Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Public Health has been honored as a 2016 Health Care Hero by the Mississippi Business Journal.
“Dr. Mayfield-Johnson’s recognition is well deserved,” said Dr. Michael Forster, dean of the College of Health. “Her research and leadership contributions to health education, and especially to the important field of community health work, are unmatched.”
Mayfield-Johnson, assistant professor of public health, has served as principal investigator on several externally funded programs working with community health workers, racially diverse and underserved populations, health disparities, and qualitative research designs.
She is currently working on three newly funded projects.
Mayfield-Johnson received a $50,000 research award from the Gulf States Health Policy Center for her project addressing vulnerability and resiliency among Vietnamese Americans. She is partnering with Boat People SOS to develop policies and support networks among the Vietnamese community along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Through the Mississippi State Department of Health, Office of Health Disparity Elimination, she is collaborating with Dr. Danielle Fastring, assistant professor of public health, to address and prevent infant mortality among the African American population in Jackson County.
With a team, Mayfield-Johnson is working on an initiative addressing how city leaders work together to help low-income communities thrive, with specific attention to community features that improve health. This project is funded by the Reinvestment Fund and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In addition to her teaching and advocacy work, Mayfield-Johnson serves as the Director for the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach (CSHO) and the Community Health Advisor Network (CHAN) at Southern Miss. For CSHO, she plans a national conference focused on community health outreach workers.
“People who want to make a difference, make a difference,” said Mayfield-Johnson when asked what advice she would give. “They talk with others, are open to advice, seek the strengths that exist in the community, know their strengths and their weaknesses, think outside of the box, and are willing to try to work where no one else would.”
To learn more about the Department of Public Health in the Southern Miss College of Health, visit www.usm.edu/ph.