Catherine Cutler Institute

Judith Tupper

Director, Population Health and Health Policy, Cutler Institute, Practice Faculty, Public Health Program
Profile Photo

Office Location

403 Wishcamper Center, Portland Campus



Academic Degrees

  • A.T. Still University, Kirksville, MO, Doctorate in Health Education
  • University of Maine, Master of Science, Human Development
  • University of Maine, Bachelor of Science, Health and Family Life Education


As the Director of the Population Health and Health Policy Program of the Cutler Institute, Dr. Tupper has leadership and management responsibilities within the program area and the Integrated Management Team of the Cutler Institute.  Judy coordinates the Certificate of Graduate Study in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety.  She currently teaches quality improvement, patient safety, and health literacy courses in the Graduate Program in Public Health, quality improvement for the nursing administration degree program, and health communication in the undergraduate public health program. 

Credentialed as both a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety, Dr. Tupper initiated the annual Maine Patient Safety Academy.  She leads applied research and demonstration projects for the Cutler Institute.  Her research portfolio has included projects in public health, patient education, patient safety, healthcare workforce education, health literacy, quality improvement, medication management, infection prevention and control, and chronic illness and disability.  Committed to life-long learning, Judy takes a particular interest in adult learning, online pedagogy, and workforce training.  She works to advance the availability and quality of distance education modalities and opportunities for inter-professional education and training.  

Judy Tupper serves as a Board member for the Maine Public Health Association.  Recently, she developed key academic and professional collaborations with colleagues in the North Atlantic.  In her spare time, she enjoys time spent with her family, exploring historical sites, collecting bits of nature, and walking any beach on any coastline.

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Tupper's past and current research portfolio includes projects on patient safety, rural healthcare, medication  management, patient education, healthcare provider education, health literacy, quality improvement, e-learning, healthcare and public health workforce training, and chronic illness and disability. As a member of the MPH faculty at the Muskie School, she coordinates the Certificate of Graduate Study in Healthcare Quality and Safety, and teaches courses in patient safety, quality improvement, health literacy, and health communications. Judy also serves as Field Placement Coordinator for the MPH program. She leads the annual Patient Safety Academy at USM, now entering its 10th year.


 Please review Judy Tupper's publications on Digital Commons.

  • Doctor of Health Education (DHEd), A.T. Still University
  • Master of Science in Human Development (MS), University of Maine
  • Bachelor of Science in Health and Family Life Education (BS), University of Maine
  • Professional Certifications:
    CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist)
    CPPS (Certified Professional in Patient Safety)

Recent Publications

Tupper JB, Pearson KB, Meinersmann KM, Dvorak J. Little Shop of Errors: An Innovative Simulation Patient Safety Workshop for Community Health Care Professionals. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2013;44(6):274-277.

Klingner J, Moscovice I, Tupper J, Coburn A, Wakefield M.  Implementing Patient Safety Initiatives in Rural Hospitals. J Rural Health. 2009; 25(4):352-357.

Tupper J, Coburn A, Loux S, et al. Strategies for improving patient safety in small rural hospitals. In: Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, et al., Editors. Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches. Vol. 2. Culture and Redesign. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2008:303-313.

Tupper, J. B., Gray, C. E., Pearson, K. B., & Coburn, A. F. (2015). Safety of rural nursing home-to-emergency department transfers: Improving communication and patient information sharing across settings. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 37(1), 55-65. doi: 10.1097/01.JHQ.0000460120.68190.15 PMID:26042377

Please review Judy Tupper's publications on Digital Commons.

Professional Activity

She serves as a member of the USM Economic Development Committee and the USM Research Advisory Council.

Dr. Tupper developed the Samstarf and Samarbeid projects, collaborations between USM and Iceland, Norway, and Scotland universities and public health and healthcare agencies.  She also designed  the Muskie Public Health Education Corps which placed 15 MPH grad students in professional roles as health educators within Maine CDC.

Judy is also proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the Maine Public Health Association and the City of Portland Minority Health Program Stakeholders Group.