Professor Elisia Cohen will be the recipient of the Mayhew Derryberry Award at the Public Health Education Health Promotion Awards Luncheon in Denver, Colorado on November 1, 2016. Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) is a section of the American Public Health Association (APHA), an association of individuals and organizations working together to improve the public’s health. Much of APHA’s work is accomplished through its sections, caucuses, and special interest groups. The PHEHP Section, the largest of these organizational components, is made up of thousands of individuals from a variety of organizational settings, all of them involved in health education, promotion and communication. The Mayhew Derryberry Award recognizes the contribution of outstanding behavioral scientists to the field of health education. It was named in honor of Dr. Derryberry who, as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service, established the Division of Health Education in the Public Health Service where he gathered outstanding scholars. He created the Experimental and Evaluation Service where health education research was first initiated. In the program for the event the Award’s recipient is described as “one of the most distinguished health behavior theorists active in the field today”.
The depth, breadth, and diversity of Dr. Cohen’s accomplishments are made clear thorough her excellence not only in research but also in how she mentors others and is involved in multidisciplinary research. She regularly conducts research with, and publishes with, researchers in medicine, nursing, and public health. Dr. Cohen is an incredible mentor to younger health communication and public health scholars. She teaches a number of health communication courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Mayhew Derryberry was once described as a “leader of uncommon vision and uncommon action.” The same can be said of Dr. Elisia Cohen and the important legacy she hopes to leave behind with her work.