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Key Partnerships are the Focus of UGA Television Program Featuring DPH

September 3, 2013
Originally published Feb. 13, 2012
 
Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., joined Phaedra Corso, Ph.D. and Cham Dallas, Ph.D. from UGA's School of Public Health once again as a guest on UGA's Public Health Impact television show to talk about various topics, including the importance of key partnerships for the new agency.  
 
Dr. Fitzgerald described Public Health as a "cooperative and collaborative" system consisting of a state agency, 18 Public Health Districts and collaboration with the county health departments that are run by county boards of health.  She emphasized the benefits of Public Health being arranged in this way.  
 
"We have the ability to bring together different groups of people to solve a problem," said Dr. Fitzgerald. "For example, infant mortality is a major problem in Georgia and we have identified six areas of Georgia that have the highest infant mortality." She explained that the Department is able to take these data to the identified areas and meet with local stakeholders to discuss solutions.  By meeting with the local district health directors, pediatricians, obstetricians and other community groups, DPH has the ability to have a significant impact on infant mortality in these areas.

Health Director Claude Burnett, M.D., MPH from the Northeast Health District represented the district's perspective in delivering Public Health in Georgia. He shared that the district uses surveys to learn the health needs of the community and issues they want to see addressed. The community recently expressed concerns over the high rate of teen pregnancy. The district then collaborated with the counties to work with schools to increase education around the topic. 

Charlie Hayslett, Chairman and CEO of the Hayslett Group and manager of the Partner Up! for Public Health campaign, told viewers that he is working to raise understanding and awareness of the state's new agency.  Hayslett is working to ensure that there is a strong connection and understanding between Public Health and key stakeholders in business and politics. "[The campaign's] purpose is to raise understanding and awareness among leaders in the state and the general public about the significant challenges that the state public health system has been suffering with for a long time," said  Hayslett. 

Hayslett explained the importance of partnerships in Public health and stated that the campaign is trying to pull together organizations and individuals from around the state who share the concern about the public health system, understand the need to improve it and are willing to invest time and energy in trying to raise understanding and awareness and commitment within their communities.

Scott Maxwell, a lobbyist for the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA), described the purpose of this Public Health association. GPHA is a group of people, including public health professionals, academics, county board of health members, who get together and their purpose in life is to improve public health in Georgia. He is responsible for representing Public Health issues to educate and foster results with members of the General Assembly. 

By the conclusion of this segment of UGA's Public Health Impact, it was apparent that DPH has key partnerships in place to advance Public Health's agenda for better health outcomes.

To watch the complete interviews, click here.