HOUSTON – Alumna Theresa Byrd, Dr.P.H., associate dean and chair of the Department of Public Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, was selected as the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) Public Health Education and Health Promotion Distinguished Career Award recipient. Byrd received her award at the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Awards at the APHA 2017 annual meeting Nov. 7.
The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the profession and 20 or more years of professional practice.
Byrd earned her Dr.P.H. from UTHealth School of Public Health in 1994, and served on the faculty for UTHealth School of Public Health in El Paso until 2011. She worked as a professor and course director at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Paul L. Foster School of Medicine from 2011 until 2013, and then served as founding chair for the public health program at TTUHSC in Lubbock.
Byrd has spent most of her career working with populations along the US-Mexico border. She has been involved in projects aimed at understanding the health-related attitudes and beliefs of Hispanics, and in the development of interventions to change health behaviors, including cancer prevention and screening, initiation of prenatal care, breastfeeding, environmental risk and car safety.
“I was thrilled and humbled to receive this award, and to follow in the footsteps of some great public health leaders at UTHealth,” Byrd says. “My time at UTHealth School of Public Health was so influential, and my work with the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research really started my career in cancer screening research. Thanks to all the faculty, staff and students at the School of Public Health who helped me along the way.”
—Written by Anissa Anderson Orr