Athens, Ga. – Dr. M. Rony François, director of the Division of Public Health for the Georgia Department of Community Health, will deliver the annual University of Georgia Bernard B. Ramsey Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. Entitled “Public Health Needs in Georgia: Current and Future Directions,” the lecture will take place in Masters Hall of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel. It is free and open to the public.
François oversees programs responsible for disease control and prevention, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles at the Georgia DCH. Previously, he served as the assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health in the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, where he was responsible for the direction and management of the state’s public health programs. Under his leadership, the Louisiana Immunization Program was ranked second in the nation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009. François also is the immediate past secretary of health and state health officer for the state of Florida, where he was instrumental in such agency accomplishments as having the second highest immunization rate in the nation for 2-year-olds.
François brings perspectives from academia and the private sector. He was an assistant professor and director of the Public Health Practice Program at the University of South Florida College of Public Health and worked as the site medical director for Corporate Health Dimensions at Citigroup in Tampa for more than seven years.
François’ extensive academic background includes a master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Central Florida, a medical degree, a master’s degree in public health and a Ph.D. in toxicology/public health all from the University of South Florida.
“Dr. François is passionate about the public’s health and is a strong advocate for providing quality health services for all,” said Mark Wilson, professor and head of the college’s health promotion and behavior department.
The Bernard B. Ramsey Lecture Series is hosted by the department of health promotion and behavior in the College of Public Health and funded by an endowment established to support academic programs in UGA’s Ramsey Center. The lecture series honors the university’s most generous individual benefactor, Bernard B. Ramsey. During his lifetime, Ramsey, who graduated from UGA’s business college in 1937, donated more than $33 million to the university.