Elizabeth "Bess" Kennedy, M.P.H., MCHES

Adjunct Faculty

Bess Kennedy received both her master of science in public health and bachelor of science in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mrs. Kennedy studied educational psychology and foreign language curriculum development at the Universidad del Valle in Guatemala, Central America. She is the author of the medical Spanish curriculum Hablar El Idioma De Su Cliente, Speaking Your Client?s Language, which is used by Allied Health Education Centers (AHECs), medical schools, nursing programs, physician assistant programs and community colleges across the country. Her first nine years of clinical work included providing adjunctive therapy assessment and services within a multidisciplinary team approach in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry (adult, adolescent, children and substance abuse) and physical rehabilitation. During her tenure in Guatemala she taught at both the American School of Guatemala and the Guatemalan American Embassy Institute. She served as an educational therapist at the Southern Educational Foundation in Guatemala. In 1992, she began working in maternity care, providing maternity care coordination (from prenatal until two months postpartum) and developed supportive community-based programming and outreach for the Latino population. Since 1991, Mrs. Kennedy?s expertise in a variety of areas has been utilized to provide professional continuing education for health care professionals on a variety of topics related to behavioral health, cross-cultural care, cultural competency and medical Spanish. She has served as a consultant for health organizations such as the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, North Carolina?s Allied Health Education Centers, the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, and Kuumba Community Health and Wellness Center in a variety of areas. During her time at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Mrs. Kennedy has been instrumental in developing a medical education model for effective chronic disease management. She has focused on the integration and teaching of psychosocial components (psychosocial and health maintenance assessment, behavior change theory, readiness to change assessment, patient-centered communication, cultural competency, health literacy, chronic care model, health disparities and patient self-management) and community health promotion (community health diagnosis, intervention and evaluation design). She currently teaches the Behavioral Medicine course and the Community Medicine rotation for physician assistant students. She runs a Medical Spanish Study Club for the physician assistant students. Mrs. Kennedy is actively involved locally in developing clinical interventions to address health disparities.

M.P.H., University of North Carolina
B.A., University of North Carolina