• 86th Annual Georgia Public Health Association Meeting & Conference Report

      Smith, Selina A.; Abbott, Regina; Sims, Christy; Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Public Health Association (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      The 86th annual meeting of the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) and joint conference with the Southern Health Association was held in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 13-14, 2015, with pre-conference (April 12th) and post-conference (April 14th) Executive Board meetings. As Georgia’s leading forum for public health researchers, practitioners, and students, the annual meeting of the GPHA brings together participants from across the state to explore recent developments in the field and to exchange techniques, tools, and experiences. Historically, the GPHA conference has been held in Savannah (n=24); Jekyll Island (n=20); Atlanta (n=16); Augusta (n=4); and Gainesville (n=1). There was no annual meeting during the early years (1929-1936); during World War II (1941-1943 and 1945); and for four years during the 1980s. Between 2006 and 2010, GPHA held one-day annual meetings and business sessions with educational workshops. Several new initiatives were highlighted as part of this year’s conference. These included a “move and groove” physical activity lounge, registration scholarships for students with a dedicated meet-and-greet reception, an expanded exhibit hall, presentation and approval of three resolutions (related to healthy foods at official activities and events; weapons at official activities and events; and memorials), and approval of the 2015 legislative policy positions and amended association bylaws. The theme for the conference was Advocacy in Action for Public Health. Specifically, the program addressed ensuring access to care; protecting funding for core programs, services, and infrastructure; eliminating health disparities; and addressing key public health issues important to the state of Georgia. One hundred and nine (109) abstracts were submitted for peer review; 36 were accepted for poster and 40 for workshop presentations. Four plenary sessions with keynote speakers covered the intersection between advocacy and policy, Georgia’s response to the Ebola crisis, palliative care, and essentials of advocacy in action for public health. Concurrent workshops focused on Board of Health training, public health accreditation, capacity building, collaboration, patient-centered outcomes, synthetic cannabinoid use, the HIV care continuum, use of data for informed decision making, environmental threats, organizational development, epidemiology, policy, and regulation. Thirty-two (32) awards were presented, including Lawmaker of the Year Award to Governor Nathan and First Lady Sandra Deal for their active and engaged role in promoting public health in Georgia; and the Sellers-McCroan Award to Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) State Health Officer, for her leadership of the Georgia Ebola Response Team and leadership of the newly formed department. The conference attracted 569 registrants primarily through pre-registration (n=561) with limited onsite registration (n=8). For this year’s conference, there was a significant increase in attendance (36%) and exhibitors (33%) relative to 2014. Of registrants reporting GPHA section participation, representation included: academic (5%); administration (10%); boards of health (13%); career development (15%); emergency preparedness (2%); epidemiology (5%); health education and promotion (2%); information technology (2%); maternal and child health (3%); medical/dental (3%); nursing (10%); nutrition (<1%); and other/no record (15%). There was 100% participation in the conference from the state’s 18 public health districts. The conference evaluation completed by a representative sample of registrants indicated areas of potential improvement as: starting sessions on time, using electronic and social media for the conference agenda/syllabus, and decreasing workshop sessions to 45 minutes. Most rated the conference as “good” or “excellent.”
    • 87th Annual Georgia Public Health Association Meeting & Conference Report

      McWethy, Dianne; Abbott, Regina; Sims, Christy; Morgan, Brain; Harrison, Angie Peden; Gowan, David; Georgia Public Health Association (2016)
      The 87th Annual Meeting of the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) was held in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 22-23, 2016, with pre-conference (March 21st) and post-conference (March 23rd) Executive Board meetings. As Georgia’s leading forum for public health researchers, practitioners, and students, the annual meeting of the GPHA brings together participants from across the state to explore recent developments in the field and to exchange techniques, tools, and experiences. In recent years the venue for the GPHA annual conference has been Atlanta, with the 2017 GPHA Annual Meeting and Conference also scheduled to be held in Atlanta. Several new initiatives were highlighted as part of this year’s conference. These included three pre-conference workshops, expansion of academic sponsorships, an enhanced exhibit hall integrated with the poster sessions, silent auction, breaks and President’s Reception, an information booth, and an inaugural administration section track. The 2016 Annual Meeting & Conference added the Certified in Public Health (CPH) Continuing Education (CE) designation. The theme for the conference was Understanding Public Health: Research, Evidence and Practice, which reflects the science of public health. Specifically, the program addressed strengthening health systems in the United States and other countries through public health informatics; national accreditation of local health departments; applying an epidemiological approach to promoting reading proficiency for young children; an examination of factors related to health and educational disparities; continuing efforts to eliminate health disparities; and addressing key public health issues important to the state of Georgia. One hundred and nine (109) abstracts were submitted for peer review; 45 were accepted for poster and 40 for workshop presentations. Four plenary sessions with keynote speakers covered the development of collaborative methods to strengthen information capacity of public health systems, including accreditation and the linkage between early brain development and reading success. Concurrent workshops focused on board of health training, public health accreditation, capacity building, collaboration, health disparities, impacts of climatic variability on public health, monitoring systems for travelers from Ebola-affected countries, policy, and regulation. Twelve (12) awards were presented, including Legislator of the Year Award to Senator Dean Burke for his legislative efforts critical to the success of public health initiatives. These efforts included a bill creating the Maternal Mortality Committee within the Georgia Department of Public Health and his efforts related to potential Medicaid innovations for public health. The SellersMcCroan Award went to Lee S. Caplan, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine for his efforts in securing funding from the National Cancer Institute to develop and implement a Cancer Prevention and Control Research Training Program that focuses on cancer disparities. The conference attracted 475 registrants primarily through pre-registration (n=461) with limited onsite registration (n=15). Although there was a decrease in overall conference attendance (19%), the number of exhibitors (n=36) and sponsorships (n=17) remained constant as compared to 2015. There was a significant increase in the number of posters (n=9), while the number of workshops remained the same (n=40). Of registrants reporting GPHA section participation, representation included: Academic (13%); Administration (25%); Boards of Health (11%); Career Development (4%); Emergency Preparedness (1%); Environmental Health (7%); Epidemiology (7%); Health Education and Promotion (8%); Information Technology (3%); Maternal and Child Health (5%); Medical/Dental (1%); Nursing (10%); and Nutrition (1%). There was a significant increase in the Administration Section (15%) which is likely attributable to the addition of the Administration Track. Yvette Daniels, JD, of the Department of Public Health was instrumental in working to revitalize the Maternal and Child Health Section and the Safety and Health Preparedness (formerly Emergency Preparedness) Section participation at the Annual Meeting and Conference. There was 100% participation in the conference from the state’s 18 public health districts. The online conference evaluation completed by a representative sample of registrants indicated areas of potential improvement as: alignment of breakout session topics with conference theme, enhancement of the use of information technology and social media for the conference agenda/syllabus, change pre-workshops to post-workshops, and consider repetitive sessions. Most rated the conference as “good” or “excellent.”
    • Adapting a physical activity intervention for youth in a rural area: A case study

      Alfonso, Moya L.; Golquitt, Gavin; Walker, Ashley; Gupta, Akrati; Department of Community Health Behavior and Education, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, School of Health and Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Physical activity offers children and youth many well-documented positive effects on health. The present study adapted a community-based prevention marketing campaign (CBPM), VERBTM Summer Scorecard (VSS) to promote physical activity among minority youth in rural, southeast Georgia. The purpose of this paper is to describe the adaptation process, emphasizing methods used and lessons learned. Methods: A qualitative study design was used to identify social marketing concepts that informed program adaptation, including two focus groups with 12 children and two focus groups with 14 parents. Qualitative thematic data analysis was used to analyze formative research. The adapted program was implemented for three summers, from 2012 through 2014. A case study of program implementation and lessons learned is provided. Results: Formative research results suggested two changes to VSS that would be required for the program to work in this rural community - a focus on parent-child activities instead of a sole focus on youth and changes to the Scorecard that was used to track physical activity. Over the course of three years of implementation, several lessons were learned about university community partnerships (e.g., the need for a balance of power), having a program champion, and program evaluation. Conclusions: Rural communities are a unique context, with barriers to health promotion efforts that serve to contribute to negative health behaviors and resistance to change. The limited capacity of rural communities to address physical activity makes these barriers difficult to overcome, even during implementation of evidence-based practices.
    • Addressing childhood obesity in Georgia: Past, present, and future

      Kibbe, Debra L.; Vall, Emily Anne; Green, Christine; Fitzgerald, Brenda F.; Minyard, Karen J.; Cornett, Kelly; Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University, Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The Trust for America's Health ranks Georgia 17th (16.5%) in the nation for childhood obesity prevalence among youth aged 10-17 years. Georgia has a long history of addressing childhood obesity at the state, regional, and local levels. This report outlines the historical efforts in childhood obesity in Georgia from the mid-1990’s to the present, summarizes current childhood obesity prevention and management strategies, and provides childhood obesity-related data relevant to the current strategies. Methods: Childhood obesity-related efforts in Georgia from 1996 to the present are documented, along with how these efforts led to the creation of Georgia Shape. The Georgia Shape Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative, created by Governor Nathan Deal in 2012, established a statewide, 10-year plan of action to address childhood obesity. It convenes more than 125 governmental, philanthropic, academic and business community partners quarterly to work towards reducing the incidence of childhood obesity and overweight in Georgia. Evidence supporting the Georgia Shape objectives is described, along with current program and policy efforts that may allow achievement of its goal of having 69% of Georgia’s children in a healthy weight range by the year 2023. Results: Georgia's obesity rate for low-income, 2- to 4-year old children has decreased. Over the 2013-2015 school years, there has been no increase in BMI at the population level among school age children and youth, and the percentage of boys and girls with increased aerobic capacity has improved. Future efforts should focus on middle and high school students; engaging and educating parents of young children; and state policies that support safe, daily physical activity and access to healthy, local food. Conclusions: A long history of childhood obesity activities in Georgia has led to a strategic plan of action, with contributions from many stakeholders. These efforts aim to reduce the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Georgia over 10 years
    • Advocating for pregnant women in prison: Georgia can do better

      Webb, Nancy C.; Gates, Madison L. (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Women are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. prison populace and approximately 1 in 25 were pregnant when they were incarcerated. However, women, including pregnant women, are receiving unacceptable health care in correctional systems. Further, many correctional systems lack policies to protect the best interest of incarcerated women, mothers and their children. Methods: We reviewed the literature on pregnant women in prison and found that corrections has been slow in making changes and adapting facilities for women, especially related to pregnancy, parenting skills and nurseries. It has been suggested the parent-infant attachment and the involvement incarcerated parents have with their children can help in preventing intergenerational crime. Results: The prison system in the U.S. is not set up to meet the needs of pregnant women prisoners. Many states, including Georgia, do not have policies regarding prenatal care or the use of restraints during labor and delivery. Conclusions: Georgia should rethink its prison-spending model. It would behoove Georgia’s leaders to take a look at what programs exist for pregnant women and mothers and consider adopting a model that would be a good fit for our state. We propose a collaborative approach for stakeholders to improve the care of pregnant offenders and the health of their children.
    • After initial accreditation - The PHAB Annual Report

      Roberts, Gurleen; Frantz, Emily; Kennedy, Jack; Cobb & Douglas Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) was the first health district in Georgia to achieve accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) (accredited on May 12, 2015). Since then, two additional health districts, DeKalb (3-5) and Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments (3-4), have achieved accreditation. Efforts are underway among health districts statewide to become accredited, yet, little is known about life after accreditation. This presentation will highlight CDPH’s approach to submitting the PHAB Annual Report, which is required of health departments in order to maintain their accreditation status. Methods: CDPH will provide an overview of the PHAB Annual Report process and requirements. We will also share the process we used to construct a one-year timeline to prepare for the submission of the Annual Report and organize the Accreditation Team. CDPH will also provide a preview of the electronic submission process using ePHAB. Finally, CDPH will share tips, including lessons learned while preparing and submitting the Annual Report during July-August 2016. We will also discuss our experiences since submission and feedback received from PHAB’s Evaluation and Quality Improvement Committee. Results: CDPH will share knowledge and experiences related to the submission and feedback received of its first PHAB Annual Report, which was submitted August 2016. Conclusions: Health departments devote a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy to become accredited; however, the journey continues through the submission of PHAB Annual Progress Reports and reaccreditation planning.
    • Air pollution, physical activity, and markers of acute airway oxidative stress and inflammation in adolescents

      Pasalic, Emilia; Hayat, Matthew J; Greenwald, Roby; Georgia State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The airway inflammatory response is likely the mechanism for adverse health effects related to exposure to air pollution. Increased ventilation rates during physical activity in the presence of air pollution increases the inhaled dose of pollutants. However, physical activity may moderate the relationship between air pollution and the inflammatory response. The present study aimed to characterize, among healthy adolescents, the relationship between dose of inhaled air pollution, physical activity, and markers of lung function, oxidative stress, and airway inflammation. Methods: With a non-probability sample of adolescents, this observational study estimated the association between air pollution dose and outcome measures by use of general linear mixed models with an unstructured covariance structure and a random intercept for subjects to account for repeated measures within subjects. Results: A one interquartile range (IQR) (i.e., 345.64 μg) increase in ozone (O3) inhaled dose was associated with a 29.16% average decrease in the percentage of total oxidized compounds (%Oxidized). A one IQR (i.e., 2.368E+10 particle) increase in total particle number count in the inhaled dose (PNT) was associated with an average decrease in forced expiratory flow (FEF25-75) of 0.168 L/second. Increasing activity levels attenuated the relationship between PNT inhaled dose and exhaled nitric oxide (eNO). The relationship between O3 inhaled dose and percent oxidized exhaled breath condensate cystine (%CYSS) was attenuated by activity level, with increasing activity levels corresponding to smaller changes from baseline for a constant O3 inhaled dose. Conclusions: The moderating effects of activity level suggest that peaks of high concentration doses of air pollution may overwhelm the endogenous redox balance of cells, resulting in increased airway inflammation. Further research that examines the relationships between dose peaks over time and inflammation could help to determine whether a high concentration dose over a short period of time has a different effect than a lower concentration dose over a longer period of time.
    • Analysis of hypertension control rates among participants in the Georgia Hypertension Management and Outreach Program

      Byers, Sara; O'connor, Jean; Powell-Threets, Kia; Padgett,Kia; Hallow, Melissa; University of Georgia, Emory University, Georgia Department of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
    • Application of a faith-based integration tool to assess mental and physical health interventions

      Saunders, Donna; Leak, Jean; Carver, Monique; Smith, Selina; Refreshing Springs Outreach, Medical College of Georiga (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: To build on current research involving faith-based interventions (FBIs) for addressing mental and physical health, this study a) reviewed the extent to which relevant publications integrate faith concepts with health and b) initiated analysis of the degree of FBI integration with intervention outcomes. Methods: Derived from a systematic search of articles published between 2007 and 2017, 36 studies were assessed with a Faith-Based Integration Assessment Tool (FIAT) to quantify faith-health integration. Basic statistical procedures were employed to determine the association of faith-based integration with intervention outcomes. Results: The assessed studies possessed (on average) moderate, inconsistent integration because of poor use of faith measures, and moderate, inconsistent use of faith practices. Analysis procedures for determining the effect of FBI integration on intervention outcomes were inadequate for formulating practical conclusions. Conclusions: Regardless of integration, interventions were associated with beneficial outcomes. To determine the link between FBI integration and intervention outcomes, additional analyses are needed.
    • Arsenal Volume 2, Issue 1

      Walton, Amberly; Venugopal, Natasha; White, Adam; Layton, James; Alexander, Khadijah; Anosike, Kingsley (Augusta University Libraries, 2018-04)
    • Arsenal: Volume 1, Issue 1

      Walton, Amberly; Venugopal, Natasha; White, Adam; Layton, James; Alexander, Khadijah; Anosike, Kingsley (Augusta University Libraries, 2016-10)
    • Arsenal: Volume 1, Issue 2

      Walton, Amberly; Venugopal, Natasha; White, Adam; Layton, James; Alexander, Khadijah; Anosike, Kingsley (Augusta University Libraries, 2017)
    • Arsenal: Volume 2, Issue 1: Table of Contents and Editorial

      Walton, Amberly; Venugopal, Natasha; White, Adam; Layton, James; Alexander, Khadijah; Anosike, Kingsley (Augusta University Libraries, 2018-07-25)
    • Assessing a comprehensive approach to prevent sexual violence on campus: Implications for program improvement

      Ejikeme, Chinwe; Powell, Threets Kia; Bayo, Mosi; Toddle, Kia L; O'Connor, Jean; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: On college campuses, sexual violence (or sexual assault) is at epidemic proportions. As many as one in four college women experience sexual assaults, most of which are not reported, likely due to the adverse reactions stemming from social norms and attitudes about rape. To prevent sexual violence on college campuses, the multi-level factors influencing it necessitate implementation of a holistic approach channeled at all levels. The present multi-method study assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of a peer educator (PE)-facilitated program implemented as part of a comprehensive sexual assault prevention program in three small Georgia colleges. Methods: Student participants (N=128) were questioned on their attitude toward rape myths, intention to rape, and likelihood to intervene in a potential rape situation. Paired t-tests for pre-/post-test scores assessed statistical differences in mean levels of outcomes at the data collection points. In addition, a qualitative assessment explored the feasibility of implementing, on campus, a long-duration program for prevention of sexual violence. Results: The findings indicated that, after exposure to the program, participants demonstrated decreased rape myth beliefs and intention to commit rape and an increased likelihood to intervene in a potential rape situation. In addition, apart from attaining regular student attendance in the 10-week sessions of the program, implementation of the “One on Four & Beyond” program proved to be feasible. Conclusions: This preliminary, multi-approach study suggests the effectiveness of a school PE-facilitated prevention program as a component of a comprehensive approach in reducing sexual violence on campus. Future studies are necessary to enhance understanding of the impact of the program.
    • Assessing the cultural appropriateness of UPLIFT for African Americans with epilepsy: A community engaged approach

      Hunter-Jones, Josalin; Nellum, April; Olorundare, Elizabeth; McCloud, Candace; McCurdy. Matthew; McGee, Robin; Davis, Contessa; Thompson, Nancy; Quarells, Rakale; Emory Universtiyu (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: In trials of Project UPLIFT, a distance-delivered, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy intervention, there was improvement in the mental health of people with epilepsy/seizure disorder. In these trials, however, African Americans have been few. Thus, as this program is disseminated, it is desirable to ensure that it is culturally appropriate for minority populations. Methods: To determine the appropriateness of Project UPLIFT for African Americans, we engaged in three main research activities: 1) the formation and involvement of an epilepsy community advisory board; 2) qualitative interviews with healthcare providers who serve this community; and 3) focus groups with African American adults living with epilepsy or seizure disorder and main support persons of African American adults living with epilepsy or seizure disorder. Results: The epilepsy community advisory board provided recommendations for the most appropriate language to use when engaging and recruiting the target population. Healthcare providers indicated that psychosocial concerns of African American persons living with epilepsy seemed to be different from those among patients of other racial groups. They indicated that Project UPLIFT might be useful for this group. Focus groups revealed experiences of living with and supporting someone with epilepsy and provided favorable feedback on the UPLIFT intervention. Conclusions: Formative feedback indicates that Project UPLIFT may be useful for African Americans with epilepsy. These data will be used to guide a forthcoming randomized, controlled trial to assess the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention with this group.
    • Assessing the Validity of Statistical Inferences in Public Health Research: An Evidence-Based, ‘Best Practices’ Approach

      Peace, Karl E.; Parrillo, Anthony V.; Hardy, Charles J.; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2008)
      Like many fields, public health has embraced the process of evidence-based practice to inform practice decisions and to guide policy development. Evidence-based practice is typically dependent upon generalizations made on the bases of the existing body of knowledge – assimilations of the research literature on a particular topic. The potential utility of scientific evidence for guiding policy and practice decisions is grounded in the validity of the research investigations upon which such decisions are made. However, the validity of inferences made from the extant public health research literature requires more than ascertaining the validity of the statistical methods alone; for each study, the validity of the entire research process must be critically analyzed to the greatest extent possible so that appropriate conclusions can be drawn, and that recommendations for development of sound public health policy and practice can be offered. A critical analysis of the research process should include the following: An a priori commitment to the research question; endpoints that are both appropriate for and consistent with the research question; an experimental design that is appropriate (i.e., that answers the research question[s]); study procedures that are conducted in a quality manner, that eliminate bias and ensure that the data accurately reflect the condition(s) under study; evidence that the integrity of the Type-I error – or false-positive risk – has been preserved; use of appropriate statistical methods (e.g. assumptions checked, dropouts appropriately handled, correct variance term) for the data analyzed; and accurate interpretation of the results of statistical tests conducted in the study (e.g., the robustness of conclusions relative to missing data, multiple endpoints, multiple analyses, conditions of study, generalization of results, etc.). This paper provides a framework for both researcher and practitioner so that each may assess this critical aspect of public health research.
    • An assessment of data related to inspections of risk factors for public swimming pools

      Shack, Shanita; Redmond, Maurice; Rustin, Christopher; Emory University; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is mandated to ensure that public swimming pools are safe for those who use them. This mandate is carried out by the DPH and local environmental health professionals through regulations and inspections. In 2015, legislation was introduced proposing to reduce the authority of the DPH to inspect certain pool types (apartments, subdivision, condominiums) and thus reduce regulatory protections in place for swimmers. To ensure that the DPH had current information on the risks associated with pools, the EH team, with assistance from a graduate student, analyzed inspection data to evaluate risk factors associated with these pool types and summarized drownings and waterborne disease outbreaks (WBDOs). Methods: Pool inspection data (n=4,441 pools) for 2014 were retrieved from the Environmental Health Information System (EHIS) of the DPH. Data from the 2010 Census and epidemiological data on drownings and water-borne disease outbreaks (WBDOs) were also evaluated. Data were stratified by public health district and type/number of pools and analyzed for selected violations of health risk factors (pH, barriers, disinfectant residual). Drownings and WBDOs were described and summarized. Results: Approximately 55% of inspected pools were for apartments, condominiums, and subdivisions. These pool types were consistently cited by inspectors for the selected risk factors and ranked in the top five for these violations. In 2013, children aged 1-17 had the highest percentage (30%) of deaths from drowning. In 2001-2014, there were 28 WBDOs, with 39% occurring at public pool venues. Conclusions: Data from this research provided information on risks associated with pools and supported the importance of inspection programs for public swimming pools. The data were used to inform policy makers on the risks associated with the pool venues under legislative review. These data, combined with other risk factor information, were utilized by the DPH to inform training needs and to reinforce public health messaging on protecting swimmer health.
    • Assessment of distress, unmet needs, and receipt of care plans among cancer survivors in Georgia

      Escoffery, Cam; Patterson, Angie; Paris, Nancy; Kirsch, Logan; Frank, Cassiopeia; O'Connor, Jean (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Cancer survivors have distinctive healthcare needs. The Survivorship Working Group of the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium conducted an assessment to understand the physical, psychological, practical, and spiritual needs of adult cancer survivors; patient perceptions regarding patient-provider communications; and their perceived need for services. Methods: In 2014, a convenience sample of Georgia cancer survivors completed a paper or online survey about the presence of and distress associated with unmet physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs, and receipt of assistance in those areas. They were also asked about receipt of cancer treatment and survivorship care plans. Results: Survivors were primarily female, married, White, and within 5 years of treatment. High proportions reported moderate to extreme levels of distress with depression (32.7%), anxiety (32.1%), stress (30.2%), and fear of recurrence (28.2%). Many reported no receipt of assistance in emotional needs such as changing relationships and defining a new normal and physical needs such as intimacy and body image. Fewer than half (48%) reported having received a cancer treatment summary from their physician and only 37% received a survivorship care plan. Of those who received either, 98% reported that the information was helpful. Conclusions: Cancer survivors in Georgia who responded to the survey had unmet needs, especially related to physical and mental health. More widespread adoption of guidelines of the Commission on Cancer, including the use of distress screening tools, would assist providers in addressing identified needs directly or through referrals. A limitation is that the racial and ethnic minority participation of 20.1% is insufficient to generalize results to all cancer survivors in Georgia. Subsequent surveys would benefit from targeted approaches to reach diverse and underserved survivors.
    • Assessment of early intervention services to better child outcomes among Part C infants and toddlers

      Ibe, Brendan; Fowles, Tiffany; Csukas, Seema; Conner, Jackie; Kelley, Grace; Johnson, Donna; Bryant, Cynthia; Allen, Michelle; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Early intervention services have been shown to improve child outcomes. Rapid proliferation of neural connections and circuits contribute to the rapid growth of the brain in the first three years of life. These neural circuits which create the foundation for learning are most flexible in this period and become increasingly more difficult to change thereafter. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between early enrollment in Georgia’s Part C birth to three early intervention program and improved child outcome ratings upon exiting the program at 3 years of age. The study used 2013 & 2014 Annual Performance Report (APR) data. Methods: This study included 6,309 participants who enrolled and received services in the Part C, Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) program. A Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to assess if there was an association between age at enrollment and improved child outcome score. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the variances within the age groups for equality. Bonferroni post hoc test was used to compare the mean child outcome score across the enrollment age groups. Results: A statistically significant inverse correlation was found between enrollment age and improved child outcome score at 3 years of age. One-way ANOVA showed that the variances within the enrollment age groups were equal while the mean child outcome scores were not. Bonferroni post hoc test revealed that the mean child outcome score in the enrollment age group 0 to ≤ 6 months was significantly higher than the other age groups. Conclusions: Significantly better child outcomes were associated with enrollment in early intervention services before 6 months of age.
    • Assessment of medical needs of the Hispanic community in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia

      Giguere-Belanger, Kim; Pino, Jose; Lian, Brad; Mercer University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2011)
      Background: Little is known about the health concerns and issues among the Hispanic community in growing, mid-sized cities, such as Macon, Georgia. Methods: A questionnaire on general health-related issues was given to a sample of 125 Hispanic participants. Results: The top health concerns of the Hispanic community were diabetes, obesity, and dental hygiene; the most common factors preventing Hispanics from receiving medical treatment were the lack of insurance, language barriers, and copayments or deductibles being too high. Conclusions: Lack of higher education and the inability to communicate effectively in English may be manifested as difficulties in finding proper information about where to access insurance and healthcare. Therefore, awareness campaigns, more advertising in Spanish, and perhaps increasing the availability of English lessons may be helpful for this population.