Annual Awards

TPHA recognizes outstanding efforts and leadership in its members and partners each year through the following awards.  Nominations are accepted from members in the summer and awards announced at our annual fall conference.

R. H. Hutcheson, Sr. MD Award

photo of Photo of Marilyn BarnesThis award is named in honor of Dr. R. H. Hutcheson, Sr., Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Public Health for many years. The award is to be presented to that person in the field of public health who has made outstanding contributions to public health over a period of several years.  The nominee must have been a member of TPHA for a minimum of five (5) years and an Active or Life Member of the Association in the year the award is given.  2021 Recipient is Marilyn Barnes, Regional Director for West Region (retired 2021).


Alex B. Shipley, MD, Award

photo of David KirschkeThis award is named in honor of Dr. Alex B. Shipley, Health Director of the East Tennessee Grand Division for a number of years. An outspoken advocate of public health, Dr. Shipley’s work contributed greatly to building local health department infrastructure in Tennessee. This award is to be presented to an employee of a regional or local health department who has made outstanding contributions in the field of public health over a period of several years. The nominee must be a member of TPHA for five (5) years, including the year upon which the award is based. 2021 Recipient is Dr. David Kirschke, physician for the Northeast Region.

Public Health Worker Award

photo of Emily RushingThis award is presented to that person in the field of public health who, during the past three years, has provided outstanding service to the field. The person must be in full-time employment in the field and must hold active or life membership in the Association.  The 2021 recipient is Emily Rushing, Henderson County Health Director. 



Partner and Leadership Award

This award is presented to a non-public health professional, group, or organization that has made a significant contribution on behalf of public health, which is extraordinary and would set an example for others. At the discretion of the Awards Committee, two separate categories of PAL Awards (group/organization and individual) may be presented in a given year.  

photo of Chris Young

2021 Individual Award Recipient is Dyer County Mayor Chris Young





photo of NE school nurses2021 Group Award goes to the School Nurses serving the Northeast Health Region of Tennessee


The Doris Spain Award for Distinguished Service

photo of Alisa HaushalterThe Doris Spain Award for Distinguished Service award recipient is recommended based on their significant contributions made to the Association and approved by the TPHA Board of Directors.  The 2021 recipient is Dr. Alisa Haushalter recognized primarily for leading the Board to develop TPHA's 2021-2023 Strategic Plan, which builds on the Association's strengths while transforming it for relevancy and sustainability in the future.


Member of the Year

photo of Christian WilliamsThis award recognizes the TPHA member who demonstrates commitment to the Association in 3 areas – volunteerism, leadership and representation of the organization.  2021 Recipient is Dr. Christian Williams for her leadership as program chair of the 2021 Annual Conference especially implementation of the online conference format.