As a graduate student at the University of South Florida, Brenda Joly remembers standing on a street corner counting bike helmets as children rode by. That project was about bicycles and child injuries and it was the start of a career focused on improving the health of people and communities.
How can a public health system do a better job of reducing chronic illness and preventing premature death? This question is central to Dr. Joly’s research and teaching at USM. She takes a systematic approach to evaluating the performance of public health programs. “I study different types of public health interventions and try to figure out what makes them successful and what leads to better health outcomes for our communities.”
Dr. Joly teaches three courses in the Master of Public Health Program at USM: Social and Behavioral Health, Applied Public Health Research and Evaluation and Public Health Practice. When she is not teaching, she spends her time evaluating public health efforts at the local, state and federal levels. Currently, she is part of a national CDC evaluation team looking at ways to improve the performance of state, local, tribal and territorial public health departments.