Who We Are

Beginning as a conference of health care workers in 1926, the Tennessee Public Health Association (TPHA) was chartered in 1939, creating an organization in which different disciplines work together to obtain higher standards of preventive health practice through recommendations involving administrative policy and legislative action.

TPHA is the official professional organization for those engaged or interested in public health services and is endorsed by the administration of the Tennessee Department of Health. TPHA is an affiliate member of the American Public Health Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. TPHA provides opportunities for health professionals representing diverse service areas to meet and share ideas in an effort to maintain high standards of quality in all aspects of public health. Membership is encouraged for any person who is engaged in the practice of public health, either directly or indirectly, or who is interested in the advancement of public health in Tennessee.

Click here to view 2014 Form 990


TPHA is the leading professional organization recognized as the voice for public health in Tennessee.

Click to view the TPHA Strategic Plan.


· To exercise leadership in health policy development
· To promote, protect and improve the health of those living in, working in and
visiting Tennessee
· To foster professional development and a sense of unity among its members



1. Public Health is a critical element of the total health care system, is proven effective, and is extremely cost efficient.
2. Maintaining a strong public health system is critical to the health and well-being of Tennessee’s citizens and communities.
3. Public Health addresses community health problems through assessment, policy development and assurance. These core public health functions serve as the system’s infrastructure.
4. The Public Health system, at all levels, must have sufficient capacity to achieve its objectives.
5. Public Health can be most effective through the development of partnerships.

What We Do

  •  Sponsors an annual educational conference including continuing education, training, and scientific and educational exhibits
  •  Provides an advocacy mechanism for promoting public health issues
  •  Awards annual scholarships to public health workers
  •  Organizes regional meetings in each grand division of the state
  •  Promotes a sense of pride, unity, and accomplishment among health professionals in Tennessee
  •  Co-sponsors public health events and activities
  •  Publishes a quarterly newsletter
  •  Recognizes deserving individuals or work units who make contributions to public health in Tennessee by presenting awards during ceremonies at the annual meeting

Public Health Worker of the Year

Presented to a person in the field of public healthcwho, during the past three years, has provided outstanding service to public health.

1973     Dorcie Yates, Humphreys County Health Department

1974     Thomas H. Hale, Benton County Health Department

1975     Vernon L. Smith, Southwest Regional Office

1976     Dr. Leonard Chadwell, First Tennessee Regional Office

1977     Dr. Robert S. Sanders, Rutherford County Health Department

1978     Rebecca J. Groves, Center for Health Statistics

1979     Hugh Bellamy, First Tennessee Regional Office

1980     Larry Bowles, East Tennessee Regional Office

1981     Manny Martins, Health Services Administration

1982     Frank L. Duncan, Knox County Health Department

1983     Eddie H. Abernathy, Hawkins County Health Department

1984     Marguerite Sallee, Bureau of Health Services

1985     Joyce Holt, Stewart County Health Department

1986     Judith Womack, Mid-Cumberland Regional Office

1987     Susie Baird, Bureau of Health Services

1988     Richard C. Swiggart, Memphis-Shelby County Health Department

1989     Dr. Barbara Levin, Monroe County Health Department

1990     Fred Adams, Greene County Health Department

1991     Debbie Dotson, Sullivan County Health Department

1993     Joy Lorance, Cannon County Health Department

1994     Rebecca Johnson, Hardin County Health Department

1995     Peggy Tackett, Montgomery County Health Department

1996     Cindy Lewis, West Tennessee Regional Office

1997     Christie Morris, West Tennessee Regional Office

1998     Charlene Nunley, Grundy, Franklin, Bledsoe, & Sequatchie County Health Departments

1999     Sharyn Thompson, Jackson-Madison County Health Department

2000     Jo Ann Armbrister, East Tennessee Regional Office

2001     Rose Kidwell, East Tennessee Regional Office

2002     Barry Moore, Memphis-Shelby County Health Department

2003     Art Miller, Roane County Health Department

2004     Dr. David Brumley, South Central Regional Office

2005     Dr. Tim Jones, Communicable & Environmental Disease Services

2006     Joan Carter, Lincoln & Moore County Health Departments

2007     Jennifer Spears, Trousdale County Health Department

2008     Donna Short, West Tennessee Regional Office

2009     Marilyn Barnes, West Tennessee Regional Office

2010     Steve Hall, Lawrence & Wayne County Health Departments

2011     Mary Beth Davis, Mid-Cumberland Region

2012     Brenda Eggert, CEDEP Program

2013     Dr. John Dreyzehner, Commissioner, Department of Health

2014     Joey Smith, Montgomery County Health Department

2015     Kevin Morris, West Tennessee Region

2016     Jennifer Valentine, Knox County Regional Health Office