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About Joseph Telfair

For a more complete list of awards and funded projects, please refer to Dr. Telfair's CV

Biography, Disciplines, and Teaching Interests
Dr. Telfair is a Professor and Associate Dean of Public Health Practice and Research and is Karl E Peace Distinguished Chair Public Health at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health In Statesboro, GA. As a first generation college student, Dr. Telfair Holds both an MSW and MPH from the University of California at Berkeley and a DrPH from Johns Hopkins University. He has had and has several adjunct and visiting professorships in US and Global Academic Institutions and he is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Public Health. He is Past President of the American Public Health Association.
Dr. Telfair brings over 34 years of experience as a clinician, community-advocate, academic, evaluator project director, researcher, Academic and Research Center director, and academic administrator.  He serves/has served as a member and in leadership roles on numerous Public Health, Education and Scientific working and advisory committees at the state, national and global levels.
He has been a public health faculty member and leader in three schools of public for nearly 28 years – focusing on practiced-based, evidence-driven public health. He has been a faculty member, PI, Co-PI, co-director or director of a number of HRSA, NIH, SAMHSA, foundation and CDC funded training, evaluation and research programs and Centers. 
He is known for his research, teaching, and evidence-based practice in the areas of public health social work, mental health, social epidemiology, cultural and linguistic competency, public health genetics, elimination of health inequities, disparities and systemic poverty, community-based and rural health practice, program evaluation, and policy and multi-cultural/multi-ethnic populations. Presently he is co-Guest Editor of the international journal PLOS ONE’s Health Inequities and Disparities Research Special Collection, he also serves on the on the External Advisory Committee for the University of South Carolina’s Minority and Rural Research Center.
He has experienced firsthand rural and urban poverty, homelessness, the juvenile justice and foster care systems, as we as personal and structural discrimination in many forms. Despite these lived challenges, his lifelong focus has been on how to use them to educate, work with, mentor and support others.
Lastly, Dr. Telfair takes a leader-as-servant approach, believing leadership is a unique and privileged opportunity to serve. As many of you know he best identifies with the quote by Booker T. Washington
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which have been overcome while trying to succeed."
Disciplines: Community Health Behavior and Education
Teaching Interests: Community research and health education, advanced program evaluation


2018 - Present Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Research, Georgia Southern University
2013 - Present Graduate Faculty, Georgia Southern University
2013 - Present Professor and Karl E. Peace/Jiann-Ping Hsu Endowed Eminent Scholar Chair, Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
Present Professor and Chair, Georgia Southern University Department of Health Policy & Community Health

Curriculum Vitae


2022 - Present A Comparative Effectiveness Study of Peer Mentoring [PM] versus Structured Transition Education Based Intervention [STE] for the Management of Care Transitions in Emerging Adults with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) The Sickle Cell Trevor Thompson Transition Project (ST3P-UP Trial) (Qualitative Research Supplement)
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Role: Evaluation and Content Consultation and Director, Qualitative Methods and Data Analysis sub-study
Colleague(s): Ifeyinwa Osunkwo, Carolinas Medical Center and Raymona Lawrence, Georgia Southern University (Dual PI)
2021 - Present ROTC Injury Prevention Program: A Holistic Approach to Targeted Wellness Curriculum - Using Fitness Trackers in Health Education Programming with Military Personnel
U.S. Reserved Officer training Corp (USROTC)
Role: MPI, Principal Evaluator
2021 - Present Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening Follow-up Program
Role: PI
2020 - Present 2020 Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program
HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce, Division of Health Careers and Financial Support
Role: Program Co-Director
2019 - 2020 Risking It All: The Relationship of Overall Health and Stress Influencing Risky Behavior among College Students
Georgia Southern University Office of Research and Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Office of Public Health Practice and Research
Role: Principal
2016 - 2019 NIH U24 entitled Data Coordinating Center for Sickle Cell Disease Implementation Consortium (SCDIC)
NHLBI/RTI as a subcontract
Role: Consultant/Content Expert/ Chair Person of the Needs Assessment Subcommittee
2013 - 2019 Prenatal and Early Childhood Biomass Smoke Exposure and Child Neurodevelopment (R01)
Role: Co-I, Principal Evaluator
Colleague(s): N. Sathiakumar
2012 - 2017 SouthEast Regional Genetics Collaborative– Regional Genetics Newborn Screening Collaborative (SERG/SERC)
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB)/Genetic Services Branch (GSB)
Role: Co-PI/Director Process Monitoring and Outcome Evaluation (M&E) Framework Core
2015 - 2016 Rural Community Health System Planning Grant
Georgia Department of Community Health
Role: Evaluation/Project Management Consultant
Colleague(s): William Mase
2012 - 2015 Community Care Network - IHAP
Cone Health Foundation (NC) to the UNCG Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC)
Role: External advisor
Colleague(s): H. Sienkiewicz
2012 - 2013 Guilford County Community Health Assessment 2012-2013 - Guilford County Regional Collaborative
Cone Health System
Role: Principal Investigator/Lead Project evaluator
2012 - 2013 Wilkes County/Wilkes Regional Medical Center County Community Health Assessment 2012-2013 - Wilkes County Regional Collaborative
Jointly Wilkes regional Medical Center and Wilkes County health Department
Role: Co-PI/Director Process Monitoring and Outcome Evaluation (M&E) Framework Core
2009 - 2013 Registry and Surveillance System for Hemoglobinopathies (RuSH) - Establishment and use of the North Carolina SCD and Thalassemia Client Surveillance Program (NC_SCDTCSP) – UNCG Component: Data and Evaluation Core (DEC)
Role: Co-Principal Investigator/Project evaluator
Colleague(s): Belinda Pettiford
2007 - 2012 Guilford Genomic Medicine Initiative: Implementing MeTree©
Department of Defense grant to Moses Cone Medical Center
Role: Principal Evaluator (PE)
2007 - 2011 Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Program (SCDTDP)- National Coordinating Center (NCC-RTI)
Department of Health and Human Services/HRSA/MCHB
Role: Principal Investigator/Program Director (Sub-Contract to Research Triangle International (RTI))/ Qualitative Researcher (10/2010 – 2/28/2011)
2002 - 2011 National Coordinating and Evaluation Center (NCEC): Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Community Programs (1 U93 MC 00217-01)
Role: PI/Project Director and Principal Evaluator
2008 - 2010 Juvenile Justice/Behavioral Health Partnership - 180 Turning Lives Around Initiative
North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
Role: Principal Evaluator (PE)
2005 - 2010 Sowing the Seeds of Health (Sembrando las Semillas de la Salud)
Department of Health and Human Services/NCI (1R25CA106870-01A1)
Role: Co-Investigator and Evaluator
Colleague(s): PI – Isabel Scarinci
2008 - 2009 Carolina Health and Transition (CHAT) Project (Evaluation Sub-Contract)
North Carolina Department of Health (NC DOH)
Role: Principal Evaluator
Colleague(s): Monique Winslow
2006 - 2009 Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs Leadership Project (Evaluation Sub-Contract)
Department of Health and Human Services/MCH (2 U01MC00001-06-00)
Role: Principal Evaluator
Colleague(s): Peter Sybinski, PhD; Replaced by Michael Frasier in 2008
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2020 - Present Member, Executive Advisory Board University of South Carolina Rural and Minority Health Research Center
2020 - Present Guest Editor, PLOS ONE Collections: Health Inequities and Disparities Research
2019 - Present Member, Health Team, Costal Georgia Indicators Coalition
2019 - Present Member, National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC)
2018 - Present Social Science and Public Health Academic Editor, Academic Editorial Board
2018 - Present Member, Chatham County Safety Net Council
2018 - Present Member, Emerging Leaders in Public Health (ELPH) initiative Advisory Committee
2018 - Present Visiting Professor (Honorary) (Teaching, Research), Faculty of Medicine -Public Health, University of Kelaniya
2018 - Present Fellow, Royal Society of Public Health
2013 - Present Member, Academic Affairs Committee, JPHCOPH, Georgia Southern University
2013 - Present Committee Chair and member, Academic Assessment Committee, Georgia Southern University (Includes SACS and CEPH work)
2013 - Present Member, Curriculum Committee, JPHCOPH, Georgia Southern University
2013 - Present Committee Chair, Faculty Research Committee, JPHCOPH, Georgia Southern Univeristy
2013 - Present Member, Faculty leadership Committee, JPHCOPH, Georgia Southern University
2006 - Present Adjunct Professor Of Maternal and Child Health, Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, Univ. of North Carolina Chapel Hill
2016 - 2019 Elected - Member, Executive Board – Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Strategic Implementation Committee
2011 - 2014 Member, Editorial Board - Public Health
2008 - 2012 Member, APHA Executive Board
2004 - 2006 Committee Chair, External Advisory Board, Center for Study of Health Disparities
2003 - 2006 Vice-President, Board of Directors, National Family Voices
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Honors and Awards

  • 1981-1982 William Hinkley Scholarship, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1981-1982 Dean Liaison for the Graduate School of Social Welfare Student Body, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1981-1982 Chairperson Graduate School of Social Welfare Black Caucus, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1981-1982 Chairperson Graduate School of Social Welfare Third World Caucus, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1985-1987 Student Representative Minority Concerns Committee, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health
  • July 1-3, 1992 NIMH Award for Support of Participation in a Short Course on Mental Health Services Research, African American Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan
  • 2000 Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to developing 'The Public Health Professional of the Future', University of Alabama Birmingham, School of Public Health.
  • 2006 Faculty Award for Outstanding Public Health Service, University of Alabama Birmingham, School of Public Health
  • 2009 Phillips Memorial Lecture Teaching Award, Meharry Medical College, Hemoglobiopathy Program
  • 2017 Insley-Evans Public Health Social Worker of the Year American Public Health Association


  • Doctoral Seminar in Community Health (CHBE 9630)
  • Theoretical Perspectives of the Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health (PUBH 8136)
  • Rural Community Health Issues (COHE 7237)
  • Multi-Cultural and Social Determinants of Health (PUBH 3138)
  • Research Methods in Community and Behavioral Health (CHBE 9130)
  • Public Health Doctoral Seminar (PUBH 9630)
  • Public Health Research Capstone Integrative Experience (PUBH 7991B/7530)
  • Community Research Practicum (HEA 755)
  • Community-Based Health Education Research(HEA 759)
  • Advanced Program Evaluation(HEA 765)
  • Independent Study (1 doctoral student) (HEA 695A)
  • Independent Study (HEA 695A)


2018 HonFRSPH, Royal Society of Public Health
1992 Post Doctorate Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‐ Psychosocial Research Division, School of Social Work
1985 - 1992 DrPH in Public Health Sociology/Health Issues of Children, Families and People of Color, Johns Hopkins University
1982 - 1983 M.S.W. in Children and Families, University of California, Berkeley
1982 - 1983 M.P.H. in Behavioral Science, University of California, Berkeley
1976 - 1980 B.A. in Behavioral Psychology, California State University, Northridge
1974 - 1976 A.A. in Liberal Arts, Santa Monica College

Contact Information

PO Box 8015
Statesboro, GA 30460
Phone: (912) 478-2412
Fax: (912) 478-5811


Books (6)

Online Publications (6)

Book Chapters (24)