About the Chair Holder

In 1992, Middle Tennessee State University named former associate dean of the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida, Dr. Jo Edwards, as the holder of the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services. While at UCF she developed programs from conception through accreditation in Physical Therapy, Health Services Administration, Radiologic Sciences and Radiation Therapy Technology and others. Post Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she initiated a project to complete the education of the Kuwait allied health work force in Orlando at UCF while Kuwait University was being rebuilt.

She earned her doctorate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, her Masters from the University of Memphis, and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. Edwards is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Medical Imaging Specialist.

Under the direction of Dr. Edwards, the Center for Health and Human Services was developed and has executed grant-funded projects and contracts during the past twenty-five years focusing on health care workforce development and improving the health of Tennesseans. These contracts have totaled over six million dollars. In 2003, she was appointed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to serve as founding executive director of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH). She currently serves as a consultant to TNIPH. As the Adams Chair of Excellence, she engages faculty and staff at MTSU to work with the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Hospital Association, volunteer health organizations and other state and federal agencies to improve the health of the citizens of Tennessee.  She represents MTSU and the Adams Chair on various state, regional, and national boards.

Dr. Edwards has served on the State Department of Education Advisory Board for Health Science Education and advised students in this area for MTSU. She collaborates with and supports the pre-professional health advisement system, guiding MTSU students into the health professions.

Active professionally, she has served on many state, local, and national committees and boards. Dr. Edwards currently serves on the board for the Tennessee Rural Partnership, THA Health Workforce round table, Board of Directors for Project Hope, the Rutherford County Wellness Council and others. She is published and is on three national and international editorial review boards for professional journals.