Conference Highlights

10th Anniversary SPH logoThe University of Georgia’s College of Public Health (CPH) hosted its 10th annual State of the Public’s Health Conference virtually on October 14, 2021.

This year’s program featured discussions about mental health, salient health issues affecting rural Georgia, public health law, and COVID-19’s impact on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders communities.

For those who could not join us or would like to revisit our presentations, video recordings of the main session and breakout sessions are now available below. A written recap of the conference is also available here.

Main Program

Watch presentations from our keynote speakers and special guests:

Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD, President, Well Being Trust
Dr. Miller is a nationally recognized mental health expert who advocates for the need to make mental health an integral part of health care. As President of Well Being Trust, Dr. Miller oversees the implementation of the foundation’s strategies to have a real-world impact on America’s mental health and addiction crisis. He is also the author of the weekly newsletter – Mental: Fighting the fragmentation of mental health one policy at a time, where hundreds of subscribers gather to read about how everyday happenings are connected to mental health, and what actions they can take to address them.

Lemuel “Life the Griot” LaRoche, spoken word artist, author, and executive director of Chess & Community

Yvette K. Daniels, JD, Director of University Relations, Georgia Department of Public Health

Breakout Sessions

Minority Health – Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders on COVID19 and Getting Vaccinated: Results from a National Survey

Speakers: Juliet Choi, Executive Director, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Moderator: Dr. Grace Bagwell Adams, UGA College of Public Health

Rural Health – Facing Three Salient Challenges in Rural Georgia: Aging, Mental Health, and Management of Chronic Conditions


  • On aging: Lisa Renzi-Hammond, Associate Professor, and Jenay Beer, Associate Professor, Institute of Gerontology, College of Public Health University of Georgia
  • On Mental Health and Suicide Prevention among Georgia Farmers: Andrea Scarrow, Director, Southwest District Extension, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia
  • On Managing Chronic Conditions: Henry Young , Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia

Moderator: Shellie Bardgett, MPH, UGA College of Public Health

Public Health Law – Public Health Law and the Response to COVID


  • Fazal Khan, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Georgia
  • Greg Sunshine, Public Health Analyst, Public Health Law Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Ani Satz, Professor, School of Law, Emory University
  • Stacie Kershner, Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society, School of Law, Georgia State University

Moderator: Megan Bramlett, MPH, UGA College of Public Health