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Chumbler Named Chair Diagnostic and Health Sciences and Associate Dean of Academic Development and Accreditation for Health Professions


Neale R. Chumbler, PhD, has been named to head two divisions within the College of Health Professions at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Dr. Chumbler will serve as chair of the Department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences (DDHS) and associate dean of Academic Development and Accreditation for the UTHSC College of Health Professions.

Neale R. Chumbler
Neale R. Chumbler, PhD

“Dr. Chumbler brings an outstanding level of administrative and research experience to our college,” said Stephen E. Alway, PhD, FACSM, dean of the UTHSC College of Health Professions. “We are delighted and fortunate to recruit a scholar and administrator of the international caliber that Dr. Chumbler brings to our college.”

Dr. Chumbler joins UTHSC with more than three decades of experience in academia. He most recently served as dean of the College of Health and Public Service at the University of North Texas and professor in Rehabilitation & Health Services, where he led seven academic departments and approximately 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Chumbler has developed 13 different undergraduate and graduate courses and has mentored multiple undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral research fellows over his career.

“What is so special about this opportunity is that the Department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences is a new department, and as a participatory leader, I will capitalize on the strengths of the faculty to continue the longstanding success of the nationally ranked academic programs and to creatively establish new, innovative ones,” Dr. Chumbler said.

Launched in 2019, the Department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences merged the Departments of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Health Informatics and Information Management, for a better structural alignment within the college.

“I am excited about partnering with the faculty to develop and implement a new bold and robust strategic plan for DDHS that will not only be congruent with the college and university strategic plan, but also will advance student-centered, innovative educational offerings and programs that will fill the health workforce needs of Memphis and beyond, and advance interdisciplinary research by building strong research linkages across the college, UTHSC, and elsewhere in Memphis,” he said.

Dr. Chumbler’s research expertise focuses on the implementation and evaluation of applying health information technology and telehealth technologies to improve access to and quality of care and rehabilitation outcomes for community dwelling older individuals with central nervous system damage. He is currently employing this expertise in an applied research project with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

He is the recipient of more than $30 million in extramural funding from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Chumbler has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and peer-reviewed book chapters.

Dr. Chumbler said as associate dean he will utilize entrepreneurial skills to lead the development and implementation of several new innovative health-oriented undergraduate and graduate academic programs and to collaborate with program directors and department chairs to ensure that all of the nationally ranked academic programs maintain their excellent standings with their respective accreditation bodies.

Dr. Chumbler is a graduate of Murray State University. He earned a master’s degree in Sociology from Western Kentucky University and his PhD in Sociology with a Specialization in Medical Sociology and Aging/Social Gerontology from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his postdoctoral research fellowship in health services research in the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“I’m very impressed that the College of Health Professions values inquiry, innovation, excellence, diversity and compassion – principles that I especially espouse,” Dr. Chumbler said. “I am thrilled to be living in Memphis. I have been to Memphis numerous times, and it is a great city and it will be an excellent fit for me.”