• LEADing together: Partnerships for a healthier DeKalb

      Hermstad, April; Gathings, MJ; Isher-Witt, Jen; Arriaga, Felicia; Robinson, Corre; Dekalb County Board of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: In 2014, the DeKalb County Board of Health (DCBOH) received a three-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant to work with community partners to address health disparities among African Americans in DeKalb County. The project, called Local Efforts toward Addressing Disparities in DeKalb (LEAD DeKalb), relies on a network of partnerships to implement community-based interventions that promote healthy eating and physical activity among African Americans throughout low-income parts of DeKalb County. Methods: The evaluation team developed an online survey to assess LEAD DeKalb staff and partner satisfaction with the partnerships created and the work completed through LEAD DeKalb thus far (n=20, response rate of 71.4%). The 20-question survey was adapted primarily from two sources: the Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory and the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool. Data analysis was limited to basic descriptive information such as frequencies, percentages, and averages, with comparisons made between DCBOH staff and partners. Results: Partners reported that their organization benefits from being involved in the partnership and attributed a variety of factors to the success of the partnership, including: bringing together diverse stakeholders; exchanging information/knowledge; sharing resources; and developing a shared mission and goals. Identifying new partners and developing a sustainability plan that includes funding, community support, and strong partnerships were identified as areas for improvement. Relevant qualitative findings from key informant interviews were also presented. Conclusions: Two main themes emerged from the data: (1) the network of partnerships is valuable and strong, but may benefit from new partners, and (2) resources (especially funding) are critical for implementing and sustaining the work of the partnership. Taken together, these findings suggest that partnerships are best conceptualized as ongoing processes rather than tasks to complete; and expanding social networks and learning communities allows partners to leverage social, human, and financial capital well beyond the grant period.
    • Legislative smoking bans for reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and smoking prevalence: Opportunities for Georgians

      Coughlin, Steven S.; Anderson, Jennifer; Smith, Selina A.; Emory University; Georgia Regents University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      ABSTRACT Background: Secondhand smoke, which is also referred to as environmental tobacco smoke and passive smoke, is a known human carcinogen. Secondhand smoke also causes disease and premature death in nonsmoking adults and children. Methods: We summarize studies of secondhand smoke in public places before and after smoking bans, as well as studies of cardiovascular and respiratory disease before and after such bans. Results: To protect the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, smoke-free legislation is an effective public health measure. Smoking bans in public places, which have been implemented in many jurisdictions across the U.S. and in other countries, have the potential to influence social norms and reduce smoking behavior. Conclusions: Through legislative smoking bans for reducing secondhand smoke exposure and smoking prevalence, opportunities exist to protect the health of Georgians and other Americans and to reduce health care costs. These opportunities include increasing the comprehensiveness of smoking bans in public places and ensuring adequate funding to quit line services.
    • Letter to the Editor in response to “STD services delivery arrangements in Georgia county health departments”

      Moore, Kathryn; Terry, Latasha; Allen, Michelle (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
    • Leveraging partnerships in order to increase notifiable disease reporting

      Dekalb County Board of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Notifiable disease reporting, although required by law, does not always occur. For this reason, it is crucial for local public health agencies to leverage new partnerships for reporting of notifiable diseases. Schools represent sites within communities that experience relatively high numbers of cases of notifiable disease and clusters of illness. By leveraging partnerships with schools, an increase in disease reporting can occur within communities. Methods: DeKalb County Board of Health has developed an infectious disease protocol for the two major school systems in the county and one large private school: DeKalb County School District, City Schools of Decatur and the Waldorf School of Atlanta. This protocol was developed to outline each party’s responsibilities regarding disease reporting, surveillance and infection control within the schools. This protocol template was then used to develop an infectious disease protocol in partnership with two county school districts and a university within the North Central Health District and in a private school system in the DeKalb Health District. Results: Through education of notifiable disease reporting, the health district developed and implemented two protocols and has three pending protocols with schools. This has improved the relationships between the health district and the school systems through better communication and surveillance within the schools. Conclusions: Response to public health situations requires coordination across multiple sectors and effective use of existing resources within communities. It is essential for local public health agencies to build innovative partnerships that can then form the foundations for an increase in notifiable disease reporting and disease surveillance.
    • Leveraging university-community partnerships in rural Georgia: A community health needs assessment template for hospitals

      Robinson, Ayanna; Cherry, T Sabrina; Elliott, Michelle; Davis, Marsha; Bagwell, Grace; University of Georgia (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Under the Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals are required to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years. Using recommendations proposed by Georgia Watch, students and faculty members from the University of Georgia (UGA) conducted a CHNA for a hospital in a rural county in Georgia. The purpose of the CHNA was to identify community health problems and needs, as well as community assets and resources. The aim of this report is to describe the process for conducting the CHNA, the findings, and the lessons learned. Methods: The CHNA team consisted of students and faculty members from UGA’s College of Public Health and a Public Service and Outreach professional who worked in the community. In completing the CHNA, the team used the following fivestep process: define community, collect secondary data on community health, gather community input and collect primary data, prioritize community health needs, and implement strategies to address community health needs. Primary and secondary data were collected. Results: By triangulating findings across data sources, the CHNA team created a community health profile for the service area of the hospital. Based on these findings, the community identified four main areas for improvement, prioritized these health issues, and developed an implementation strategy for the hospital and community. Conclusions: The process used to conduct this CHNA can serve as a model for other rural communities undergoing similar assessments. Lessons learned from completing this CHNA can be applied to future CHNA efforts.
    • LGBTQ+ College Students’ Well-being and Physical Activity

      Nix, Dalanie; Kinesiology (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.
    • Local efforts toward addressing health disparities in DeKalb County, Georgia

      Hermstad, April; Gilliam, Erikka; Spivey, Sedessie; Mendoza, Zipatly; Dekalb County Board of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: In underserved African American communities throughout DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Board of Health (DCBOH) is implementing community-based initiatives using policy, systems, and environmental improvement approaches to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities by increasing opportunities for nutrition and physical activity. Methods: The initiatives are being implemented in priority census tracts where the population is at least 40% African American, 30% live below federal poverty level, and 25% did not graduate from high school. Communications promote awareness of the programs, and evaluation activities document processes and outcomes. Results: To date, implementation of five interventions has affected approximately 276,000 DeKalb residents. Conclusions: By implementing strategies for community-based policy, systems, and environmental improvement, DCBOH is increasing access to nutrition and physical activity opportunities for underserved African American communities in DeKalb County.
    • Local youth groups in Georgia working towards policy, systems, and environmental changes

      Coleman, Anne-Marie; Ray, Kenneth; Toodle, Kia; Chung, Alina; O'Connor, Jean; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The Georgia Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) is a survey of public middle school (MS) and high school (HS) students. The Georgia YTS was first conducted in 2001. According to YTS, students who attended a tobacco free schools’ youth summit were significantly more likely to be aware of students who use tobacco products (MS: 21% for smoking and 20% for smokeless tobacco; HS: 42% for smoking and 39% for smokeless tobacco) on school property than students who did not attend a tobacco free schools’ youth summit (MS: 10 % for smoking and 9 % for smokeless tobacco; HS: 32 % for smoking and 35 % for smokeless tobacco. Methods: During the fall of 2014, the Chronic Disease Prevention Section of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) hosted a youth summit for youth groups across the state. In total, 149 youth and 49 adult leaders attended the summit. The youth summit provided training for middle and high school youth to become tobacco use control advocates in their communities. The youth were involved in creating the messages they would deliver to their school boards. Results: The local youth groups who attended the summit in 2014 were instrumental in four school districts adopting the model 100% Tobacco-Free Schools policy: Lowndes County Schools and Irwin County Schools (Valdosta, GA); Emanuel County Schools and Jenkins County Schools (Augusta, GA). Conclusions: These findings support the growing literature on youth involvement in advocacy work towards policy change. Youth should be recruited to work with public health professionals in building coalitions to change community norms.
    • Looking to the Stars: Millennials and Astrology

      Kempton, Barbara; Department of Art and Design (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-03)
      This essay presents an argument on millennial interest in New Age spirituality, in particular astrology. This project culminated from an assignment of the Drawing II course in the spring 2018 semester, which included a short paper on a research topic of interest, and a drawing.
    • Medicaid savings continue in the year after end of participation in the program, Money Follows the Person

      Landers, Glenn; Fuller, Kristi; Zhou, Mei; Georgia State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: The aim of this analysis was to compare Georgia’s Medicaid expenditures for participants in the Money Follows the Person (MFP) six months before, 12 months during, and 12 months after MFP participation. Methods: Differences in Medicaid expenditures for three populations of MFP participants (individuals with developmental disabilities, individuals with physical disabilities, and older adults) were compared by use of repeated measures t-tests. Results: Per-member per-month Medicaid expenditures were lower across the three populations when comparing six months prior to transition from an institution to 12 months after leaving the MFP program. Conclusions: The incorporation of features from programs such as MFP into existing state Medicaid long-term services and supports may assist in reducing the growth of future expenditures.
    • Meeting Public Health Challenges

      McKinley, Thomas; Augusta State University; Mercer University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2006)
      From the Editor
    • Meeting the public health workforce’s training priorities in Georgia and the southeast

      Lloyd, Laura; Alperin, Melissa; Carvalho, Michelle; Miner, Kathleen; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The mission of the Region IV Public Health Training Center (R-IV PHTC) is to build knowledge and skills in the public health workforce in the eight states of HHS Region IV by providing competency-based training. Workforce training needs are changing quickly and dramatically in light of new developments in public health practice and science, emerging diseases, changes in the health care environment, and the growing emphasis on inter-professional practice. Additionally, a 2014 survey conducted by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) found that at least 38% of the current public health workforce plans to retire by 2020. Therefore, it is increasingly crucial to prepare upcoming managers for leadership positions and to train entry-level workers to assume more advanced roles. Methods: To address current and emerging training needs in Georgia and the southeast, the R-IV PHTC continually identifies emerging priorities and effective training approaches. It explores training needs through a review of formal needs assessments, key stakeholder interviews, surveys of targeted audiences, informal partner communications, and training evaluation data. An interactive component of the GPHA session allowed participants to identify and discuss their own professional training needs. Results: Workforce development needs assessments data across several southeastern states identified recurring training needs for professionals in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 of the Council on Linkages Core Competency domains for Analytical/Assessment Skills and Financial Planning/Management. In Georgia, top competency training needs gathered from a variety of assessment methods included Cultural Competency, Communication, Financial Planning/Management, Public Health Science, and Leadership/Systems Thinking. Participants in the workshop’s interactive component expressed highest personal need for training in Financial Planning/Management, Analytical/Assessment Skills, and Policy Development/Program Planning. However, for others in their organizations, they identified a priority need for leadership training. Conclusions: The R-IV PHTC assesses training needs and provides training resources to respond to current and emerging public health workforce development needs in Georgia and the southeast.
    • The mentoring cycle: A two-way exchange

      Plaspohl, Sara; Armstrong State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
    • Mindfulness Meditation through a Mobile App

      Huff, Sabrina; Murray, Cleston-Lee; Restrepo, Leigha; Jones, Shelby; Psychological Sciences (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.
    • Minimum Flow Rate in Electro-Coflow

      Overlie, Benjamin; 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.
    • Missed opportunities for diagnosing HIV via routine screening in an inner-city primary care clinic

      Hankin, Abigail; Turbow, Sara; Spicer, Jennifer; Freiman, Heather; Shah, Bijal; Travis, Natasha; Emory University (Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Although routine, opt-out HIV screening has been recommended for nearly a decade, clinical practice has not kept pace. Here, we examine missed opportunities for HIV screening among patients newly diagnosed with HIV via a routine non-targeted opt-out HIV screening program in a primary care clinic at an inner-city safety-net hospital. Methods: Select demographic and clinical data were analyzed for all persons with a new HIV diagnosis between July 9, 2013 and August 31, 2015. Retrospective reviews of medical records were performed to identify missed opportunities for HIV screening in the year prior to HIV diagnosis. Results: Among 6,582 patients tested for HIV as part of the screening program, 27 patients had a new HIV diagnosis (0.41%). In the year prior to diagnosis, 19 (70%) of these had contact with the healthcare system but were not tested for HIV. At the visit associated with the new HIV diagnosis, 70% of patients did not present with an indication for risk-based HIV screening or symptoms potentially associated with HIV-related infections. Conclusions: Despite CDC recommendations for routine, non-targeted, opt-out HIV screening in all healthcare settings, 70% of patients newly diagnosed with HIV via routine screening in a primary care clinic had contact with the healthcare system in the year prior to the new HIV diagnosis but were not tested for HIV. These findings highlight the importance of routine, non-targeted screening to identify patients with HIV as well as continued provider and patient education about the value of routine HIV screening.
    • Mock Me! A guide to developing a first rate training tool on a second rate budget

      Baxter, Galen; Georgia Department of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Working closely with county Environmental Health Specialists through the Standardization Process, a critical need was identified. Assistance was needed in prioritizing inspections based on risk levels identified in restaurant kitchens during inspections. Additionally, more training was needed to help them identify other areas in food service establishments that require further assessment. Methods: Tight budget constraints prevented the purchase of expensive training equipment; however, with a little creativity and team work, a mock kitchen made entirely out of cardboard, tape and a couple of aluminum pans was created as a portable, hands-on training tool that could be easily transported around the state. Results: Overwhelming positive feedback was received from the districts that experienced training using the tool. Environmental Health Specialists suddenly had an opportunity to practice and apply what they had learned within a controlled environment and increase their confidence in assessing and prioritizing during inspections. Conclusions: Solutions to problems can sometimes be found using a very simple approach. A little bit of creativity and a willingness to literally “think outside the box” can go a long way in providing viable, alternative solutions to common roadblocks in government. The key to creating an effective training tool is to accurately identify training gaps in the intended audience.
    • Modifying And Validating A Quality Of Life Measure to Fit Your Patient Population

      Johnson, Michelle R.; Maclean, J. Ross; Rogers, Rebecca L.; Fick, Donna M.; Kallab, Andre; Augusta State University; Medical College of Georgia; Augusta State University; Medical College of Georgia; Medical College of Georgia (Georgia Public Health Association, 2007)
      Introduction: A well-developed quality of life (QoL) instrument is valuable in identifying the burden of illness. We were interested in exploring whether existing QoL instruments were suitable for patients in our medical setting and, if not, whether this could be rectified by adapting an existing valid and reliable instrument to meet the specific needs of our patient population. For the purposes of this study, we chose to evaluate the quality of life of patients with breast cancer. Specifically, we were interested in two aspects of QoL in women with breast cancer. The first was whether existing instruments were pertinent to the women in our venue. The second research interest was dependent upon the first. If current instruments were found wanting, could this be rectified through the creation and validation of new domains of relevance to these patients? Method: First, five patients were interviewed to ascertain QoL issues pertinent to women in our medical setting. Second, to determine regional appropriateness of existing breast cancer QoL instruments, a search was conducted to identify and review existing breast cancer specific QoL instruments. Third, an addendum was created (to be used in conjunction with an existing instrument identified through the search) that contained three QoL domains not typically found: Financial, Spirituality and Satisfaction with Medical Care. The addendum was then tested along with an existing instrument (FACT-B). Results: Internal consistency for the new scales, Satisfaction with Medical Care, Spirituality, and Financial had alpha coefficients of 0.81, 0.80, and 0.63 respectively. The total score for FACT-B plus addendum was 0.69. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were 0.49 for Financial, 0.64 for Satisfaction with Medical Care, and 0.70 for Spirituality. Total test/retest was 0.71.
    • Molecular Self-Organization of Three-Component Lipid Membranes

      Osby, Austin; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-03)
      By constructing a Landau-like energy functional, we investigate the molecular organization of a three-component mixture in cell membranes. In the strongly interacting limit, we model the interaction between molecules using pseudospin variables and convert them into non-interacting variables using a mean-field theory. Next, we construct the two-order parameter Landau-type energy functional through the Helmholtz free energy. By analyzing the Landau free energy, we map out the phase diagram focusing on homogeneous and various phase separated states on the cell membrane.
    • A multi-county health district’s journey to accreditation: The challenges and benefits

      Echols, Tara; Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: In September 2011, the Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale Health Departments began to discuss accreditation. We regarded accreditation as a way to highlight our strengths and identify areas for quality and performance improvement as well as an opportunity to improve our capacity for greater accountability, increased efficiency and improved process flow. We further viewed it as a means to successfully carry out our mission, and effectively deliver the core functions and ten essential public health services. Methods:With financial backing from Healthcare Georgia Foundation and technical assistance from Georgia Southern University, the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments began its pursuit of accreditation by assessing department processes, policies, and procedures for alignment to the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standards. This resulted in identified areas for improvement and needed policy and procedure development. The Model for Improvement was actively used throughout our pursuit of accreditation, and we viewed the process as several inter- related plan, do, check, act (PDCA) cycles. After being advised on several options, we changed our application from multi-jurisdictional to a local health district based on guidance from PHAB for all the health districts in Georgia. Domain leads were assigned; these later developed into domain teams comprised of individuals with expertise in various relevant areas. The teams met on a regular basis to review domain documentation and to discuss the ‘story’ it tells about our department. We prepared for the site visit by conducting a mock site visit using local PHAB site visitors. This experience was extremely helpful in calming the participant staff and identifying areas that we could improve. Results: After several iterations of guidance from PHAB on how we should apply we applied as a local public health district. With feedback from our mock site visit we were able to prepare for and successfully complete our site visit with no request to reopen any measures. We received a stellar site visit report with 93% of the measures scored ‘fully demonstrated’ and 7% scored ‘largely demonstrated’. Our department was accredited on August 17, 2016 as the 3rd accredited health district in the State of Georgia. Conclusions: The process of pursuing accreditation has been a challenge on various fronts; from indecision about how we should apply, to uncertainty about interpretation of the standards, to hesitance about choosing county-specific or departmental documentation. However, the culture of quality and solidified community partnerships that resulted from this process are invaluable.