Campus News Science & Technology

Joel Lee named inaugural John A. Drew Professor of Healthcare Administration

Joel M. Lee

Athens, Ga. – Joel M. Lee, a professor of health policy and management and director of the doctor of public health degree program in the University of Georgia College of Public Health, has been named the inaugural John A. Drew Professor of Healthcare Administration.

“Dr. Lee has a distinguished career in health care administration,” said Phillip L. Williams, dean of the College of Public Health. “This professorship recognizes his contribution to the field and his work to train the future generation of health care administrators.”

The professorship was created with a lead gift from Athens Regional Medical Center and with additional support from other members of the health care community and friends as a way to honor John A. Drew, president emeritus of Athens Regional Health Services.

Drew’s leadership and commitment to the delivery of high quality health care services in the Athens area are unparalleled, Williams said. During his 29-year career, Drew transformed Athens Regional Health Services from a small community hospital to an expansive network of health care systems serving northeast Georgia.

“It is an honor to have this professorship established in my name, and I am grateful to the many who gave so generously,” Drew said. “I am strongly committed to the training of future health care leaders, and it is my hope that this professorship will help to ensure a future generation of well-educated and effective health care administrators.”

Lee joined the College of Public Health faculty in 2008. He previously served as the college’s associate dean for academic affairs.

“John Drew is nationally recognized as an exceptional leader in health care administration practice, as well as an authority in hospital and health system governance, change management and strategic planning,” Lee said. “He also has made contributions to academia as a member of the governing board of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, as a mentor and as an author. I am honored to be the first recipient of the John A. Drew Professorship in Healthcare Administration.”

Lee completed his master’s and doctorate of public health degrees in health services administration and organization at the University of Texas School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty at UGA, he served in a variety of academic positions during the formation of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

Lee has been active in professional associations as a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives Georgia Regent’s Advisory Council, as a governing board member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administrations and a member of the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association.

UGA College of Public Health
Founded in 2005 as a response to the state’s need to address important health concerns in Georgia, the UGA College of Public Health is comprised of four departments and two research institutes as well as the Center for Global Health. The college offers degree programs in biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health promotion and behavior, public health, health policy and management and toxicology as well as certificate programs in gerontology, disaster management and global health.

Graduates from the College of Public Health-nationally known for its work related to infectious disease, cancer research, gerontology, disaster preparedness and other areas-typically go on to a diverse range of careers, including medicine, health education, emergency management, public health policy, environmental science and social work. For more information, see