SPH News & Events


SPH Student Achievement Awards

The School of Public Health is pleased to offer Student Achievement Awards to recognize one outstanding student in each of our six Master's and Doctoral Programs. Students may be nominated by faculty or nominate themselves for this award, which includes cash prizes of $300 for Master's students and $500 for Doctoral students. The application deadline is March 1st. Click here for the announcement for each award: (MPH) (MHA) (MS Biostatistics and Epi PhD) (SBS PhD) (HSP PhD).


Two from SPH named to the 2021 Class of 20<30!

G Guerrero E SpenceThe School of Public Health is proud to announce that Gisela Guerrero, a current MPH student, and Emmanuel Spence (MPH, 2018), an alumnus, have been named to the Memphis Flyer's 2021 Class of 20< 30 in recognition of their leadership and community service. Congratulations to both on this well-deserved honor!  View here>



Dr. Karmaus awarded grant by the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia

Wilfried Karmaus will be part of a 5-year grant submitted by the University of Newcastle, Australia on "Bushfire smoke exposure during pregnancy and epigenetic changes in offspring".  The grant is funded by the 'National Health and Medical Research Council' in Australia and will start in 2021. 


EPI Doctoral Student interviewed by Healio.com

Morgan Bromley

Morgan Bromley, MPH, a doctoral student in Epidemiology, was interviewed by Healio.com regarding his presentation at the American Public Health Association. View his interview here>


Substance Abuse and SuicidePrevention Training Opportunities (VIRTUAL; FREE)

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is offering various substance abuse and suicide prevention training sessions during the month of December at no cost.  Access training sessions here>


SPH Presentations at the American Public Health Association Annual Conference


American Public Health Association Logo

School of Public Health faculty and doctoral students presented their research at the American Public Health Association 2020 Annual Conference, held virtually from Oct. 24-28, 2020. Click here for a list of presentations.



SPH Faculty Contribute to COVID-19 Response

Several faculty in the School of Public Health are supporting local and national COVID-19 response initiatives. Projects ranges from studying the impact of COVID-19 on health disparity populations to assessing compliance with facial mask ordinances. Click here for details.


MHA Students Win 4th Place in National Competition

2020 NAHSE Team

Second -year Master of Health Administration students Irene Bolis, Dominic Ingram, and Allison McGee participated in the 25th Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition as part of the National Association of Health Services (NAHSE) Executives Annual Meeting. Students were given the task of preparing a strategic and financial solution to expand telehealth services for one of a list of specific health conditions for CommonSpirit hospitals in Houston. TX. Our students developed a program called "TeleHeart," aimed at improving care for patients with high blood pressure. Overall, 37 teams from masters programs across the United States participated virtually in the competition. The UofM MHA team placed 4th overall in the competition, and the students will each be awarded a scholarship from the competition sponsors for their performance in the competition.


Dr. Chunrong Jia's third EPA grant

A collaborative project of the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) and Dr. Chunrong Jia was selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This project, titled "Field validation of miniature thermal desorption samplers for sampling and analysis of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds in the ambient air", will develop and validate innovative air monitoring methods. The award amount is $353,516. To date, the collaboration of Dr. Jia and SCHD has been awarded three community-scale air monitoring grants, totaling $1.5M. 


Dr. Wei Lyu, Shelter-In-Place Orders Reduced COVID-19 Mortality And Reduced The Rate Of Growth In Hospitalizations

Dr. Wei Lyu, Assistant Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy recently published an article in the journal Health Affairs that "found that shelter-in-place orders reduced both the daily mortality growth rate nearly three weeks after their enactment and the daily growth rate of hospitalizations two weeks after their enactment... Projections suggest that as many as 250,000-370,000 deaths were possibly averted by May 15 in the forty-two states plus Washington, D.C., that had statewide shelter-in-place orders." Health Affairs has been described by described by The Washington Post as the "Bible" of health policy.
Lyu W, Wehby GL. Shelter-In-Place Orders Reduced COVID-19 Mortality And Reduced The Rate Of Growth In Hospitalizations. Health Aff (Millwood) 2020 Sep;39(9):1615-1623. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00719.   


Sickle Cell Awareness Day: Tues, Sept 22nd; 11am-12:30 pm. FREE

September is Sickle Cell Awareness month, and the University of Memphis hosts an annual Sickle Cell Awareness Day, with support from the School of Public Health, St. Jude and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee. This year the event will be virtual and will be held on September 22, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm.

Sessions will be on gene therapy and health disparities, followed by a panel of sickle cell patients.

Registration is required, but attendance is free. Please register at this link. After registering, you will receive the zoom link.


Telehealth Webinar Series Continues

The School of Public Health, the FedEx Institute of Technology and the Interprofessional Community Health Clinic are excited to announce a continuation of the Telehealth Webinar Series. Dr. Susan Elswick is leading the next 2 sessions related to virtual education. Click here for details and here for registration link(s)

Webinar Topic: Supporting Teachers with Classroom Management Techniques in the Virtual Classroom
Date: Thursday September 24th, 2020
Time: 11:00AM-12:00PM CST

Webinar Topic: Mindfulness Moments: Embedding Regulating Activities into Prek-12th Virtual Classrooms
Date: Thursday October 22, 2020
Time: 11:00AM-12:00PM CST

CPE and CPH credits will be available for those interested in obtaining credits. For more information or to revisit the Summer Telehealth webinars, please feel free to visit the Telehealth series webpage.


School of Public Health Mask Study Results are Cited by Policy-Makers

UofM Research shows more Memphians wearing masks correctly.  See article>


U of M study shows low mask usage numbers in Memphis entertainment districts

Study shows people aren't wearing masks when they go out for entertainment.  View here> 


UofM study shows mask wearing has increased

Dr. Levy describes the School of Public Health's work in assessing compliance with Shelby County's mask ordinance.  See interview>


Free COVID-19 Drive-through testing

Free COVID-19 Drive-through testing takes place across Memphis/Shelby County on June 19-20, 2020. No appointments are needed; no symptoms are necessary to get tested. Please see these flyers in English and Spanish for testing site locations and times.


Environmental Health faculty examine air quality changes during COVID-19 shutdown

Environmental Health faculty at U of M collaborated with the Shelby County Health Department on a study to examine air quality changes during the COVID-19 shutdown. The findings are published in a special issue "Coronavirus Pandemic Shutdown Effects on Urban Air Quality" of Atmosphere. Download article here>


Mayor's COVID-19 Joint Task Force

The School of Public Health is collaborating with the Mayor's COVID-19 Joint Task Force to determine whether current strategies to encourage mask usage are effective. Working with Dr. Marian Levy and Dr. Vikki Nolan, four MPH students will collect data in public settings where large numbers of people interact at entertainment, recreation and/or business sites in various locations throughout the city and county. The students will measure levels of mask usage through in-person observation and by reviewing videotapes captured by city cameras in public areas. See article here >


Telehealth for Vulnerable Populations: Webinar Series

In light of COVID-19 concerns, the School of Public Health Summer Institute has changed to a virtual format, and we have partnered with several professions/organizations to address the needs of vulnerable populations through a series of one-hour webinars related to Telehealth for Vulnerable Populations. Download flyer>

The webinars begin June 2nd and continue through the month. Register here> 


SPH faculty televised interview on COVID-19 contact tracing and assessing compliance with social distancing

Drs. Marian Levy and Jennifer Turchi discussed the School of Public Health's assistance to the Shelby County Health Department and Mayor's COVID-19 Task Force. View the interview online>


Grant Award Acknowledgements

Congratulations to Dr. Pichon for her recent CDC award with TDOH and Connect to Protect, featured in the Research & Innovation newsletter. View newsletter here>

Congratulations to Dr. Yang for his recent pilot award from the Center for the Assessment of Tobacco Regulations (CAsToR) at the University of Michigan.

Congratulations to Dr. Kedia for his recent award from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to help fight the opioid epidemic. View article here>


SPH students awarded in Graduate School's 2020 Student Research Forum 

Congratulations to Rutu Patel (Epidemiology doctoral student) and Nikhil Ahuja (Social and Behavioral Sciences doctoral student) for winning awards in the Graduate School's 2020 Student Research Forum. Ms. Patel placed second in the category of Life and Health Sciences; Mr. Ahuja placed second in the Social and Behavioral Science category.  View here>


Dr. Dobalian's recent televised interview on the new COVID-19 overflow hospital

Dr. Aram Dobalian

Dr. Aram Dobalian, Director and Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy, was interviewed as an expert recently on Channel 5 news regarding the selection of a Memphis shopping center as a new site for a COVID-19 overflow hospital. View the interview online >

SPH Announces 2020 Student Achievement Award Recipients

Each year, the School of Public Health provides Student Achievement Awards to recognize outstanding students in each of our Master's and Doctoral programs of study. These awards are highly-competitive and reflect outstanding academic achievement, research accomplishments, and contribution to the field of public health. We are pleased to announce the recipients for 2020. Read More>