• The Implicit Computational Complexity Flavor of Automata

      Holcomb, Mark; Aubert, Clément; School of Computer and Cyber Sciences (Augusta University Libraries, 2021-05-18)
      This item presents the abstract for a presentation at the 2021 Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference at Augusta University.
    • The importance of early brain development

      Fitzgerald, Brenda; Georgia Department of Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
    • The Importance of Encompassing Medical History in Pre-Medicine

      Alapatt, Vinaya-Ann; Department of Art and Design (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-03)
      This essay presents an argument on the integration of medical humanities in pre-medical undergraduate curriculum. 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.
    • Improving rural access to care: Recommendations for Georgia’s health care safety net

      Minyard, Karen; Parker, Chris; Butts, John; Georgia State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: In Georgia, the safety net provides health care services to vulnerable populations scattered across 74 urban and 85 rural counties. In rural communities, the safety net is challenged with longstanding gaps in service provision and persistent difficulty in making services accessible. The rural safety net in Georgia is vulnerable. Methods: An environmental scan was conducted of the Georgia rural safety net to assess who it serves, its providers, and how care is accessed in light of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The scan included analysis of population-based census and health databases and a literature review to inform recommendations. Results: The population served by the rural safety net is typically older, poorer, and less healthy than the population in urban areas. The principal providers of care in the rural safety net are community hospitals, federally sponsored and free or charitable clinics, and some health departments. While the ACA provides an opportunity to increase insurance coverage and access to care, it poses a financial challenge to providers of the rural health safety net. As the health system evolves, the rural health safety net must adapt to shifting priorities and patient populations. Conclusions: To enhance the sustainability of the rural safety net, it is necessary for providers to focus on coordination of care through integration of services and broader health system partnerships. Providers of the Georgia rural safety net and stakeholders should focus on (a) ensuring a comprehensive assessment of all components of the safety net, (b) facilitating change through high-performing health departments and community-based organizations, (c) funding efforts to provide patient-centered medical homes for the rural uninsured, (d) emphasizing the value of technology in the provision of care and information/data exchange, and (e) rewarding innovations in rural and safety net workforce development and deployment.
    • Increased perception of mosquito problems during a stormwater restoration project

      Kelly, Rosmarie; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      In 2008, a plan for improvement of the McDaniel Branch Watershed was prepared for the city of Atlanta, Department of Watershed Management. This included the construction of ponds in a kudzu-covered area at Bowen Circle. There is a perception that wetlands create mosquito problems. In point of fact, most of the vector and nuisance species in Atlanta are either container breeders or floodwater species, and do not breed in ponds. Because there is an average of 5 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) reported in Fulton County per year, most of these near Combined Sewer Overflow streams, county residents are aware of the connection between mosquitoes and WNV. As the McDaniel Branch Watershed Improvement Plan progressed, neighborhood residents became convinced that the changes being implemented in the area were increasing mosquito problems and increasing their risk of WNV infections. In Oct 2013, the Environmental Health Section of the Georgia Department of Public Health was contacted by the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management concerning control of mosquitoes in the ponds being created at the Bowen Circle site. It was determined that mosquito surveillance should be implemented in the area to determine if the changes to the watershed area were creating a mosquito problem. At the end of the 2014 mosquito surveillance season, it was established that there was little association between the watershed improvement project, the reported mosquito exposure, and measures of mosquito production within this neighborhood.
    • Increasing breastfeeding duration and exclusivity in a sample of rural women: A pilot study

      Chopak-Foss, Joanne; Yeboah, Felicia; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Increasing breastfeeding exclusivity and duration is an objective of Maternal and Child Health (MICH-21.4 and 21.5) of the Healthy People 2020 initiative. Breastfeeding rates differ considerably between high-income and low-income women. Methods: This was a pilot project conducted to assess the feasibility of an intervention to increase breastfeeding practices overall and to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates among a sample of rural women enrolled in the Special, Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in a rural Georgia county. Participants were recruited from the local regional hospital (n=27). Support group meetings were offered over a four-week period and began within five days of birth. At each meeting, data were gathered on demographic characteristics, pacifier use, initiation of cup feeding, and rates of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. Results: More than 60% of the participants breastfed exclusively for the first week, but by the end of the fourth week, that number dropped to under 45%. Conclusions: Low-income women continue to be among the most challenging group in which to improve breastfeeding duration and exclusivity rates. Public health programs need to create innovative ways in which to improve breastfeeding rates. Lessons learned from the pilot study are described and suggestions for future study are provided.
    • Infant Mortality Trends among Georgia Residents, 1995 – 2003: Targeting Healthy People’s 2010 Goals

      Sturges, Diana; Gunn, Laura; Shankar, Padmini; Shroff, Shrikrishna; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2007)
      Population-based trends in infant mortality among Georgia Residents between 1995 and 2003 were assessed on characteristics such as race, birth weight, neonatal and post-neonatal periods, and cause of death. A statistical analysis was conducted to show that the Georgia infant mortality rate (IMR) remained constant throughout the study period and averaged 8.67 per 1,000 live births. The analysis revealed racial disparities, with an IMR ranging from 6.03 in white infants to 13.76 in black infants, with less than one percent (0.86%) change, on average, among the differences between black and white mortality rates across the nine-year period. The disparities were also evident in infants with low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VLBW). Black infants born with LBW (12.9%) and VLBW (9.98%) have more than twice the rate of infant mortality compared to white infants born with LBW (6.64%) and VLBW (1.12%). Mortality in the neonatal period accounted for more than half (67.96%) of all infant deaths and exhibited considerable ethnic differences. Among all groups, black male neonates (10.7) have the highest mortality rates. The average neonatal mortality rate across the entire study period is 5.89 (SD=0.20); the average postneonatal mortality rate across the entire study period is 2.78 (SD=0.22). The five leading causes of death among Georgian infants in descending order were: birth defects, prematurity and low birth weight, Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUID), other perinatal conditions and respiratory conditions with racial differences in the ordering.
    • The influence of Georgia’s Quality Rated System on school readiness in pre-school children

      Phillips, Dena; Webb, Nancy; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Georgia rates the quality of early childcare learning centers using a tiered quality improvement system. Georgia’s Quality Rated system (QR) designates a star level, (one star, two stars or three stars) to each center based on a portfolio of QR standards and an onsite assessment by Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). Childcare centers applying for QR status first submit a portfolio documenting how their practices align with QR standards centered on staff qualifications; child health, nutrition and physical activity; family engagement; holistic curricula and teacher-to-student ratios. Subsequently, an on-site assessment of the center is performed by DECAL using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale– Revised (ECERS-R). Methods: The Bracken School Readiness Assessment-3rd Edition (BSRA-3) was administered to children in various one-star (N=2), two-star (N=4) and three-star (N=6) childcare learning centers in Georgia. Children’s height and weight were recorded and BMI assessments were conducted. Results: Significant differences were found in school readiness scores based on quality rating with two and three star centers scoring higher than one star centers. Children in childcare centers at the one-star level (Mean = 95.00, SD = 16.80) performed lower than children in childcare centers at the two-star level (Mean = 103.67, SD = 16.55) and three-star level (Mean = 100.42, SD = 14.35). Multiple comparison tests did not reveal differences between two-star and three-star level centers. Conclusions: Higher levels of quality in QR childcare centers displayed more school readiness than centers with lower levels of quality. Future studies should examine differences in higher quality centers to further explore the influence of QR programs on school readiness.
    • Injection drug use and hepatitis C: Interventions in behavioral health settings

      Sutton, Marie; Imagine Hope INC (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Georgia is experiencing a crisis of injection drug use and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. From 2002 to 2014, the statewide drug overdose mortality rate increased, with nearly every county experiencing a significant increase in drug overdose mortality. Especially concerning is the rising HCV infection rate in people younger than 30, many of whom inject drugs. HCV incidence in young people increased over 200% in Georgia from 2006 to 2012. CDC officials have suggested “…Georgia is experiencing an expanding epidemic of heroin use that is driving an increase in injection drug use, putting many more at risk for the spread of HIV and HCV infection.” Methods: Now in its second year, Imagine Hope is a Georgia-wide project that includes 20 agencies (8 methadone clinics, 12 abstinence based agencies) serving substance-using populations. It offers free routine HCV testing and linkage to care. Nearly all individuals served inject drugs. The agencies have implemented a novel combination of embedding routine HCV testing into services; tandem testing for HCV and HIV; linking individuals to HCV care and treatment; and providing access to two support groups. Results: Over 18 months, 6,136 consumers received HCV antibody testing. Of those, 677 (11%) were HCV antibody positive (Ab+), with 83% of them born outside the baby-boomer cohort. To confirm HCV status, clinics conducted RNA tests, completing 464 such tests that yielded 381 (82.1%) confirmed cases of HCV. Currently, the project has linked 102 (36.8%) confirmed HCV+ clients to care and treatment services, with 12 (11.8%) clients experiencing total remission. Conclusions: Among intravenous drug users, HCV prevalence is high, while infection awareness is low. Navigators and support groups enhance linkage. Connecting a population of mostly uninsured behavioral health clients to care is feasible. Providing HCV RNA confirmatory testing in the behavioral health setting greatly enhances the linkage to care process.
    • Integrating food and language nutrition to reach Georgia’s children in early care and education environments

      O'Connor, Jean; Ejikeme, Chinwe; Fernandez, Maria; Powell-Threets, Kia; Idaikkadar, Audrey; Kay, Christi; Vall, Emily; Ross, Kimberly; Fitzgerald, Brenda (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Educational attainment and health are mutually reinforcing outcomes. Good health supports children in the achievement of academic milestones, such as grade-level reading, and is associated with higher socio-economic status, longer life expectancy, and lower lifelong chronic disease. Improving health outcomes and increasing the potential for high educational attainment is necessary for reducing disparities, improving population health, and reducing morbidity. Early childhood and associated settings present opportunities to address lifelong health. Methods: To guide the development of programs to reach large numbers of children, we reviewed the literature associated with interventions during early childhood to promote healthy food consumption patterns and language development—“food and language nutrition.” Results: Identified in the systematic review were 12 articles. A recurrent theme was the social-ecological model, widely used in the studies identified through the literature review. Conclusions: The findings suggest a theoretical framework and key considerations that could guide the development of integrated interventions to improve food and language nutrition. With these findings, the authors propose a conceptual model and outline a public health program to address food and language nutrition together in early care settings in the state of Georgia, with the potential for application in other geographic areas.
    • Intersecting motivations for leaving abusive relationships, substance abuse, and transactional sex among HIV high-risk women

      David, Naomi; Hussen, Sophia; Comeau, Dawn; Kalokhe, Ameeta; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Women bear a significant burden of the HIV epidemic in the United States. Women classified as ‘HIV high-risk’ often bring co-existing histories of intimate partner violence (IPV), drug use, and transactional sex. To help inform future comprehensive HIV prevention strategies, we aimed to explore common motivating reasons and barriers to leaving and/or terminating engagement in each of these risk-promoting situations. Methods: Between August and November 2014, in-depth interviews were conducted with 14 HIV high-risk women in Atlanta, Georgia who had experienced IPV in the previous 12 months, and used drugs and/or engaged in transactional sex in the previous five years. Participants were asked about histories of IPV, drug use, and/or engagement in transactional sex, and the motivating reasons and barriers to terminating each. Results: Women reported a range of motivating reasons for leaving IPV, drug use, and transactional sex. Overlapping themes included impact on children, personal physical health/safety, and life dissatisfaction. Financial need was identified as a common barrier to leaving. Conclusions: Future HIV prevention research should further explore the perceived impact of IPV, drug use, and transactional sex on physical health/safety, life dissatisfaction, one’s children, and financial need as motivators and barriers to reducing upstream HIV risk.
    • Investigating Parkinson’s Disease Mechanisms in Caenorhabditis Elegans

      Ezeanii, Alexis; Mor, Danielle; Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (Augusta University Libraries, 2021-05-18)
      This item presents the abstract for a presentation at the 2021 Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference at Augusta University.
    • Investigating Signaling Pathways Involving the HCA Receptor Family

      Saj, Dalia; Okashah, Najeah; Lambert, Nevin; Chemistry & Physics (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-04)
      This item presents the abstract for a poster presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.
    • Investigating the Effects of Rosiglitazone on Short-Term Memory through a PPAR-GAMMA Dependent Pathway

      Nougaisse, Jayvon M.; Lei, Yun; Lu, Xinyun; Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (Augusta University Libraries, 2021-05-18)
      This item presents the abstract for a presentation at the 2021 Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference at Augusta University.
    • Ionic and Covalent Conjugates of Metronidazole and Tryptamine

      Lyons, Dominique; Baako, Precious; Chemistry and 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.
    • Kaizen: Improving patient flow

      Roberts, Gurleen; Kennedy, Jack; Smythe, Catharine; Krahwinkel, Dawn; Green, Melissa; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Since Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) achieved accreditation in May 2015, efforts to mature a culture of quality have been emphasized. In addition, the Adult Health Clinic moved to a new facility in Spring 2016. This move has improved many patient flow issues, but also has had unexpected consequences that spurred interest in doing several quality improvement (QI) projects. Methods: Rather than doing one QI project at a time, a kaizen event was held. Kaizen is a Japanese term for continuous improvement. This workshop allowed the Adult Health Team to plan seven QI projects and implement them simultaneously over the next several weeks. After the first six weeks of implementation, nearly 14 different projects were in various stages of the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Baseline average patient flow for 1880 patient encounters was 75.11 minutes. Results: Results are still pending. Preliminary results reflect increased collaboration among clinic staff and an increase in staff members taking the initiative to make improvements. Employee morale has improved, and employee and customer satisfaction seems to be improved. Conclusions: The Adult Health Clinic used the LEAN methodology to reduce waste in the patient flow process and used the PDSA framework to structure their 14 QI projects. A kaizen event allows rapid improvements to be planned and implemented in a short period of time.
    • Knowledge and Attitudes of Restaurant Operators Concerning the Requirements of the Georgia Smoke-Free Air Act

      Fountain, Jeffery B.; Coffee County Health Department; Columbia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2006)
      The State of Georgia enacted the Georgia Smoke-Free Air Act (GSAA) in 2005 to limit smoking in public places including restaurants. The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation exists between restaurant operators’ attitude toward smoking regulation and prevention and their knowledge of requirements of the GSAA. Participants from Atkinson, Bacon, and Jeff Davis counties, three of the smaller populated rural counties of the Southeast Health District, completed questionnaires for this study (n = 41). The correlation was weak and not determined to be statistically significant (r = - .251) but did indicate restaurant operators agree they have not lost more customers than have been gained as a result of the enactment of the GSAA. The study also indicates that these restaurants do not have access to computers, printers, and the Internet for GSAA information, education, or requirements.
    • Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing in Georgia

      Lefevre, Adreienne; Kegler, Michelle C.; McDonald, Bennett; Liang, Lily; Haardoeerfer, Regine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Nonsmokers living in multi-unit housing (MUH) without a smoke-free (SF) policy are vulnerable to secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure. This study aimed to investigate the presence and type of SF policies in MUH in Georgia. Another aim was to explore knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of property managers and owners (PM/Os) regarding SF MUH policies, including e-cigarettes. Methods: Throughout 2015 PM/Os of MUH in Savannah and Atlanta were surveyed regarding SF policies in MUH. A list with contact information of PM/Os was obtained from the ASDE Survey Sampler. The participants were mailed an invitation letter and were called one week later to schedule the interview. To be eligible, the participant must have been an English-speaking adult working as a PM/O in MUH. The survey administered was adapted from a survey designed by CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. All survey data were entered into SPSS and analyzed using SAS. Results: The greatest number of the 91 PM/Os surveyed were female (70.3%) and/or white (48.4%), with an average age of 41.7 years. Most properties were market-rate (71.3%) or were a mix of market-rate and subsidized units (17.2%). Forty-one PM/Os reported some smoking restriction, while 50 had no policy. Properties mainly prohibited smoking in common outdoor areas (n=18) or inside individual apartments (n=13). Policies included bans of non-cigarette combustible products (n=19), hookah (n=12), e-cigarettes (n=7), and smokeless tobacco (n=5). Most PM/Os reported high compliance and positive resident reactions to the policy. Comparing responses by policy status, no differences in knowledge nor support for tobacco control legislation were found, except for SF outdoor seating in restaurants, which was more frequently supported by PM/Os with smoking restrictions. Personal beliefs on restricting use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes in MUH did not differ significantly by policy status, but those with a SF policy were more supportive of prohibiting smokeless tobacco use in MUH. Conclusions: Implementing smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing is feasible and is generally supported by residents.
    • 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.