Welcome to The Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services

Dr. Carl and Mrs. Jennie Mae Adams

The Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services was established by the late Dr. Carl Adams and Mrs. Jennie Mae Adams. Dr. and Mrs. Adams understood that the delivery of health care and human services poses complex challenges. Throughout their extensive careers providing health care to Middle Tennessee residents, they knew that these challenges might begin with the individual but could impact public policy as well as the social structure of the entire community. Dr. Adams' concern for the quality and quantity of health care professionals to address these issues led him to establish the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services at Middle Tennessee State University.

Holder of the Adams Chair of Excellence, Martha Jo Edwards, Ed.D. was selected as the first full-time Adams Chair of Excellence in 1992, and she continues to serve in this capacity.

MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee, former TN Commissioner of Health Dr. Kenneth Robinson, and Dr. M Jo EdwardsUntil 2015, the Center for Health and Human Services was the platform to support the work of the Adams Chair of Excellence. The Tennessee Board of Regents formally approved the Center in 1993. Dr. Edwards, the Center's founding Director, and the staff focused on developing partnerships, both internal and external to the University.  They collaborate with MTSU faculty, public agencies, and private not-for-profit organizations to develop and implement programs designed to improve the health of the middle and greater Tennessee community.  The Center now reports to the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services reports to the College of Behavioral and Health Science.

Departments and programs affiliated with the chair consist of those that prepare graduates in health and/or human services. This coalition of academic units varies in focus but shares the common goal of preparing the health and human services workforce in Tennessee.

Dr. M Jo Edwards in KuwaitDr. Edwards' international experience includes consulting in Europe and other countries. She was recruited by the government of Kuwait to help develop the college of allied health and nursing and the college of medicine, where she resided for 2 years. She has been funded to work on AIDS and health issues in the squatter settlements in South Africa through a USAID funded project. She has taught undergraduates, introducing them to the health care system, and graduates students introducing them to global health issues.


For a complete history, timeline, and details on research and other activities of the Adams Chair, please view a special 25th anniversary retrospective publication published by the University in 2018.