The UGA College of Public Health (CPH) has launched the CPH Health Equity Hub to address the social determinants and racial injustices that drive health inequities in Georgia.
The creation of the Hub is a commitment to advancing health for communities across the state, said Grace Bagwell Adams, assistant dean for outreach, engagement, and equity.
“Health equity is embedded in all that we do in the College of Public Health,” said Adams. “That is why we are launching the Health Equity Hub, which will serve as the nexus and home for our efforts to improve public health for all.”
As part of this initiative, and in partnership with the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), the College has selected five Health Equity Fellows to work directly with local government officials in Georgia communities of need and to carry out projects to address health disparities.
The Fellows program is a natural extension of UGA’s longstanding relationship with GMA through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, which together provide educational training for local government leaders and strategic planning for rural economic development.
Each fellow will also work with a CPH faculty adviser, while also working alongside leaders and members of the community to deliver on their proposed projects.
This is a critical learning point, says Adams, who emphasized the need for public health students to practice collaborating with communities to address community needs.
The Spring 2021 Health Equity Fellows include –
- Kenya Murray, PhD student, working in Fitzgerald with Dr. Juliet Sekandi
- Carlyncia McDowell, Master of Public Health student, working in Milledgeville with Dr. Janani Rajbhandari-Thapa
- Harrison Huang, Master of Public Health student, working in Young Harris with Dr. Mel Garber
- Amber Bullard, Health Promotion and Behavior undergraduate student, working in College Park with Dr. Christina Proctor
- Jennifer Quezada, Health Promotion and Behavior undergraduate student working in Moultrie with Dr. Bob Galen
The Hub will also serve as the home for a health disparities research working group for an interdisciplinary group of faculty who will work together to obtain funding and produce research aimed at understanding and improving health disparities across race, ethnicity, sex, age, and geography.
“The pandemic has amplified and exacerbated health inequities and disparities that we in public health already know very well. It is critical to the mission of the College of Public Health at UGA to collaborate across all sectors to address these issues and improve health for all in Georgia,” said Marsha Davis, the dean of the College of Public Health.
Additional signature programs of the Hub include facilitating faculty and staff training on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as the development of a Social Determinants of Health Certificate, which will provide students with skill sets in public health on topics of racial and social justice, health equity, health disparities, and interdisciplinary approaches to solving public health problems.
“The Hub is at the intersection of teaching, research, and service in the College,” said Adams, “and we are at our best when we pursue all three parts of our mission together.”
– Lauren Baggett
Posted on February 17, 2021.