May 15, 2018

Erwin named UAB School of Public Health dean

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Paul erwin vThe University of Alabama at Birmingham today announced the next dean of the UAB School of Public Health will be Paul Campbell Erwin, M.D., DrPH, professor and head of the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, Department of Public Health, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

Erwin earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of the South (Sewanee), his medical degree from the UAB School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from John Hopkins University and a doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina. He is certified in internal medicine, public health and preventive medicine, and a leader in establishing formal Academic Health Department collaboratives with public health practice partners. 

“I can give many reasons for my interest in the UAB School of Public Health,” Erwin said. “Chief among those reasons are UAB’s reach — from bench science to communities across the state, the South and the world; its reputation – because of the accomplishments of stellar faculty, staff and students; and its familiarity — a place known and comfortable to me.”

UAB President Ray L. Watts credits UAB Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Pam Benoit, Ph.D., and a committee — representative of the UAB School of Public Health and of the UAB community, and chaired by UAB School of Dentistry Dean Michael S. Reddy, DMD, DMSc — for a successful search.

“The search committee did a tremendous job identifying and recruiting strong candidates for this important position,” Watts said. “I want to commend Dr. Reddy and the faculty, staff and students who participated in this process for the time and careful attention they gave, as well as Dr. Benoit for her leadership.”

“The position of dean is the opportunity to bring all of my life’s experiences and knowledge in both public health practice and academia to the highest level, for the ultimate purpose of improving the health of populations.”

Erwin’s research interests include evidence-based public health and health disparities, particularly in rural areas, and prior to joining the UT faculty, he was director of the East Tennessee Regional Health Office for the state Department of Public Health, overseeing 15 county health departments, most in Appalachia. He is an associate editor of the American Journal of Public Health and a member of the editorial boards for Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba Review and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

Erwin welcomes the opportunity to build on UAB’s reputation and positive momentum in the public health arena, and he is particularly interested in the great potential he sees to help people in the new role.

“The position of dean is the opportunity to bring all of my life’s experiences and knowledge in both public health practice and academia to the highest level, for the ultimate purpose of improving the health of populations,” Erwin said.

Erwin’s first day at UAB will be Aug. 1, 2018, succeeding Dr. Peter Ginter, who served as interim dean. 

“We are grateful for the leadership of Dr. Peter Ginter during the transition period,” Benoit said. “He has been an excellent communicator, compassionate, and a decisive and enthusiastic advocate for the School of Public Health.” 

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