July 21, 2017 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Though her exercise science undergraduate program at Furman University initially sparked 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, Weis gained experience in the areas of maternal and child health, immunization clinics, AIDS/HIV, and community public health projects.
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.
-Lee Pearson, Arnold School Associate Dean for Operations and Accreditation
Upon her return to the United States, 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, 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, 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.
In all her roles, she has successfully worked to unite non-traditional partners from various disciplines and organizations to jointly address public health challenges.
-Lillie Hall, Community Systems Director for DHEC
By 2012, Weis had completed her DrPH, having developed significant expertise in structural approaches to public health interventions, particularly in relation to the 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 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.”
Outside the Institute, Weis demonstrated that commitment through numerous service and leadership roles at partnering organizations such as Eat Smart Move More South Carolina and the American Public Health Association. Among her many contributions to the South Carolina Public Health Association, she is well known for her in fostering and developing a student section within the organization (read more about her public health activities).
She is an excellent example of public health in practice and is most deserving of the Michael D. Jarrett Outstanding Customer Service Award.
-Suzanne Sanders, External Systems Director for DHEC
In 2013, Weis was honored for this achievement with the Lucinda Thomas Award for Outstanding Contributions in Community Health. This award joined two previous accolades: the 2010 President’s Award (also from the Association) and the 2007 Health Education Professional of the Year (South Carolina Association for the Advancement of Health Education).
“In all her roles, she has successfully worked to unite non-traditional partners from various disciplines and organizations to jointly address public health challenges,” says Lillie Hall, community systems director for DHEC’s upstate public health region and past president and treasurer for the South Carolina Public Health Association. “Those efforts continue as she provides efficient public health service to the great citizens of South Carolina.”
“Megan brings a wealth of health education experience, knowledge and skills to everything she does,” adds Suzanne Sanders, external systems director for DHEC Community Health Services. “She is an excellent example of public health in practice and is most deserving of the Michael D. Jarrett Outstanding Customer Service Award.”