Georgia Summit Creates an Agenda for Revamping Division of Public Health to Improve Health and Health Care of State Residents

Summit for a Healthy Georgia: redesigning how the Division of Public Health works to improve Georgians' health

On December 1–2, 2005, staff with the Georgia Department of Human Resources held a conference to redesign how the Division of Public Health works to improve the health of Georgians.

Summit for a Healthy Georgia, held in Marrietta, Ga., drew 776 people, 46 percent of whom were employees of a state, district or local public health agency. Other participants included legislators, local elected officials, health care provider groups, hospital health care systems, school system staff, private business managers and citizen advocates.

Key Results

  • Participants identified overarching goals for the public health system of Georgia, including:

    • Sharing a commitment to optimal health for all Georgians.
    • Creating sustainable partnerships that promote and support safe, healthy and productive communities.
    • Developing and advocating for sound policies and best practices that improve health and safety.
  • Participants created an agenda to move forward in the following areas:

    • Strategic planning.
    • A health report card.
    • Engagement.
  • At the local level, nine of the state's 18 health districts have begun translating overarching goals into local actions. The three key focus areas in this work are:

    • Infant mortality
    • Risk behavior
    • Emergency preparedness
  • The summit produced seven areas of emphasis for communities, businesses and organizations to focus on to improve the health of all Georgians. These areas of emphasis demonstrate the complex nature of health and the multiple factors that contribute to health. The areas of emphasis identified are:

    • Improve access to health care.
    • Promote the community culture and conditions necessary for healthy lifestyles.
    • Decrease the number of uninsured and underinsured Georgians.
    • Identify and eliminate inequities in health status.
    • Address poverty as a root cause of poor health status.
    • Engage educational partners.
    • Promote safe communities.

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