Tennessee Public Health Association
Virtual Spring Meeting
A Series of Webinars on April 27, 28, and 29, 2021
Agenda Including Webinar Descriptions and Speaker Overviews


TPHA is proud to announce the 2021 Spring Meeting. We will be conducting it virtually by way of Zoom webinars and have a great speaker lineup scheduled for you this year! Join colleagues and friends from across Tennessee’s three Grand Divisions for a great event!  Continuing education credits are available and online registration is below. We look forward to your participation!


April 27 (11:00 am CDT/12:00 pm EDT)
Marie Williams, LCSW
Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services  

Join the Commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as she walks participants through the mental health and addiction impacts of the pandemic.  Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW brings a statewide perspective, an energetic delivery, and a social worker’s heart to this presentation looking at this place in time and the resources available to increase the resiliency, recovery, and independence of Tennesseans living with behavioral health challenges.

Watch this session online!

April 27 (12:15 pm CDT/1:15 pm EDT)
Perseverance in Testing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Julie Gray, DDS, MA
Associate Dean, Community Based Collaboration
Assistant Professor School of Dentistry
Meharry Medical College

Current CDC guidelines provide measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus by social distancing, wearing a mask, avoiding indoor crowded spaces and washing or sanitizing hands frequently.  The CDC recommendations for SARS-CoV-2 testing have been developed based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and are subject to change as additional information becomes available. This session will focus on the continued importance of testing as more of the public becomes vaccinated.  In addition, information will be presented regarding testing access and education of the public on social responsibility during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

Watch this session online!

April 28 (11:00 am CDT/12:00 pm EDT)
Rubin Cockrell, EdD, MEd
Chief Executive Officer
Positive Images & Associates, LLC

Health equity means that everyone has an equal opportunity to live the healthiest life possible, which requires removing obstacles to health. The U.S. ranks last on nearly all measures of equity. Illness, disability, and death in the United States are more prevalent and more severe for minority groups. This workshop will address practical health equity solutions by showing how an organization can transparently identify health equity causes and implement immediate viable solutions to even the health equity playing field for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

Watch this session online!


April 28 (12:15 pm CDT/1:15 pm EDT)
Justin Gatwood, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor
Health Outcomes and Policy, College of Pharmacy
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Vaccine hesitancy is a pervasive issue across the US health care system and impacts the extent to which children, adolescents, and adults seek recommended vaccinations. This session will provide an overview of vaccine hesitancy and resistance, both broadly and within the context of COVID-19. Additionally, research on identifying hesitancy will be shared, with an emphasis on the overlap between the social determinants of health and vaccine hesitancy frameworks. Also, approaches to managing hesitancy across multiple vaccines will be shared by highlighting the role of pharmacists (and other practitioners) in improving vaccine confidence.

Watch this session online!


April 29 (11:00 am CDT/12:00 pm EDT)
Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP
Tennessee Department of Health

Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP was honored to join Governor Bill Lee’s cabinet upon his inauguration in January 2019 as the 14th commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health. Preceding her public service, Piercey spent a decade in health systems operations, most recently as executive vice president of West Tennessee Healthcare, a public, not-for-profit health system with more than 7,000 employees servicing 22 counties. Her executive responsibilities included oversight of five rural acute care hospitals, two inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, a behavioral health hospital and eight community mental health centers and the system’s population health initiatives. Prior to this role, she served as vice president of physician services, managing the 17 clinics and approximately 90 providers of the West Tennessee Medical Group.  

Watch this session online!

April 29 (12:15 pm CDT/1:15 pm EDT)
Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES®
Associate Director for Community Programs,
Center for Health & Human Services
Middle Tennessee State University           

STEMsational Ag:  The Virtual Farm, a K-14 is a curriculum currently under development for an 11-state southeastern region targeting educators, parents, and families of children K-14 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for quality curriculum and teaching resources in the areas of agriculture, STEM, and health.  With parents and educators struggling to educate children in the midst of uncertainty and rapid change created by COVID-19, the MTSU Center for Health and Human Services teamed up with its School of Agriculture and other faculty and community partners to develop curriculum that will not only provided needed resources for educators and parents thrown unexpectedly into the role of “teacher,” but that support healthy living and mental health through a variety of interactive activities integrated into the curriculum.

Watch this session online!


The Virtual Grand Division meeting will be hosted using Zoom Meetings. Personalized Zoom links for each individual session will be shortly before the conference. You can download Zoom to your PC, MAC, phone, or tablet here: Zoom Download Center. You do not need Zoom Meetings to replay the sessions post-conference.

Continuing Education Information

Continuing Education Information

TPHA is glad to announce that continuing education credits have been approved or are pending approval for the webinars. We are committed to keeping you informed since this is an important aspect of these meetings.  For up-to-date information, go to Continuing Education

Online Registration

Registration is currently closed for this event.