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Miles named head of Institute of Gerontology in UGA’s College of Public Health

Dr. Toni Miles is director of the College of Public Health's Institute of Gerontology. Her expertise includes a spectrum of experience in geriatric medicine

Athens, Ga. – Dr. Toni Miles has been named the director of the University of Georgia’s Institute of Gerontology in the College of Public Health, effective Aug. 1. Miles replaced Leonard Poon, who recently retired after serving as the Institute’s director for 26 years.

Miles’ expertise includes a broad spectrum of experience in geriatric medicine, public health and health care policy, with a focus on improving primary care delivery to older adults. In November, she will release a paper describing her research on strategies to make transitions into and out of the hospital safer for patients.

In 2009, Miles served on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee during the development of the Affordable Care Act, and she continues to assist state agencies and professional organizations as they implement various components of 2010’s landmark health reform legislation. In 2012, her analysis of the health reform law-“Health Reform and Disparities: History, Hype, Hope”-will be published by ABC-Clio.

“Dr. Miles has accomplished a long and successful career in the field of gerontology, and her expertise and insights are sure to further enhance the success of the college,” said Phillip L. Williams, dean of the College of Public Health. “I am confident that, under her leadership, the Institute of Gerontology will continue to provide groundbreaking and innovative research and support that will best aid our aging population.”

Miles comes to UGA after serving as a tenured professor at the University of Louisville with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the Kent School of Social Work. She is a nationally recognized scholar with more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers published, and fellow status in the Gerontological Society of America.

During her time as a tenured professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Miles held various leadership positions, including director of research for the geriatrics division, deputy director of the Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Education and director of the Clinical Geriatric Oncology Fellowship Training Program. She also was the founding director of the Center for Special Populations at Pennsylvania State University. Her first academic position was as a faculty member in the Epi-Biostats Division of the University of Illinois’ School of Public Health, where she achieved the rank of tenured associate professor.

Miles earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. She completed a combined Ph.D. and M.D. at Howard University in Washington. D.C., as well as graduate training in the field of neuroscience. She has postdoctoral training in internal medicine at Washington Hospital Center and a fellowship in epidemiology at the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. She has trained more than 75 graduate students in epidemilogy, biobehavioral health and social work.

About the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health
Founded in 2005 as a response to the state’s need to address important health concerns in Georgia, the UGA College of Public Health is comprised of four departments and two research institutes, as well as the Center for Global Health. The college offers degree programs in biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health promotion and behavior, public health, health policy and management, and toxicology, as well as a certificate program in gerontology.

Graduates from the College of Public Health-which is nationally known for its work related to infectious disease, cancer research, gerontology, disaster preparedness and other areas-typically go on to a diverse range of careers, including medicine, health education, emergency management, public health policy, environmental science and social work. For more information on the UGA College of Public Health, see