• 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.
    • 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.