AUGUSTA, GA – The United States spends more on health care than any other nation, yet its citizens have lower overall health and life expectancy than that of many developed nations. In Georgia, 30 counties have lower life expectancy than Third World countries such as El Salvador, Thailand and the Gaza Strip. In addition, chronic conditions account for more than 75 percent of U.S. health care expenditures.
To address these and other public health challenges, Georgia Health Sciences University has established an Institute of Public and Preventive Health (IPPH) integrating the enterprise’s public health research initiatives, hosting community programs and cultivating a public health fellowship program.
“Georgia is ranked near the bottom nationwide in type 2 diabetes, infant mortality, pre-term, low-birth and teen-birth rates, obesity, tuberculosis, hepatitis and AIDS,” said GHSU President Ricardo Azziz in announcing the institute. “We must address these health inequities and examine the social, racial and economic causes of poor health in order to provide better health for our citizens, with greater cost-effectiveness and economic benefit for our state.”
About the Institute of Public & Preventive Health
Over time, the research and service initiatives of the Institute will cover all five core competency areas of public health and preventive health: health management and administration, epidemiology, behavioral health and health education, environmental and occupational health and biostatistics.
Current expertise of faculty members affiliated with the IPPH includes:
Behavioral and Lifestyle Interventions for Health Promotion
Health Care Quality Improvement
Injury Prevention Studies
Impact of Environmental Factors on Health
Mobile Technologies to Support Self-Care
Smoking Prevention and Cessation
Prevention and Management of Chronic Diseases
Use of Health Information Technology to Improve Health Care
Cardiovascular Regulation, Hypertension and Diabetes
Fitness Assessment and Assessment of Body Composition
The Institute is developing an initial agenda to support community health improvement:
Health behavior screening and education
Town and Gown grant program supporting research responsive to community health needs
"Focus on Health" public forum (e.g. Health issues of young adults)
Community health update for public and private stakeholders
Public and preventive health seminar series
Georgia meeting on employee healthDevelopment of new, public health research projects
IPPH has 36 affiliated faculty members covering a wide area of public and preventive health. The Institute incorporates diverse disciplines through our faculty, institutes, and colleges.
Additionally, the Institute has access to expertise in:
Medical College of Georgia (biomedical research)
College of Nursing (Greater Augusta Healthcare Network)
College of Dental Medicine (oral health)
College of Allied Health Sciences (rehabilitation research)
College of Graduate Studies
Cancer Center (population studies)
Georgia Prevention Center
Community Health Indicators
GHSU has obtained a health indicators resource. These health indicators for Richmond, Aiken, and Columbia counties include data about the leading causes of death and disability, healthy people 2020 and how the three counties compare, health disparities, and promising practices from across the country to address various health issues.