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The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Public Health Accreditation Board.

June 21, 2024 – The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has announced that Rex Archer, MD, MPH, Professor and Director of Population and Public Health at Kansas City University, has received PHAB’s prestigious F. Douglas Scutchfield Leadership Award. Dr. Archer received the award at a reception hosted by PHAB’s Board of Directors during its annual meeting in June, which was held on the campus of Kansas City University.

This award is named in honor of F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD, a passionate public health leader and long-time champion of PHAB who passed away in 2022. It recognizes individuals like Dr. Scutchfield who have made significant and lasting contributions to public health performance improvement, organizational excellence, and exemplary service to PHAB.

“We are honored to present this award to Dr. Rex Archer, a steadfast champion of public health and the Public Health Accreditation Board,” said PHAB President and CEO Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN. “Dr. Archer’s contributions to uplifting accreditation, performance standards, and public health practice have been invaluable, and there is no one more deserving to carry on Dr. Scutchfield’s legacy through this award. In awarding Dr. Archer this award, I am reminded of the extraordinary acts of public service rendered by public health leaders throughout the country. I am, without a doubt, optimistic that the future of public health is in good hands.”

Dr. Archer’s influence as an early adopter of PHAB’s national accreditation program and championing of public health performance standards will have a lasting impact on public health systems and communities across the country. This award signifies Dr. Archer’s many years of public health experience and dedication to the field.

Dr. Archer has advocated for governmental public health education, research, and practice, embodying the values and commitment to service that made Dr. Scutchfield a legend. Dr. Archer has served as a member of PHAB’s Board of Directors since 2008 and as a member of the Accreditation Committee from 2014 to 2020 and from 2023 to 2024. He served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors from 2018 to 2020 and as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2020 to 2022.

Dr. Archer is a distinguished national leader in public health who has made significant contributions to public health policy and practice, including serving the residents of the city of Kansas City, Missouri as the Director of Health for 23 years. Under Dr. Archer’s leadership, the Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) Health Department won NACCHO’s Local Health Department of the Year award in 2016 and 2018. Kansas City Health Department is the only health department to win this award more than once. Dr. Archer led the KCMO Health Department to both initial PHAB accreditation and reaccreditation and led a broader community coalition that earned Kansas City the distinction of being awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize in 2015.

At KCU, Archer collaborates within and across the University’s academic programs to integrate public health education into the preclinical curriculum and create clinical clerkship experiences for medical students. He was instrumental in helping to create the vision for KCU’s new Center for Population Health and Equity, aimed at engaging communities in addressing the factors that impact health—the social and structural determinants contributing to health inequities. The Center’s focus will be on the communities served by KCU’s two campuses located in Kansas City and Joplin, Missouri, where significant disparities persist and prevent respective underserved urban and rural populations from attaining their full health potential.


About PHAB
PHAB administers the national public health accreditation program and works to advance and transform the public health practice of governmental public health departments in the United States and abroad through quality and performance improvement.

About Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield
F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD, FACPM, FAAFP, DSc (Hon), DHL (Hon), was the inaugural Peter P. Bosomworth Professor of Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Scutchfield was a founding member of the PHAB Board of Directors, established and chaired the PHAB Accreditation Committee, and was instrumental in developing the field of Public Health Systems and Services Research, which became the basis of the PHAB Standards & Measures. Dr. Scutchfield’s legacy and lifetime contribution to the advancement of public health practice and the governmental public system is felt by over 400 accredited health departments today.