July 7, 2022
Dr. Douglas Scutchfield, one of the founders of the College of Community Health Sciences, died May 23, 2022, in Lexington, Ky. He was 80 years old.
Scutchfield helped establish CCHS in 1972 and was the first chair of its Department of Family and Community Medicine. He went on to hold other positions with the College, including associate dean of Academic Affairs.
He left the College to become director of the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University in California, where he had a distinguished career. Scutchfield recruited senior established public health leaders and built a leading school of public health. He also established a PhD program in epidemiology and a joint residency for physicians in preventive medicine and public health.
In 1995, Scutchfield returned to Kentucky and founded the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky and became the Peter P. Bosomworth Professor in Health Services Research and Policy.
Scutchfield was a force in expanding the field of public health. When founded, San Diego State University’s School of Public Health was the 23rd in the nation. Today, there are nearly 200 schools and programs of public health across the U.S.
Scutchfield was born April 23, 1942, in Wheelwright, Ky. He attended Eastern Kentucky University and received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky in 1966. Witnessing firsthand the poverty of Appalachia, Scutchfield gravitated toward the field of public health and preventive medicine through additional training at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He was co-editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine from 1995 to 2014 and launched the Journal of Appalachian Health in 2018. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sedgwick Medal, the most prestigious award given by the American Public Health Association. Scutchfield was also a member of the American Medical Association House of Delegates.