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USM Faculty Judy Tupper

Judy Tupper

Director, Population Health & Public Health, Cutler Institute

"My advice to those considering this program is to jump in! You are making an investment in your future."

Degrees Held:

  • EdD in Health – A.T. Still University, 2013
  • MS in Human Development – University of Maine, 1981
  • BS in Health Education – University of Maine, 1978

Career Highlights:

As the director of the Population Health and Health Policy Program of the Cutler Institute, Dr. Tupper has leadership and management responsibilities within the program area and the Integrated Management Team of the Cutler Institute. Judy coordinates the Certificate of Graduate Study in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety at USM. She currently teaches quality improvement, patient safety, and health literacy courses in the graduate program in public health; quality improvement for the nursing administration degree program; and health communication in the undergraduate public health program.

Credentialed as both a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety, Dr. Tupper initiated the annual Maine Patient Safety Academy. She leads applied research and demonstration projects for the Cutler Institute. Her research portfolio has included projects in public health, patient education, patient safety, health care workforce education, health literacy, quality improvement, medication management, infection prevention and control, and chronic illness and disability. Committed to lifelong learning, Judy takes a particular interest in adult learning, online pedagogy and workforce training. She works to advance the availability and quality of distance education modalities, and opportunities for interprofessional education and training.

Judy Tupper serves on the board of directors of the Maine Public Health Association. Recently, she developed key academic and professional collaborations with colleagues in the North Atlantic.

In which online degree program do you teach?


  • What do you want students to take away from your classes?

    I teach classes in health communication, health literacy, patient safety, and quality improvement. A theme that runs through all these courses is that these topics are the work and responsibility of everyone who works in health care and public health. I want my students to engage deeply with the content of the course and to finish feeling confident that they have new knowledge and skills that can be immediately applied to their professional practice, no matter the setting or role.

  • Why did you start teaching?

    Part of the reason that I started teaching is because I just love the subject material and have a huge interest in igniting this passion in others. The other big reason I teach is that I truly enjoy the challenge of creating an educational experience for adult online learners that is both engaging and practical.

  • What advice would you give to those considering a USM online education program?

    My advice to those considering this program is to jump in! You are making an investment in your future. You will be both challenged and supported by the faculty and your peers. This online program recognizes your professional experiences and the knowledge that you bring to the classroom. With some planning, the academic work can be managed with your current work position and the time will go by very quickly.

  • Tell us something your students may not know about you:

    After many years of working at the Cutler Institute in health services research, I chose to "go back to school" and earn a doctorate in health education. I continued to work full time during my doctoral program so I have a good sense of what it is like to be a hard-working graduate student in an online program. It felt terrific to achieve this goal as I was interested in expanding my role in teaching for the public health program. I also achieved this goal as the "oldest kid" in my class!

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