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Board of Public Health

Kathryn K. Cheek, MD, FAAP

Kathryn K. CheekDr. Cheek is the 2013 - 2014 board chair of the Georgia Board of Public Health. She is the former president of the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (GAAAP). She also served as vice president, district representative and secretary of GAAAP. Cheek has practiced primary care pediatrics in Columbus for the past 27 years, serving on many local and state boards throughout her career. Cheek earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree in health education and a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University. She is a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, Muscogee County Medical Society and the American Medical Association. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Rosa Parks Women of Courage and the Woman of Distinction awards. She and her husband, Ben, have three adult children. The family resides in Columbus.

Phillip L. Williams, Ph.D
Vice Chair

Dr. Williams is the founding dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia (UGA), and he holds the Georgia Power Professorship of Environmental Health Science in the college’s Department of Environmental Health Science. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications, including two textbooks on toxicology. Prior to his tenure at UGA, which began in 1993, Williams was vice president of the Environmental Health Division of A.T. Kearney, a senior research scientist with the Georgia Tech Research Institute and an industrial hygienist with the USDOL/OSHA. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and a doctoral degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Theda, have two children and two grandchildren. The couple resides in Watkinsville.

Mitch Rodriguez, MD

Dr. Rodriguez currently serves as Regional Neonatal Medical Director for the Macon region. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, member of the Medical Association of Georgia, clinical associate professor of Pediatrics at Mercer Medical School and is a practicing neonatologist in Macon. He serves as chairman of the board at Mount de Sales, Macon. Rodriguez earned his medical degree from Universidad Nordestana in the Dominican Republic and an MBA from Kennesaw State University. He and his wife have two children. The family resides in Macon.

James W. Curran, MD

Dr. Curran has been dean and professor of epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health since 1995. In 2009, the deanship of the school was endowed in his honor and he holds the position as the first James W. Curran Dean of Public Health. Since 1997, he has also served as principal investigator and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research. Curran has been the author of more than 260 scientific publications. He serves on numerous local and national nonprofit boards and committees. Curran has also served as chair of the Association of Schools of Public Health and currently serves on the executive committee. Prior to Emory, he served for more than two decades with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 1981 to 1995, he was a leader of the CDC’s HIV research and prevention efforts. Curran and his wife, Juanita, have two adult children and have lived in Atlanta since 1978.

Robert S. Harshman, MD

Dr. Harshman is the Medical Director of Georgia Power/Southern Company as well as the Trojan Battery Company. He serves on the Advisory Council for Public Health and on the Advisory Board of the Rollins School of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (PERRC) at Emory. Harshman is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), the Georgia Chapter of ACOEM, the Medical Association of Georgia and Atlanta and the Southern Medical Association. Harshman earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and a medical degree from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara Medical School.

Cynthia A. Mercer, MD

Dr. Mercer has been in private practice in gynecology and obstetrics for 30 years. She is a past president of the Georgia OB/GYN Society and a former chair of the Georgia section of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She serves on the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center board of directors and is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgia Health Sciences University. Mercer earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. She completed her residency training at Emory University-affiliated hospitals. She and her husband, Thomas Rogers, have two children. They reside in Athens.

Katie C. Miller

Ms. Miller is a development officer with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. As a foundation employee, she helps lead efforts to develop awareness and secure individual gifts for the not-for-profit’s network of pediatric hospitals, facilities and programs. Prior to joining Children’s, Miller was a fund-raising consultant with Capitol Strategy Group in Atlanta. 

Miller is a volunteer with La Amistad's English for Successful Living program in Atlanta, where she teaches English as a second language to adults. Additionally, Miller serves as a volunteer with the Newnan-Coweta Angel's House, an emergency safe haven for children, helping maintain philanthropic gift records for various fund-raising initiatives.

Miller earned bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Georgia and a certificate of study from La Universidad de Granada in Spain. The Newnan native and her husband, Doug, live in Atlanta.

Gary D. Nelson, Ph.D

Dr. Nelson has served as president of Healthcare Georgia Foundation since its inception in 2002. Prior to joining the foundation, Nelson was program director for the California Wellness Foundation. Nelson previously served as the associate director for evaluation and chief of the Health Promotion and Training Branch in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nelson has held academic appointments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Nebraska, and he currently holds adjunct appointments at Emory University and Georgia Southern University. He is currently a member of the American Public Health Association and the Georgia Public Health Association. Nelson resides in Smyrna and has four children.

Judy Greenlea Taylor, DDS

Dr. Greenlea Taylor has practiced dentistry in both the public and private sectors for the past 22 years. She has a private practice in Union City. Greenlea Taylor has served as Speaker of the House for the National Dental Association and is a past president of the North Georgia Dental Society. Greenlea Taylor is a member of the Georgia Dental Society, the American Dental Association, the Georgia Dental Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the Georgia Public Health Association. She has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and as a practitioner for the DeKalb County Board of Health. Greenlea Taylor is a committed community outreach volunteer. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M University, a dental degree from the University of Iowa and completed her residency at Emory University. She is a candidate for a Master of Public Health degree at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She resides in Atlanta.