College of Health Professions Faculty Member Selected as CDC Public Health Education Specialist


ATLANTA – The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that Cheryl L.R. Gaddis, DrPH, MPH, CHES, assistant professor of public health in Mercer University's College of Health Professions, has been selected for the role of Public Health Education Specialist: Curriculum Development.

Dr. Gaddis, who also serves as director of Mercer's Master of Public Health (MPH) program, will receive an award of up to $18,000 to support her work to serve as a technical expert on health education and develop a common curriculum for Academic Partnerships to Improve Health (APIH) trainees using instructional design that employs adult learning principles with a variety of media, such as brochures, fact sheets, self-study, computer assisted instruction and distance-based learning.

Her responsibilities will include reviewing and assessing current training offerings and identifying gaps, developing and employing standard evaluation elements to be incorporated into all APIH fellowship training assessments, and developing curriculum to prepare trainees for community experiential learning rotations.

APIH focuses on improving the health of individuals and communities through alliances among academic associations, universities and the CDC. Using fellowships and workforce innovation projects, APIH serves as a CDC-wide conduit for public health workforce activities to enhance population health education for medical, nursing, and public health students.

Dr. Gaddis joined Mercer's faculty in 2003 as community health systems developer for the Center for Community Engagement and instructor in the School of Medicine. She has more than 15 years of experience as a public health practitioner and has held various academic roles, including director of community resources, assistant preceptorship director, associate director of programs and community engagement, and assistant director of the MPH program. Prior to coming to Mercer, she served as health promotions coordinator for the North Central Health District 5-2.

Dr. Gaddis' teaching experience and research interests include health disparities and underserved populations, children's health, health promotion, and minority and rural health disparities. She has conducted and published works in community-based interventions and research on physical activity engagement among elementary school children, food access and security issues, as well as childhood asthma school practices. She is also experienced with distance-learning education. Dr. Gaddis received the MPH program's Faculty of the Year Award in 2008, 2014 and 2015.

“We are so proud of Dr. Gaddis being selected for this national appointment by the APTR and CDC,” said Lisa Lundquist, Pharm.D., dean of the College of Health Professions. “It is a well-deserved honor in recognition of her commitment to innovative education and advancing the profession of public health.”

About the College of Health Professions

Mercer University's College of Health Professions is composed of five programs: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical medical psychology, and athletic training. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program, master's-level physician assistant program, bachelor's- and master's-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical medical psychology, and master's-level athletic training program. The Department of Physical Therapy offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit