The University of Georgia is helping to build healthier, stronger communities statewide through a program that combines education with leadership development.
The UGA College of Public Health and the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development announced the 2018 Public Health Leadership Academy during the recent annual State of Public Health Conference at the UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel.
Starting in February 2018 and continuing through the fall, participants will complete leadership training and experiential learning projects, conduct discussions with national public health leaders and experts and network with peers to enhance their roles in a collective approach to improving health outcomes in their communities. Georgia Power is providing support for the academy.
“Creating a culture of health in Georgia’s communities will require collaboration from community stakeholders and public health professionals alike,” Fanning Institute Director Matt Bishop said. “This academy will build a diverse network of individuals who will both learn about complex public health issues and develop the leadership capacity to work collaboratively to transform the health of their communities.”
The 2018 class is the second Public Health Leadership Academy. The initial academy took place in 2015 and included participants from Colquitt, Sumter and Washington counties, as well as the multi-county public health districts representing LaGrange and south central Georgia.
“The initial academy proved very successful, and we are pleased to again partner with the College of Public Health to help strengthen communities through leadership development and collaboration,” said Bishop.
Participants in the Public Health Leadership Academy may include business, non-profit and civic leaders; professionals from multiple sectors including health, social work, psychology, ministry and education; as well as other community-based entities that have an impact on factors that affect public health.
“Health is greatly influenced by complex social factors—education, neighborhoods, transportation, income and faith—in addition to health care,” said Marsha Davis, associate dean for outreach and engagement in the College of Public Health. “This leadership program empowers leaders to create solutions that address the health inequities impacted by these social factors and move their communities and organizations toward a ‘culture of health.’ ”