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Tyler Zerwekh, MPH, DrPH

Deputy Administrator, Environmental Health Bureau

Memphis and Shelby County Health Department

Memphis, TN 38105

Biography

Tyler Zerwekh grew up in Dallas, Texas, the older of two children.  Mr. Zerwekh was appointed Deputy Administrator for the Environmental Health Services Bureau for the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department in May of 2008.  He is responsible for the administration and day-to-day oversight of four programs under Environmental Health:  Pollution Control, Environmental Sanitation, Emergency Preparedness, and Vector Control.

 

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Zerwekh was the Regional Hospital Coordinator under the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program for the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department.  Before joining Shelby County Government in January of 2007, Mr. Zerwekh spent five years with the Hawaii Department of Health serving different roles under their All-Hazards Preparedness Program; including County Epidemiologist, Bioterrorism Epidemiologist, and All-Hazards Planner.

 

Mr. Zerwekh received his Bachelor’s in Science in Psychology and Chemistry from Texas Tech University.  He continued his education when he received his Masters in Public Health (Occupational Health) and Doctorate in Public Health (Disease Control) from the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston, Texas.

 

Leadership Development Opportunities

The Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) has provided me with a new awareness into my leadership skills and style throughout the internship.  Through the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator I was able to determine my exact personality type and refine my strengths in my personality traits while adjusting perceived weaknesses to be revised or amended when a certain leadership style dictated so.  Additionally, the Skillscope tool helped me reexamine certain traits and talents that I am strong in while helping me reassess those that needed refinement.  As much as I struggled to adopt and enrich myself with Systems Thinking during cohort sessions, I found myself a Systems Thinking approach throughout the past year in professional dilemmas and problems. As I continue to develop and hone my Systems Thinking skills, I know this will be a powerful approach to identifying and solving future problems in both my professional and personal life.

 

Most importantly, the EPHLI experiences granted me an opportunity to network and establish professional relationships that had and will have a direct impact on my career.  Soon after acceptance into EPHLI, I was promoted into a new position.  Upon promotion, I was tasked with a major environmental public health problem under one of programs.  It was then I reached out to my cohort and previous cohorts (I – III) for assistance with the work problem.  The response was overwhelming, supportive, and immediate!  Persons from my cohort and previous cohorts provided immediate feedback and recommendations of not only how to approach the problem but also methodologies that were successful and experiences learned in handling the problem.  For this, I am most grateful and appreciative of my EPHLI experience.