• Better nutrition by increased knowledge of food nutritional components

      Hayworth,Lisa; Hendricks, Tangela; Matthews, Nicole; Brenau University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: The purpose of this project was to teach nutritional concepts related to MyPlate to children and families who participate in the Boys and Girls Club of Hall County (BGCHC). MyPlate is the nutrition guide published by the US Department of Agriculture; it is a pie chart depicting a plate divided into five food groups. The educational event occurred at a fall festival sponsored by the BGCHC. The intent was to offer a fun and interactive game to allow children to learn from a hands-on experience. Methods: Participants in the game were between 4 and 12 years of age and were from low income families. A matching game was developed for associating foods with the correct category of MyPlate. Results: Sixty-three percent of the children selected healthy plates with 3 out of 5 categories correct; 37% chose the unhealthy plates. Seventy-three percent of the participants stated they had previous knowledge of MyPlate. Conclusions: The conclusion reached by the Brenau University nursing students was that the concepts of MyPlate need re-enforcement throughout the community and over time.
    • Black college women sexual health peer education at Clark Atlanta University

      Francis, Clarissa; Bradley, Josephine; Bass, Christopher; Scipio, Karla; Braithwaite, Ronald; Clark Atlanta University; Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: This research was based on the premise that various factors, such as social determinants, cultural competency, use of statistics and location, contribute to the efficacy of the transmission of sexual health education. In the United States, African American women account for 60% of the cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) of women. Considerable research has noted the high rates of HIV among African-American women. The present research, however, focused exclusively on Black college women at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). Methods: A mixed method approach using surveys and participant observation in an exploratory case study was used to evaluate responses of Black college women at CAU to sexual health peer education. Results: Most of the Black college women who attended an event sponsored by Health Services, the Health Peers Educating and Encouraging Responsible Students (H-PEERS), reported that it effectively impacted their overall sexual health. Conclusions: Although, the female students reported having prior knowledge of sexual health information prior to attending CAU, including risk reduction behaviors, they reported participating in sexual risky behaviors. Many of the female students whom reported attending an event sponsored by the H-PEERS effectively had an impact on their sexual health knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards sex, sexual behaviors, and sexual health status. Further research is needed on how the overall sexual health of black college women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and predominantly white schools (PWI), and how strategies, such as peer-led health education, differ in transmission and efficacy.
    • Brain development: A look at four programs in Georgia that support optimal brain development

      Webb, Nancy; Gates, Madison L.; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Georgia is making strides to improve its early care and education system through program development within state agencies and alliances. These timely, statewide programs are focused on improving understanding of the importance of brain development. Methods: We reviewed the mission and information provided by four Georgia agencies with the aim of developing and improving programs and educational opportunities to instruct educators, policy makers, the general public, and others about child development in the context of brain development. Results: For young children in Georgia, the four organizations are committed to ensuring opportunities for well-being. Georgia is moving forward in its quest to improve resources and environments for young children, families, and citizens. The agencies and activities include Better Brains for Babies; the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning; Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students; and the Talk With Me Baby program. Conclusions: Georgia is making substantial efforts to provide and support early education environments based on emerging research on how brain development
    • Breaking the chains: A public health approach to modern day slavery

      Nosin, Rachael; Deloitte Consulting (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Modern day slavery is a $150 billion industry and the second largest criminal enterprise, behind drug trafficking.1 Approximately 21-30 million men, women, and children are modern day slaves worldwide, and over 200 cases of human trafficking were confirmed in GA in 2016 alone.2, 3 In 2006 Georgia incorporated a statute against trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude into its criminal code (see O.C.G.A. § 16-5-46). The penalties for this crime are stiff, and those convicted face a minimum of 10 years in state prison and up to a $100,000 fine. This is not enough, however. There is a need to identify this as a public health issue and work to create Georgia’s “Freedom Ecosystem,” a network of key players, including state government, businesses, consumers, and non-profit organizations. Together, these players can make strides in ending and preventing modern day slavery. Methods: Human trafficking is prevalent across our state, partly due to factors related to supply, demand, and facilitation. By applying a public health lens to human trafficking, we may deconstruct the issue across the socio-ecological model to identify the root causes and the most strategic approaches to overcoming systemic barriers, identifying and aiding victims, and empowering survivors. To do so, the Freedom Ecosystem can be used as a framework for harnessing change. Results: Through external interviews and research, we identified nine ways that organizations play a role in the Freedom Ecosystem. Conclusions: Members of Georgia’s private sector, civil society, government, funding communities, academia, and the broader public can use a collective-action framework with a public health lens to promote prevention and advance freedom from modern-day slavery.
    • The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act (BCCPTA) in Georgia: Women Covered and Medicaid Costs in 2003

      Adams, E. Kathleen; Blake, Sarah C.; Raskind-Hood, Cheryl; Chien, Linien; Zhou, Mei; Liff, Jonathan; Eley, William; Georgia Health Policy Center; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2007)
      The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act (BCCPTA) provided states with an optional Medicaid eligibility category for uninsured women with breast and/or cervical cancers. The BCCPTA is the first and only such effort to use a population-based public health screening program, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) to provide a pathway to publicly funded health insurance for otherwise uninsured low-income women. Georgia was one of the first states to adopt the BCCPTA and was one of only twelve states that provided Medicaid eligibility to women screened by non-NBCCEDP providers. We use 2003 Georgia Medicaid claims and enrollment data to investigate the scope of the state’s BCCPTA enrollment and enrollees’ costs as well as demographic characteristics of breast and cervical cancer patients in Georgia’s BCCPTA and other Medicaid eligibility categories. Georgia’s Medicaid coverage of women with breast and/or cervical cancer under BCCPTA accounted for over one-third of all women with these cancers covered by the state in 2003 alone. Those newly eligible under BCCPTA were more likely to have breast, as opposed to cervical, cancer and to be older than those women with breast/cervical cancers enrolled in Georgia Medicaid due to low-income, pregnancy or disability status. Georgia’s Medicaid program spent over $29 million on BCCPTA enrollees in 2003 at a cost of over $12,000 per enrollee. BCCPTA enrollee costs were more similar to those for disabled women with these cancers, about $19,500, than to costs for low-income/pregnant women which equaled about $7,500. By expanding Medicaid coverage, BCCPTA can potentially bring women in at earlier stages of their cancer and provide needed coverage/treatment. Future research should examine the potential effect of BCCPTA on reduced morbidity and mortality among these low-income women.
    • Bridging the gap between local public health and the healthcare community: The Public Health Talk

      Bharucha, Puja; Franklin, Rachel; Cobb and Duglas Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: District epidemiologists often rely on healthcare providers for medical information regarding reportable diseases in order to properly investigate cases. It becomes difficult when providers do not share patient information due to apprehension and/or lack of knowledge of HIPAA exemption laws. It is also challenging when the provider staff is not knowledgeable regarding disease specific information. When information is withheld, there is a delay in completing investigations, and high priority cases and outbreaks such as emerging infectious diseases can be missed or lost to follow up. Methods: The Public Health Talk (The Talk) initiative was established at Cobb and Douglas Public Health in 2014 by the Epidemiology Department. The Talk includes a comprehensive binder that consists of information about the reportable diseases, emerging infectious diseases, sexually transmitted infections and provides guidelines and protocols as recommended by the Georgia Department of Public Health. It provides a forum for local epidemiologists to informally meet and educate staff of healthcare facilities (physicians, nurses, office managers, administrative assistants, etc). Pre-talk and post-talk surveys were developed to assess knowledge gained of the staff to which The Talk was presented. Results: The initiative is ongoing, however, 31 Talks were completed by March 2016, but only 8 facilities were evaluated due to the delayed development of the surveys. It was found that 38% of staff members were not aware of the reportable diseases prior to the Talk. There was a noted increase in knowledge of local public health and the resources that are offered to healthcare facilities. Conclusions: Healthcare providers have begun to utilize public health to aid in assessing and diagnosing diseases. The initiative is evolving and continuously improving, including the development of newsletters to improve communication and the resource binder will be reorganized to have specific information that is needed by the specialty of the provider.
    • The burden and social determinants of asthma for adults in the state of Georgia

      Ebell, Mark; Marchello, Christian; O'connor, Jean; University of Georgia, Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Asthma is a serious chronic health condition, and social determinants may affect its prevalence. Methods: Data from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), the Georgia Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS), and the Georgia hospital and emergency department survey for patients with a diagnosis of asthma were used. All data were from the years 2011 through 2014. SAS and SUDAAN software were used to calculate weighted prevalence estimates and to perform univariate and multivariate analyses of the association between social determinants, other risk factors, and asthma outcomes. Results: The prevalence of asthma was highest among non-Hispanic blacks, women, and persons with less than a high school education, with an annual household income below $25,000, and in rural parts of the state (south and northwest Georgia). Those without insurance for more than three years had a higher prevalence of asthma than those who had insurance or had been uninsured less than 6 months. Although the percentage without insurance declined from 2012 to 2014, more than 1 in 5 adults of working age with asthma still lacked health insurance, and more than half had been without it for more than 3 years. One-third of Georgians with asthma could not see a doctor, at least on one occasion, because of cost, and more than a third were currently paying off medical bills. Approximately one quarter did not report having a personal physician, and a similar percentage reported having more than one year since their last check-up. In multivariate analyses, women (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.61), smokers (aOR 1.54), and persons with a higher BMI (aOR 1.56) were all independently associated with having asthma. Conclusions: For the state of Georgia, there are associations between social determinants, such as education, income, and geography, and the prevalence of asthma, and many patients lack access to care. Addressing social determinants, including having affordable health insurance, is necessary to improve management of asthma.
    • C the light! Exploring dynamic changes in hepatitis C epidemiology, screening, and treatment

      Miller, Lesley; Travis, Natasha; Lom, Jennifer; Fluker, Shelly-Ann; Emory University, Grady Memorial Hospital (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Hepatitis C is common, deadly and curable. A major public health epidemic, it affects close to 4 million Americans, and kills more Americans than HIV, hepatitis B and tuberculosis combined. New all-oral therapies for hepatitis C can cure over 90% of those treated with few side effects and with a short 12-week course. However, many people with hepatitis C are unaware of their infection and access to curative therapy remains limited, especially for underserved populations. Methods: Our workshop will focus on areas of dynamic change in hepatitis C. We will discuss the changing epidemiology, focusing on the epidemic of new infections among young injection drug users. We will discuss hepatitis C screening recommendations and how these are applied in medical and public health settings, including barriers and facilitators to screening and linkage to care. We will describe current available therapies for hepatitis C and challenges to accessing these medications. Results: We will present results of our screening and linkage to care cascade, as well as the impact of our primary care-based hepatitis C clinic on antiviral treatment outcomes. We will focus on ways that workshop attendees can apply these principles to hepatitis C screening in their individual settings throughout the state of Georgia. Conclusions: We will conclude by making the compelling argument that combining public awareness of the disease, screening, linkage to care and treatment can lead to hepatitis C elimination in an unexpectedly short time frame.
    • Can summer camp improve childhood asthma management? Outcomes from Augusta Area Asthma Camp

      Flakes, Terrill; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Childhood asthma is the most common chronic condition in the U.S., affecting 8.6% of children.1 Asthma is particularly an issue in Georgia where 16.2% of children have been diagnosed with this condition.2 Research suggests an association between pediatric asthma education and a decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and improved quality of life (QOL).3,4 The Augusta Area Asthma Camp, a free week-long educational day camp, was created to address a critical need for asthma education in the community by increasing parent and child knowledge and self-management of asthma symptoms while providing typical summer camp activities in a safe environment. Yet camp effectiveness has not been evaluated. This study explored differences in parent and child related asthma outcomes before and after attending Asthma Camp. Methods: In summer 2016, children attending Asthma Camp along with their parents/legal guardian were consented and asked to complete pre- and post-camp surveys that collected information about asthma control, education, self-management of symptoms, and physical activity. Paired samples t-tests were used to determine pre- and post-camp differences. Results: Children (n=43) ranged from 6-13 years (M=8.53, SD=1.80) with the majority Black (65.1%), male (62.8%), from single parent (41.5%), low-income (73.1%), and nonsmoking households (84.65%). Child asthma education scores were low both before (65%, SD=0.22) and after (69%,SD=0.11) camp. Children reported a significant increase in the number of physically active days/week pre (M=3.66, SD=1.99) to post (M=5.48,SD=1.33) camp t(28)=-4.14,p=0.00. While we noticed slight improvement in child symptoms (preM=5.38,SD=1.30; postM=5.66,SD=1.24), activity limitations (preM=5.90,SD=1.16; postM=6.01,SD=1.13), emotional function (preM=5.57,SD=1.68; postM=5.68,SD= 1.84), and total QOL (preM=5.47,SD=1.25; postM=5.76,SD=1.24) and parent management strategies (preM=3.19,SD=0.52; postM=3.31,SD=0.92) and support (preM=0.50,SD=0.57; postM=0.55,SD=0.59), differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Asthma camp can increase child physical activity and shows promise for improving asthma education, self-management, and parental support. A larger sample and more sensitive measures may improve our ability to detect changes in the participants.
    • Capital and technical assistance needs of Georgia’s health-related nonprofits: An exploratory study

      Daniel, Jerry B.; Green-Caldwell, Cherysh; Albany State University, Turner County Connection-Communities In Schools of Turner County, Inc. (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Nonprofit organizations, particularly those related to health and human services, are involved in addressing needs of the American population. They provide an array of services in small and large communities throughout the United States. Compared to for-profit organizations, health-related nonprofits are increasing in number. Despite having a substantial share of the health care market, nonprofit organizations face difficulties delivering services to those in need. The difficulties faced by rural nonprofits may be greater than those for their urban counterparts. The impetus for this study came from Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s goal of strengthening nonprofits to address the burgeoning health inequities in Georgia. The purpose was to gain a better understanding of the capital and technical assistance needs of health-related nonprofits. The specific aim was to answer a set of exploratory questions. Methods: This study utilized exploratory, descriptive methodology to examine the capital and technical assistance needs of health-related nonprofits in the state of Georgia. Organizational management staff was used as the unit of analysis. A cross-sectional, correlational design was used to gauge participants’ views about their organization’s current needs. The sample consisted of 48 rural and 45 urban/metropolitan nonprofits. Results: The findings provide information related to the capital and technical assistance needs of rural and urban health-related nonprofits in Georgia and reveal specific needs of nonprofits focusing on health and social services. Conclusions: The results have public health implications for a state that currently faces various public health challenges. Nonprofits located in rural areas could use more technical assistance in reaching their funding goals.
    • The care continuum for people living with HIV in Georgia: How can we raise the bar?

      Kelly, Jane; Rane, Deppali; Wortley, Pascale; Drenzek, Cherie; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Viral suppression (VS) improves quality of life and longevity for people living with HIV (PLWH) and reduces viral transmission, but is achieved by only a minority of PLWH in Georgia Methods: By use of the Georgia HIV/AIDS surveillance database, the HIV Care Continuum was stratified by age. Results: Retention in care and VS generally increased with increasing age, with the exception of adolescents (aged 13-18 years), who had the highest retention and VS. Differences by sex, race and transmission category persisted across age groups. Among persons retained in care, the proportion achieving VS also generally increased with age. Linkage to care within 3 months of HIV diagnosis was lower among young adults (aged 19-24 years) (54%); young Black, non-Hispanic (NH) males (49%); and young Black NH men who have sex with men (MSM) (49%) as compared to those among adolescents (66%, 58%, and 57%). Conclusions: Retention in care and VS decreases with the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, possibly reflecting loss of support systems and competing priorities. At the other end of the age spectrum, health care and social support systems will be confronted with increasing numbers of older PLWH in Georgia. Challenges in HIV treatment and prevention include (a) the need for integrated medical care for aging PLWH with co-morbid conditions, and (b) the changing social environment of young PLWH.
    • Care Quality for Adult Medicaid Beneficiaries with Type 2 Diabetes Varies by Primary Care Provider Subspecialty

      Mayberry, Robert M.; Finley, Rita; Alema-Mensah, Ernest; Davis, Trobiand A.; Baylor Health Care System; Morehouse College (Georgia Public Health Association, 2006)
      The Georgia Medicaid primary care case management (PCCM) program, phased in over the 1994- 1997 period, has now given way to a capitated managed care model of regional care management organizations (CMOs). Using Georgia Medicaid eligibility and provider claim data for 1996-1998, this study investigated diabetes care quality and whether it varied by primary care provider subspecialty in a longitudinal follow-up of newly diagnosed adults with type 2 diabetes during the early phase of the PCCM program. Results indicated that the quality of diabetes care was suboptimal and varied significantly by PCP subspecialty, with patients seen by generalists least likely to have their HbA1c monitored as recommended during office visits (odds ratio = 0.34, (95% confidence interval 0.16- 0.73). No PCP subspecialty consistently performed better or worse on all diabetes care quality indicators investigated. The lessons learned from this investigation are that variations in Medicaid care quality by PCP subspecialty is likely to remain and the new CMO model of care will unlikely demonstrate immediate improvement in diabetes care quality.
    • CBD Analysis in Oils and Foods

      Foley, Joanna; Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-05)
      This item presents the abstract for an oral presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.
    • A Central Georgia asthma prevalence assessment of school-age children and compliance with Senate Bill 472

      Gaddis, Cheryl; Smith, Jimmie (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: A common theme among the counties of the North Central Health District is the disparity between the number of asthma-related visits of African-American and white children ages 1-14 to the emergency department. In 2013, 858 children ages 1-14 in the district had emergency room visits related to asthma. The purpose of this study was to assess North Central Health District (NCHD) schools to determine the prevalence of self-reported asthma by parents and school age children and the adequacy of students’ access to maintenance inhalers at school, and to identify schools that qualify for Asthma Friendly School Recognition. Methods: The “Asthma School Policy Assessment” from the 2015 Georgia Asthma-Friendly Schools Toolkit and Recognition Guidance was used to assess policies and practices for addressing asthma with school staff, parents, and children within the NCHD schools. The Lead School Nurses in each of the 13 counties were contacted in the fall of 2015 via email to request their participation in the assessment. Each was sent a link via email to complete the consent and assessment online; Lead Nurses then sent the link to their team nurses. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. IRB approval was obtained from Mercer University. Results: The findings from the study indicate that 75% of the reporting schools have asthmatic students enrolled. The number of students with asthma ranged from 5 to 79 per school. However, only two reporting schools could identify a medication policy that allows children to possess and self-administer asthma medication. Furthermore, none of the schools reported having all five policies necessary to obtain Asthma Friendly School recognition. Conclusions: The results indicate a need for school health nurse training to ensure schools implement and adhere to policies to reduce asthma disparities among school age children as outlined in the 2015 Georgia Asthma-Friendly Schools Toolkit and Recognition Guidance.
    • Characteristics of reported symptoms among confirmed and suspect cases of Zika virus in Georgia, 2016

      Thompson, Ashton; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: In May 2015, Zika virus was detected in Brazil. The virus has since spread through several countries in the Americas. Knowledge of the major symptoms of Zika virus infection was based on historic data from two previous outbreaks in the Pacific Islands. Currently-known Zika-specific symptoms include rash, conjunctivitis, arthralgia, and fever. Epidemiologists at the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) began surveillance for travel-related Zika virus infections in January 2016. Surveillance data from GDPH contributes to better characterization of the current Zika clinical picture and more efficient triage of suspect cases for laboratory testing and prevention measures. Methods: For each patient approved for Zika testing, GDPH epidemiologists created an entry in the Zika Active Monitoring System (ZAMS) within the State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (SendSS). Patients are categorized as “asymptomatic” or “symptomatic” and reported symptoms are noted. For symptomatic patients, clinical data are compared to determine differences in the distribution of symptoms in Zika negative and positive patients. Results: GDPH has approved testing for 383 symptomatic suspect Zika patients as of October 19, 2016; 88 (23%) were confirmed Zika infections. Among symptomatic positive patients, the most common Zika-specific symptom was maculopapular rash (95%); other common symptoms were headache and myalgia (27%). Among symptomatic Zika-negative patients, the most common Zika specific symptom was fever (62%), and the most common non-Zika specific symptom was headache (19%). Conclusions: Maculopapular rash is the most suggestive symptom of a true Zika virus infection, with 95% of symptomatic Zika positive patients in Georgia exhibiting the symptom. These data can be taken into consideration when updating the testing criteria for Zika virus. GDPH currently does not approve a patient for testing based on fever or non-Zika specific symptoms alone, and that guideline is reaffirmed by these results.
    • Characteristics of rural users of emergency medical services in Georgia: A populationbased study

      Turner, Nannette; Chen, Huey; Morosanu, Liliana; Mercer University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Emergency medical services (EMS) are an essential part of health care. Appropriate information about EMS usage in rural areas will allow effective utilization of EMS resources for their intended purpose, and at the state level, drive the adoption of better EMS policies to ensure and maintain equitable access to these health services in rural areas. Methods: The present study, performed by analyzing data from the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Information System (GEMSIS), describes the population using EMS in rural Georgia. Distributions of rural EMS transports are reported, along with usage for selected population groups based on race, gender, age groups, and primary impressions recorded by emergency medical personnel (EMP). Results: The groups with the highest rates of EMS use were African Americans, females, and the elderly. In 2014, about twice as many African Americans used EMS as compared to Whites. Rural use of EMS increased with age, with the elderly having the highest percentage of users. About 31% of all transports were for emergency conditions; the remaining 69% were for non-emergencies. The most frequent health complaints were those for altered physical conditions and traumatic injuries. Conclusions: The findings of this study can guide decision in planning future services and ensuring appropriate access to EMS in rural Georgia.
    • Characterization of Protein Sensitive G-Protein Coupled Receptors

      Nam, Alisha; Okashah, Najeah; Biological Sciences, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Chemistry & Physics (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-05)
      This item presents the abstract for a poster presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.
    • Characterizing discrepancies in school recovery after disasters

      Shah, Hazel; Georgia State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2019-01-30)
      Background: Academic institutions provide consistency and routine to children. When disasters damage schools, students often suffer in a variety of ways, and racial minority students are often impacted disproportionately. However, minimal research exists exploring these discrepancies. This presentation examines racial disparities in school systems affected by Hurricane Ike (2008). Methods: This study, funded by the National Science Foundation, uses publicly available Texas Education Agency data from approximately 600 schools affected by Hurricane Ike. Schools were included in the study based on two criteria: if they were declared “disaster areas” by FEMA and if they were closed for at least 10 school days after Hurricane Ike. Results: Descriptive analyses were conducted comparing school characteristics and pass rates for all students in grades 3-11 on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) standardized test during pre- and post-hurricane school years (i.e., 2003 – 2011). Mean pass rates on the TAKS varied greatly by race/ethnicity and other factors. Of African American students, 60.7% (SD=17.4) passed the TAKS in 2004 compared to 69.9% in 2011 (SD=15.0); 68.0% (SD=15.7) of Hispanic students passed in 2004 as opposed to 76.23% (SD=12.2) in 2011; 78.8% (SD=14.8) of White students passed in 2004 versus 83.1% in 2011. Further analyses will explore various other determinants influencing academic performance. Conclusions: Preliminary findings show discrepancies at baseline in academic outcomes between racial/ethnic groups. These discrepancies persisted post-hurricane, though all groups saw an increase in pass-rates. Further research utilizing advanced statistical approaches and geographic information system (GIS) analysis could yield insights on variation of academic performance between schools and school districts, as well as physical exposure and risk factors. These insights can inform strategies for improving schools’ academic trajectories after disasters and optimizing community recovery as a whole.
    • Childhood cancer incidence in Georgia: Descriptive epidemiology, geographic trends, and disparities in insurance coverage and health care access

      Kanu, Florence; Robb, Wagner Sara; Corriero, Rosemary; University of Georgia (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Limited research has been conducted concerning childhood cancer (CC) incidence in Georgia, which is a leading cause of death for children in the US. The purpose of this study was to determine if county-level CC incidence rates differed by geography or race and if health care access disparities exist. Methods: Incidence data were obtained from the Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry for 2000-2011. Age-adjusted incidence rates per 100,000 were analyzed by sex, race, and county. Hotspots and coldspots of CC incidence were analyzed using the Getis-Ord GI* statistic. Health care access data for children under 19 were obtained using US Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates for 2011. Georgia’s three children’s oncology group (COG) treatment facilities with 40-mile buffer zones were geographically overlaid with CC incidence rate maps and health insurance maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Results: For leukemia and central nervous system cancers, incidence rates were significantly different between Whites [7.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) (7.4, 8.2)] and Blacks [5.2, 95% CI (4.8, 5.6)]. Statistical hotspots of CC were observed in north Georgia. A lower percentage of insurance coverage among children was observed in southeast GA. Approximately 25% of Georgia counties that were not within a COG buffer had a higher percentage of children who were uninsured (mean ± SD: 10.28% ± 1.86%). Conclusion: Higher CC incidence rates and disparities in access to care were evident in north Georgia. Future research is needed in these geographies to investigate potential risk factors associated with CC incidence patterns and racial differences in Georgia.
    • Chronic disease prevention as an adaptive leadership problem

      O'Connor, Jean; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)