Dr. Megan Weis, associate director of outreach & program development for the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Michael D. Jarrett Excellence in Customer Service Award. Created in honor of the former South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) commissioner and presented by the South Carolina Public Health Association, this award recognizes individuals who provide exemplary customer service through their public health roles.
[Photo: Dr. Megan Weis]
Though her exercise science undergraduate program at Furman University initially sparked Dr. Weis’ interest in public health early on, it was her experience with the Peace Corps that solidified her commitment to the field. While serving in the South African nation of Malawi, Dr. Weis gained experience in the areas of maternal and child health, immunization clinics, AIDS/HIV, and community public health projects.
Upon her return to the United States, Dr. Weis enrolled in the master of public health degree program within the Arnold School’s health promotion, education, and behavior (HPEB) department. After graduation, she joined DHEC as the data manager for the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System before transitioning to the agency’s Injury and Violence Prevention Division.
While continuing to work full-time, Dr. Weis returned to the Arnold School to pursue a doctor of public health (DrPH) degree in HPEB. “I really enjoy teaching and working with students,” she explains of her decision to pursue a DrPH for her doctorate, “but my purpose with this doctoral program was to help bridge science and practice.”
In 2007, Dr. Weis accepted a position at the newly established South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health. The Institute was originally known as the South Carolina Public Health Institute, but the organization broadened its scope and changed its name in 2011.
By 2012, Dr. Weis had completed her DrPH, having developed significant expertise in structural approaches to public health interventions, particularly in relation to evaluation of social and organizational influences on health, capacity development initiatives, and the effectiveness of collaborations and partnerships. Over the past decade with the Institute, she has applied this expertise in leading outreach efforts to advance public health issues, policy matters, and special projects.
“I am so proud that Megan has received this well-deserved recognition,” says Dr. Lee Pearson, associate dean for operations and accreditation at the Arnold School and former director of operations at the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health. “I continue to be amazed by her impressive intellect and immense public health knowledge. I also respect her leadership abilities and, in particular, her commitment to compelling causes.”South Carolina