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Georgia to Hold Fourth Annual State of Public Health Conference

The fourth annual State of Public Health conference, hosted by the University of Georgia College of Public Health, will be held Oct. 6 beginning at 9 a.m. in the UGA Hotel and Conference Center in Athens, Ga.

This event, organized by the College’s Office of Outreach and Engagement, will bring together over 300 of Georgia’s public health professionals, policy makers, academics, community health organizations and business leaders with the goal of developing real strategies for improving Georgia’s public health outcomes.

Workshop and seminar topics are selected from abstracts submitted by public health faculty and students, as well as policymakers and practitioners from across the state. Four keynote speakers will share their expertise on public health issues of increasing importance to Georgia and the nation.

  • Jeff Levi, Executive Director of Trust for America’s Health, will explore opportunities and challenges of advancing public health in a reforming health care system;
  • José Carlos León Vargas, International Cooperation and Development Director of Solidaridad Internacional Kanda, will share insights about creating inclusive communities that address health disparities;
  • Kaye Bender, President and CEO of Public Health Accreditation Board, will discuss the benefits and barriers to public health accreditation;
  • Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, will give an update on the state’s current public health initiatives.

“Since the last State of Public Health Conference, we’ve witnessed the power of public policy to advance health through tobacco bans on Georgia’s college campuses, the passage of legislation legalizing medical marijuana, and increased statewide efforts to reduce childhood obesity,” said Marsha Davis, associate dean for outreach and engagement in the College of Public Health.

Yet Georgia still struggles with high uninsured rates, rural hospital closings, increasing traffic fatalities, more children living in poverty, and continued low federal and public health spending per capita, Davis explained.

“At this year’s conference, we hope to continue fostering the dialogue needed to overcome these challenges, embrace opportunities, and advance the public’s health in Georgia,” she said.

Read more: https://www.publichealth.uga.edu/node/3390