• Variations in public health governance

      Jones, Jeffery; Bangar, Ankit; Chang, Patrick; Tarasenko, Yelena; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Studies of public health departments have found mixed results regarding the relevance of governance through local boards of health (LBOHs). Some studies find that LBOHs can be an important component in higher performance by local health departments. Other analyses, however, find no advantage for local health departments having or not having a LBOH. The hypothesis was that a typology of LBOHs nationwide can define different types of LBOHs based on their powers and responsibilities. Methods: Using national profile sample data from the National Association of Local Boards of Health, LBOHs were categorized using 34 variables based on four domains of responsibilities and duties: enforcement powers, regulatory powers, human resource powers, and budgetary powers. Correlations between types of LBOHs defined by this typology were then computed, and whether they shared significant characteristics in terms of the race, ethnicity, sex, and educational demographics of their board members was determined. ArcGIS was used to analyze the data spatially for regional and national patterns. Results: LBOHs vary considerably across the country - from LBOHs with no budgetary, enforcement, regulatory, or human resources authorities to those that have all four. Conclusions: Different types of LBOHs may have different influences on their associated local boards of health. This study provides a typology for future research to allow analysts to distinguish different types of LBOHs nationally.
    • Venomous spiders of the southeastern US: An unexpected threat

      Collins, Alex; Samples, Oreta; Fort Valley State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Environmental health specialists recommend that residents of the Southeastern US, including Georgia, have the ability to identify the three venomous spiders indigenous to this area. It is necessary to recognize the black widow, brown widow, and brown recluse spiders and to be familiar with the likely habitats of these insects and with the symptoms of bites. The primary author, who serves as an Environmental Health Specialist and is a hobbyist who works with distressed wood, frequently encounters all three of these spiders. Methods: A literature review supports the fact that these three venomous spiders are indigenous to Georgia. Results: Spiders, a common sight in rural and urban areas of Georgia, are often not considered as being especially dangerous. Three common species of spiders found in Georgia are, however, venomous. Conclusions: Recognition of spiders is particularly appropriate for the protection of food service workers, employees working in tourist accommodations, and hobbyists who routinely invade spider habitats. The evaluation of educational efforts may be assessed by the numbers of reported cases of spider bites among these populations.
    • Violence Related Injuries among Individuals Admitted to a Level I Trauma Center in Atlanta, 2011-2013

      Akinleye, Fahruk O.; Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Violence related injuries (VRIs) are a major public health problem in the United States (US). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the US and the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years old. Among African Americans aged 10-34, homicide is the leading cause of death and is the fifth leading cause of death among those 35-44 years old. One form of homicide that can result in injury resulting in death is firearm violence. The objective of this study is to assess the rates of VRIs among African American males who have been admitted to a Level I trauma center serving metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Methods: A retrospective analysis of trauma patients admitted to a level 1 trauma center for VRIs over a 3 year period from 2011 to 2013. Data were obtained from the Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH) trauma registry, which serves metropolitan Atlanta, GA. De-identified variables selected included gender, race/ethnicity, age, type of VRI, and year of admission. All analyses were conducted utilizing SAS version 9.2. Results: Of the total number of patients (n=2859) the majority were male (89%), African- American (80%) and between the ages of 20-40 years (61%). The majority of patients (55%) were admitted to the hospital for gunshot wounds followed by assault (33%) and stab wounds (12%). The numbers of VRI patients admitted were similar in each of the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, which represent 31%, 35%, and 34% of the total, respectively. Conclusions: Statistically significant differences were observed between gender, race and age with respect to all VRIs included in the analyses, particularly among African American males. Policy makers may consider targeting interventions accordingly to address VRIs. Further research is needed to identify other factors potentially associated with VRIs.
    • Winning the obesity battle

      Blumenthal, Daniel S.; American College of Preventive Medicine, Department of Community Health & Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      There is no doubt that the United States, and especially Georgia, suffers from an obesity problem. Over a third of U.S. adults are obese (CDC, 2016a), as are about 18% of children and 21% of adolescents (CDC, 2016b). Similar percentages in each category are overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) greater than is considered healthy, but not great enough to fall into the obese category. [INTRODUCTION]
    • A Worldwide Crisis: Inappropriate Antibiotic Use and Resistant Bacterial Infections

      Vickery, A.; Wilde, James (Georgia Public Health Association, 2006)
      The GUARD (Georgia United against Antibiotic Resistant Disease) Coalition seeks to reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease and save antibiotic efficacy by decreasing inappropriate antibiotic use throughout the state of Georgia. The GUARD Coalition functions through the collaborative efforts of approximately 148 professional, academic, and community partners.
    • Zika virus communication preferences of pregnant women: Beyond the verbal

      Ellingston, Mallory; Chamberlain, Allson; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Pregnant women are frequently a priority group during public health emergencies, including the current Zika virus outbreak. These women turn to prenatal care providers for health information, but providers may not have the time for discussions with every patient. Knowing alternative ways to communicate key Zika-related information to pregnant women is important. Methods: To determine pregnant women’s preferences for obtaining Zika information from their prenatal providers, a 27-item survey was administered to 408 pregnant women at four prenatal care clinics in Atlanta between May 5th, 2016 and June 20th, 2016. The anonymous survey evaluated women’s preferences for receiving information about three topics: Zika virus, maternal vaccines and safe medications. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to determine statistical significance of associations between these topics and selected patient characteristics. Significance was evaluated at α=0.05. Results: Educational brochures (63.8%), e-mails (55.2%) and their provider’s practice website (40.2%) were women’s most preferred modalities for receiving information about Zika virus beyond verbal communication. Most women (73.2%) use the CDC website as their primary source of information about Zika virus; only 19.2% seek that information on their provider’s website. Conclusions: Conveying Zika-related information to pregnant women is essential. As public health practitioners create and refine provider-to-patient communications, they can use these findings to ensure their messages align with how women want to receive information (e.g., brochures, emails, provider websites) and take advantage of existing modalities (e.g. their own websites) that providers may not be fully utilizing.
    • The Zika virus in the United States: A comprehensive review

      Lindsey, Daniel; Greenburg, Martin; Mercer University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: With a series of outbreaks spanning the globe, the Zika virus has transitioned, in a short time, from an obscure virus to a public health emergency. Locally transmitted Zika has reached the United States, leading to increased concern regarding further transmission and the potential impact on public health. Methods: The present study was conducted to examine the propagation and effects of Zika in the United States by reviewing published literature regarding Zika in conjunction with updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To gauge the regional response, including prevention and control efforts, interviews were conducted with public health and mosquito control officials. Results: Exposure to Zika may be through vectors, sexual activity with an infected partner, or congenitally to the unborn fetus. Regardless of the mode of transmission, Zika infection may result in serious neurological consequences in adults and especially in fetuses. Conclusions: Prevention of Zika infection is key to successful control of the virus. Vector control and surveillance as well as personal protection from virus exposure are necessary to avoid the potentially devastating effects of the virus. In an effort to prevent further spread, public health authorities are implementing strategies for public education, prevention, and containment.