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New administrator appointments in Georgia Southern’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Joseph Telfair, DrPH, has been appointed associate dean for Practice and Research and Gulzar Shah, Ph.D., MStat, MS, has been appointed chair of the Department of Health Policy and Community Health in Georgia Southern’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Georgia Southern University’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) is pleased to announce that Joseph Telfair, DrPH, has been appointed associate dean for Practice and Research and Gulzar Shah, Ph.D., MStat, MS, has been appointed chair of the Department of Health Policy and Community Health.

“I am very excited about these appointments,” said JPHCOPH Dean Greg Evans. “They should help us better serve our students and move to the next level of recognition in both the University system and among other schools of public health.”

As the Karl E. Peace Distinguished Chair of Public Health, Telfair brings more than 32 years of international experience as a clinician, community advocate, academic, researcher and academic administrator. He is widely known for his focus on practice-based, evidence-driven public health in the areas of social work, social epidemiology, cultural and linguistic competency, public health genetics, elimination of health inequities, disparities and systemic poverty, community-based and rural public health practice, program evaluation, and policy issues concerning women, adolescents and persons in underserved areas.

He has been a public health faculty member and leader in three schools of public health for nearly 26 years. In addition, he has been a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, co-director or director of a number of Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded training, evaluation or research programs, and applied research and coordinating centers.

As the 2017-18 president of the American Public Health Association, Telfair takes a leader-as-servant approach, believing leadership is a unique and privileged opportunity to serve. He holds a master of social work and master of public health from the University of California at Berkeley and a DrPH from Johns Hopkins University.

Shah is a prolific researcher who won Georgia Southern’s 2016 Award for Excellence in Research. He has interdisciplinary training and his multi-sector work experience spans over 19 years, with national and international appointments in academia and public health practice agencies. Prior to joining JPHCOPH, he was the lead research scientist at the National Association of County and City Health Departments and the director of research at the National Association of Health Data Organization. He also served at the Utah State Department of Health for six years, contributing significantly to patient safety and informatics projects, and maternal and child health and systems research. Shah’s research interests include data improvement; practice-based public health services and systems research; eHealth and public health informatics; and public health finances. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology with emphasis on demography and sociology of health from Utah State University.

The JPHCOPH recently launched two new degree programs — bachelor of science in public health and master of public health — on the Armstrong Campus. These programs join the BSPH, MPH and DrPH programs on the Statesboro campus, continuing to build a premier program as an accredited public health college at Georgia Southern. The mission of the JPHCOPH is to improve health, eliminate health disparities and health inequities of rural communities and underserved populations globally through excellence in teaching, public health workforce development, research, scholarship, professional service and community engagement.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit



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