Center Staff

M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services 

Dr. Edwards holds the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services at MTSU and, until 2015, served as the Director of the Center for Health and Human Services. She was the principal investigator on projects serviced through the center:  SMART Mothers Are Resisting Tobacco, Tennessee Anti-Tobacco Advocacy Initiative,  Tennessee Comprehensive Cancer Control, Prevention Through Understanding: Investigating Unexpected Child Death, and previously, STOP (Student Tobacco Outreach & Prevention), Career Mapping, and Yes I Can! Diabetes Self Management Program. She has produced multiple editions of Allied Health in Tennessee: A Supply and Demand Study. Dr. Edwards was the founding director of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH) and now serves on TNIPH's Board of Directors.


Jeannie S. Paul, B.S.
Executive Assistant Adams Chair of Excellence

Ms. Paul provides administrative support to the Adams Chair of Excellence and the Center for Health and Human Services. She also provides technical and fiscal support to grant project managers. In addition, she assists with coordinating the logistical arrangements for events, conferences, and meetings.

Cynthia Chafin
Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES
Interim Director Center for Health and Human Services
615-898-5493 or



Ms. Chafin  was appointed as interim director of the Center in October 2015 and has been with the Center as a project director since 2002.  Ms. Chafin's areas of interest include cancer control and prevention as well as cancer survivorship, maternal/child health, community health and wellness, and obesity. She has managed the Tennessee Comprehensive Cancer Control project from 2004-2016 and was instrumental in the development of 3 state cancer plans and implementing 12 state cancer Summits as part of that project.  She has also managed the Yes I Can! Diabetes Self-Management project, Smart Mothers are Resisting Tobacco- a prenatal tobacco cessation and prevention program implemented in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties - the Career Mapping and Folic Acid projects, and multiple other grants awarded to the Center. She is active in multiple public health and community services activities and in 2007, she founded Community Health Collaboratives, LLC to provide consulting services.