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Joseph  Telfair - Georgia Southern University. Statesboro, GA, US

Joseph Telfair

Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Research | Georgia Southern University


Joseph Telfair is an expert in public health and social justice







Interview with Joseph Telfair DrPH, MPH, MSW – APHA President-Elect



In 2008, the Jiann-Ping Hsu/Karl E. Peace Eminent Scholar Chair of Public Health was established with hopes that this position would significantly enhance the development of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) by providing resources for the college to recruit an outstanding scholar/teacher that could serve as a mentor for junior faculty as well as students within the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and Doctorate of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) programs. Moreover, an endowed chair in the JPHCOPH would provide the necessary leadership for the advancement of instructional, research, and service/outreach activities to achieve accreditation as a college from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Finally, an endowed chair in the JPHCOPH could develop grant/contract proposals for research and service as well as serve as mentor to junior faculty in the external funding process.

Dr. Joseph Telfair recently joined the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public as the Department Chair of Community Health and Behavior Education. He is the first recipient of the Karl E. Peace/Jiann-Ping Hsu Endowed Eminent Scholar Chair in Public Health. Dr. Telfair is a professional with over 25 years of experience in the health care field. He comes to us from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), School of Health and Human Performance where he served as a Professor of Public Health Research and Practice in the Department of Public Health Education as well as Director of the UNCG Center for Social Community and Health Research and Evaluation.

Dr. Telfair has served on numerous prestigious panels and advisory boards as an expert based on his recognized scholarship. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Telfair has published extensively in the areas of sickle cell disease, maternal and child health, HIV care, practice of evaluation-based research, cultural and ethnic diversity, community-based research, and adolescent health. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants. Dr. Telfair received his Doctor of Public Health with emphasis in sociology, health issues of children, families and people of color from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health specializing in children and families and behavioral science, respectively, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Building, Assessing and Utilizing Practice-based evidence

Community-Based Research

Public Health

Evaluation-Based Research

Social and Economic Determinants of Wellness and Health Inequities

Accomplishments (3)

Phillips Memorial Lecture Teaching Award, Meharry Medical College, Hemoglobiopathy Program


Faculty Award for Outstanding Public Health Service, University of Alabama Birmingham, School of Public Health


Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Developing 'The Public Health Professional of the Future', University of Alabama Birmingham, School of Public Health


Education (5)

Johns Hopkins University: Ph.D., Public Health Sociology/Health Issues of Children, Families and People of Color 1992

University of California, Berkeley: M.S.W., Children and Families 1983

University of California, Berkeley: M.P.H., Behavioral Science 1983

Santa Monica College: A.A., Liberal Arts 1976

California State University, Northridge: B.A., Behavioral Psychology 1980

Affiliations (1)

  • President, American Public Health Association

Media Appearances (1)

Achieving Health Equity for All

PloS Blogs  


Dr. Telfair explained that although we have a good definition of equity, intervention research is needed to identify solutions that reduce inequality. “Essentially what we have done well is the conceptual research. We’re clear about defining equality and inequality, but we need more empirical research. We have not implemented the intervention research well. In other words, we need to look at interventions, look at program design, program development, test out research questions and hypotheses. We know what the variables are, but not too much of what happens if you change a variable. In other words, if we have a project that is designed to reduce poverty within a certain sector, does that reduction of poverty also lead then to changes in terms of inequality?”...

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Articles (3)

Development of a sickle cell disease readiness for transition assessment

International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Treadwell, Marsha, et al.

2016 Background: Instrumentation with established reliability and validity is not yet routinely utilized to assess readiness for transition from pediatric to adult care for youth and young adults with chronic conditions, including sickle cell disease (SCD).

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Self-efficacy and readiness for transition from pediatric to adult care in sickle cell disease

International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Treadwell, Marsha, et al.

2016 Background: Theories of self-care management, particularly the development of self-efficacy or confidence in one’s ability to manage health-related goals, tasks, and challenges may provide a useful framework for developing programs to improve transition from pediatric to adult care for youth and young adults with sickle cell disease (SCD).

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State-based surveillance for selected hemoglobinopathies

Genetics in Medicine

Hulihan, Mary M., et al.

2015 The lack of an ongoing surveillance system for hemoglobinopathies in the United States impedes the ability of public health organizations to identify individuals with these conditions, monitor their health-care utilization and clinical outcomes, and understand the effect these conditions have on the health-care system. This article describes the results of a pilot program that supported the development of the infrastructure and data collection methods for a state-based surveillance system for selected hemoglobinopathies.

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