Paul Campbell Erwin, M.D., Dr.P.H.

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October 14, 2010

Paul Erwin, M.D., Dr.P.H., is professor and department head in the Department of Public Health, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Dr. Erwin joined the university in 2007 and established a Center for Public Health, which he continues to direct. Dr. Erwin’s research interests are in the emerging field of public health systems and services, focusing on local and state health departments and population health outcomes. His other research has also included work on health inequities, poverty and health, and infectious/communicable diseases.

Dr. Erwin is a Board member of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health and the Public Health Foundation. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings report, and the Research and Evaluation Committee of the Public Health Accreditation Board. He is boarded in Internal Medicine and Public Health/General Preventive Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Prior to joining the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Dr. Erwin served as the Regional Director of the East Tennessee Region in the Tennessee Department of Health for 12 years. Dr. Erwin received his M.D. from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, an M.P.H. in International Health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, and a Dr.P.H. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Erwin was a Fellow in International Health, at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, and was a scholar in the CDC/University of California Public Health Leadership Institute. 

Dr. Erwin was the principle investigator on a HCFO grant funded through the Special Topic Solicitation in Public Health Systems Research. His grant explored how states have responded to America’s Health Rankings (AHR) during its 20-year existence. Using a mixed-methods approach, the project examined topics including how state health departments responded to the AHR reports, why some states made significant improvements in the AHR rankings while others have not, and the association between these changes in health outcomes and state public health systems performance. The project also looked to identify any specific changes in characteristics, inputs, and activities that might explain changes in health outcomes during the timeframe of the reports (1990-2007). Findings from the study reported on the utilization of AHR and perspectives regarding the value of the report, as well as its limitations and areas for improvement. More about Dr. Erwin’s study can be found here.