Erik Carlton

Erik L. Carlton, DrPH, MS

Assistant Professor, Division of Health Systems Management and Policy

128 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only

About Erik Carlton

Erik L. Carlton, DrPH, MS is an Assistant Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy at The University of Memphis School of Public Health. In addition to his appointment at the University of Memphis, Dr. Carlton holds adjunct faculty appointments in Preventive Medicine and Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies and is an affiliate faculty member with the Center for Health Systems Improvement at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. His current research focuses on healthcare and public health leadership, the integration of public health and primary care systems, and integrating behavioral health into healthcare and public health systems. He teaches the healthcare management leadership, population health management, healthcare quality and outcomes, and health policy and the organization of health systems courses for the School of Public Health. Having lived in both France and China, Dr. Carlton has a strong presence in international healthcare leadership development. He has trained clinical and administrative leaders from 28 countries.

Dr. Carlton has nearly two decades of managerial and leadership experience in both private and public sector organizations. He is the founder and principal of Elevation Consulting Group, a healthcare and public health consulting firm focused on leadership development, team building, and delivery innovation strategies and has served a consultant to numerous hospital systems, local health departments, and other healthcare organizations. Among his current and past clients are St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Baptist Memorial Healthcare, and LifeLinc Corporation. He is on the board of the Midsouth Health Care Executives and is past treasurer of the Health Administration section of the American Public Health Association, as well as the former chair of the Public Health Academics section of the Tennessee Public Health Association. A behavioral health clinician licensed to practice in marriage and family therapy, he previously operated a private therapy practice and continues to consult with healthcare and public health organizations related to behavioral health integration and strategies. Dr. Carlton has published and presented his scholarly work nationally and internationally, and is the author of three books – Leadership for Public Health: Theory and Practice; Leading People, Managing Organizations – Contemporary Public Health Leadership; and Defining Factors of Successful University-Based Community Initiatives. He holds a Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Services Management and a Master of Science degree in Family Studies with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy, both from the University of Kentucky.


  • DrPH, Health Services Management, University of Kentucky
  • MS, Family Studies, University of Kentucky
  • BA, Human Development, California State University- Hayward

Research Interests

  • Integrating healthcare and public health systems
  • Healthcare and public health leadership
  • Global healthcare leadership development
  • Qualitative and mixed methods in health services research

Teaching Interests

  • Leadership & Organizational Behavior in Healthcare
  • Population Health Management
  • Healthcare Quality and Outcomes Management
  • Health Policy & Health Systems Organization

Selected Publications

Holsinger, J.W. & Carlton, E.L. (2018). Leadership for Public Health: Theory and Practice. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.

Carlton, E.L. & Singh, S.M. (2018). Joint Community Health Needs Assessments Pave the Path for Local Health Departments' Involvement in Non-Profit Hospitals' Implementation Planning Activities. American Journal of Public Health, 108(5), 683-688.

Isehunwa, O., Chang, C., Jiang, J., Wang, Y., Kedia, S., Carlton, E., & Bhuyan, S. (2017). Access to employee wellness program and use of preventative care services among working adults in the United States. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(6), 854-865.

Jackson, B., Guttierez, M.L., Relyea, G., Carlton, E.L., Ahn, S., Nault, J., Binkley, B., & Bailey, J. (2017). Unmet primary care needs in diabetes patients with multimorbidity in a medically underserved area. Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, 4(1), 1-9.

Barnes, P., Erwin, P.C., Moonesignhe, R., Brooks, A., Carlton, E.L., & Behringer, B. (2017). 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, 23(4), 404-409.

Singh, S. & Carlton, E.L. (2017). Exploring the link between completion of accreditation prerequisites and local health departments' decision to collaborate with tax-exempt hospitals around the community health assessment. Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, 23(2), 138-147.

Singh, S. & Carlton, E.L. (2016). Local health departments' involvement in hospitals' implementation plans. Frontiers in Public Health Systems and Services Research, 5(4), 34-39. doi: 10.13023/FPHSSR.0504.06.

Carlton, E.L., Holsinger, J.W., & Anunobi, N. (2016). Physician engagement with health information technology: Implications for practice and professionalism. International Journal of Computers in Clinical Practice, 1(2), 51-73.

Bhuyan, S.S., Wang, Y., Bhatt, J., Dismuke, S.E., Carlton, E.L., Gentry, D., LaGrange, C., & Chang, C. (2016). Paid sick leave is associated with fewer emergency department visits among U.S. private sector working adults. American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 34(5), 784-789.

Carlton, E.L., Powell, M.P., Dismuke, S.E., & Levy, M. (2015). Our future's brightest: Developing interdisciplinary competencies through an interprofessional graduate student case competition. Journal of Health Administration Education, 32(1), 47-57.

Carlton, E.L., Holsinger, J., Riddell, M., & Bush, H. (2015). Full-range public health leadership, Part 1: Quantitative analysis. Frontiers in Public Health, 3:73, 1-8. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00073.

Carlton, E.L., Holsinger, J., Riddell, M., & Bush, H. (2015). Full-range public health leadership, Part 2: Qualitative analysis and synthesis. Frontiers in Public Health, 3:174, 1-9. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00174.

Carlton, E.L. & Singh, S. (2015). Accreditation intent, community health assessments, and local health department-hospital partnerships. Frontiers in Public Health Systems and Services Research, 4(1), 1-6.

Carlton, E.L., & Erwin, P.C. (2015). Answering the Call to Integrate: Simple Strategies from Public Health and Healthcare Executives in One Urban County. Frontiers in Public Health Systems and Services Research, 4(1), 7-13.

Carlton, E.L. (2014). Answering the call for integrating population health: Insights from health system executives. Advances in Health Care Management, 16, 115-138.

Carlton, E., & Simmons, L. (2011). Health decision-making among rural women: Physician access and prescription adherence. Rural and Remote Health, 11, 1599-1615.

Carlton, E., Whiting, J., Bradford, K., Dyk, P, & Vail, A. (2009). Defining factors of successful university-community collaborations. Family Relations, 58(1), 28-40.