Dr. Smith, assistant professor of practice and liaison for the academic health department, Mercer University College of Health Professions, was awarded the Al Dohany Award for Community Service by the Georgia Public Health Association on April 14 during the eighty-sixth Annual Meeting and Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Established in 1999, this award is presented annually to an individual who has made a positive contribution to community health through collaboration with the community and its leaders. This contribution involves encouraging a collaborative approach with existing community entities that is essential to realizing the long-term health outcomes of a community while recognizing the importance of communities and celebrating the diversity that makes a community vital.
During the awards luncheon, it was stated that “Dr. Smith provides opportunities for Mercer MPH students to complete internships, community service hours, and capstone projects while collaborating with community organizations. He is training and mentoring the next generation of public health leaders in engaging urban and rural communities. Mercer MPH students learn by observing Dr. Smith actively working with community groups. He moves seamlessly from meeting with health professionals, to digging in a garden with community members, to teaching and mentoring public health students, to meeting with school system administrators. Under his leadership, the North Central Health District has had an increase in the number of MPH students completing internships. This helps extend public health reach into the community and promotes academic preparation for public health practice.”