.
While the College of Public Health is a newly created entity, ETSU’s commitment to public health education is long standing. The College dates its creation as the Department of Physical Education and Health in 1949, under the direction of John P. Lamb, Jr. By 1955, a full complement of courses was developed and approved to offer a BS in Community Health, making ETSU perhaps one of the earlier programs to offer an undergraduate degree in Public Health in the country. Health and Physical Education were separated and the School of Health in East Tennessee State College (the fore-runner of ETSU) was officially created in 1959. At the time, the School included a BSN in Nursing (established 1954), a Speech and Hearing Program (established in 1956), a National Environmental Sanitation School (established in 1957) along with the Department of Environmental Sanitation (the first Chair was hired in 1963). ETSC became ETSU in 1963 and John P. Lamb, Jr. was named as the first Dean of the College of Health. Subsequently, the Health Science Department was established in 1965, and Dental Hygiene in 1968. The Department of Health Education had its first Chair hired in 1966 and, in 1995, this Department became the Department of Public Health.
The current College of Public Health houses the oldest existing undergraduate and master’s degree programs in Environmental Health, accredited by The National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC).
The first MPH students graduated in 1986. In the past ten years, the Departments currently in the College of Public Health have awarded over 1,000 degrees, including more than 400 MPH degrees.
ETSU’s commitment to interdisciplinary, community-based health education has been broadly recognized. The Trilogy Program of the College of Public Health received the Delta Omega award for Innovative Curriculum for Public Health in 2005—the first time the award recipient was outside a school of public health. In 2007, ETSU was awarded the Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year by the National Rural Health Association. The Quillen College of Medicine has consistently been ranked as one of the top programs in the country for Rural Health and Family Medicine.
Awards and Recognition
2007: Outstanding Rural Health Program of the Year:
National Rural Health Association
2005: National Award for Innovative Curriculum in Public Health:
MS Environmental Health with
MS Microbiology (granted by College of Arts and Sciences)
Master of Public Health with concentrations in
Health Services Administration *
Undergraduate Certificate in Public Health Fundamentals for Field Professionals*
* Available on-line as well as on-site
John P. Lamb Hall, located on the ETSU main campus, houses all programs for the College of Public Health. Internships and field experiences are arranged in a variety of settings both within the ETSU service area, and nationally and internationally.
Faculty and Staff Work Groups
Faculty and Staff Recruitment, Development and Promotion
Service and Community Relations
Student Recruitment and Involvement
Community Work Groups and Advisory Committees
Advisory Group on Assessment of Practical Skills
Focus Group on Achieving a Rural Health Mission
Public Health Practice/Internship Advisory Council
Working Groups on Achieving the Region's Health Objectives
Criteria for Faculty Awards