Department Chairperson & Professor
Health Education & Behavior, University of Florida
Jay M. Bernhardt, PhD, MPH is Department Chairperson and Professor of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida (UF). Dr. Bernhardt also is the Founding Director of the Center for Digital Health and Wellness at UF. He is widely recognized as a visionary leader and innovative scholar on the application of communication, marketing, and new media to public health, healthcare, and medicine.
From 2005-2010, Dr. Bernhardt served as the Director of the National Center for Health Marketing (NCHM) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In FY09, NCHM employed more than 500 staff with a budget of more than $100 million. Following Dr. Bernhardt’s vision, the CDC led the federal government in the application of social media, web 2.0, and mobile applications, resulting in one of the most user-centered, award-winning federal websites. Under his leadership, NCHM expanded its programs to
East Asia, Central America, and East Africa.
Prior to his tenure at CDC, Dr. Bernhardt was Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the Founding Director of the Emory Center for Public Health Communication. Previously, Dr. Bernhardt was Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Behavior at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Bernhardt’s PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education is from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His MPH is from the UMDNJ School of Public Health and the Edward J Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. His BA in Sociology is from Rutgers College.
Dr. Bernhardt is an Associate Editor of Health Education and Behavior, serves on three Editorial Boards, is a member of five honor societies, and has received numerous prestigious awards. In 2001, Dr. Bernhardt was the youngest member ever elected to the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association. During his term on the Board, he was elected by his peers to serve as its Vice Chairperson.
Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Bernhardt lives in Gainesville, Florida with his wife, Sheryl Ball Bernhardt, MS, an Occupational Therapist, and their children, Lila and Nathan.