You are here

DPH Hosts First Employee Recognition Day

May 22, 2014

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) paused to celebrate the good work and good health of its employees. On May 21, the department celebrated its firstl Employee Recognition and Wellness Day.

Employees gathered at the GBA Freight Depot for DPH's first Employee Recognition and Wellness Day.

State DPH employees attended the half-day event to focus on doing well and feeling well. The event also recognized employees who embody DPH’s core values of excellence. Chief of Staff James Howgate announced the winners of six awards, each representing one of those values:

  • Mauri Smith, Award for Excellence in Accountability and Transparency
  • Paula Brown, Award for Excellence in Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Michelle Kirk, Award for Excellence in Commitment and Excellence
  • Shelley Hanson, Award for Excellence in Customer Service and People
  • Jane Kelly, M.D., Award for Excellence in Innovation and Science
  • Michelle Allen, the Fitzgerald Award for Excellence in Leadership

DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., praised employees for their roles in the department’s progress and accomplishments since it became a stand-alone agency in 2011, including dramatic reductions in Georgia’s pre-term birth rate, a total ban on tobacco on the state’s public college and university campuses and an increased focus on childhood fitness through Georgia SHAPE.

“This is all because of you, because of your hard work and dedication to public health in Georgia,” Fitzgerald said.

After sampling some healthy snacks and taking a few dance breaks, attendees also got a “pep talk” from Paul Wesselmann, an inspirational speaker who focused on the importance of being well in order to do good work.

Attendees also got a sneak preview of DPH’s new Be Healthy campaign, the Office of Worksite Wellness’ new educational campaign that focuses on getting healthy by emphasizing a variety of healthy habits employees can adopt.

Since the founding of its worksite wellness program, DPH has been dedicated to promoting wellness at work by encouraging employees to be more physically active, quit smoking and adopt healthy eating habits. Worksite Wellness Coordinator Susanne Koch said it’s also important to recognize that the working environment plays a big role in other aspects of wellness, such as social, intellectual and emotional health.

“Employee recognition is directly tied into wellness,” she said. “We spend a large part of our lives at our workplaces. It’s important that our employees are recognized for the good work they do and that they feel good about being here.”

You might like...

July 21, 2015

When fourth year medical students begin choosing their elective rotations, exciting subjects come to mind: surgery, neurology, emergency medicine or even cardiology. But for one Georgia Regents University (GRU) Medical College of Georgia (MCG) student, public health sounded like an interesting and challenging rotation.

July 21, 2015

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is proud to welcome John Haupert, FACHE, president and CEO of Grady Health System, as its newest Board of Public Health member.

Haupert brings to the board more than 20 years of experience in managing and improving hospital operations. He is excited to join DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., in developing public health programs that lead to improved health outcomes in Georgia.

July 14, 2015

Clyde Watkins Jr., M.D., has just joined the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Dr. Watkins is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Emory University’s School of Medicine. He is also founder of the Capstone Medical Group.

“I am delighted to have Dr. Watkins as a board member,” said District Health Director S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A. “His dedication to the residents of DeKalb County, as well as his extensive knowledge of chronic diseases and health disparities, make him a welcome addition to an already wonderful team.”