Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES
Interim Director Center for Health and Human Services
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 has a Master of Education in health promotion and education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She was part of the first national cohort to receive advance-level certification as a master certified health educator from the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). Ms. Chafin has a lengthy history in public health having worked for and with the state health department along with multiple local, state, and national non-profit and community-based organizations as a volunteer, project director, or consultant. She has been awarded the Health Educator of the Year award from the Tennessee Public Health Association in 2006 and received the inaugural Eloise Q. Hatmaker Distinguished Service Award from the Rural Health Association in 2009 for her public health work in rural Tennessee communities.
Ms. Chafin’s interest and experience in public health is broad, though specific areas of interest include cancer control and prevention as well as cancer survivorship, maternal/child health, community health and wellness, and obesity. She 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 Death Scene Investigation/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death project for multiple years, 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 has co-founded internship programs for three organizations and has served as a mentor and supervisor to more than 50 students as of 2017 and is a frequent guest lecturer on the MTSU campus. She is active in multiple public health and community services activities and in 2007, she founded Community Health Collaboratives, LLC to provide consulting services. Her projects have received numerous national and state awards and recognition.
Other Staff and Support:
The Center employs a dedicated grants coordinator responsible for grant writing and execution of administrative tasks related to all grants. Experienced and qualified project managers are hired for grants and projects facilitated through the Center, including staff located remotely who allow the Center to serve all areas of Tennessee through its projects and programs. A student internship program allows the Center to provide learning opportunities and practical experience for students while supporting the work of the Center.
The Center reports to and has the full support of the Vice Provost for Research & Dean of the College of Graduate Studies as well as the support and involvement of the many faculty and staff on campus involved with its grants and projects.