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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Georgia: Forum Institute Partner for Preconception to Infancy Public Health Initiative

The University of Georgia College of Public Health has announced a new strategic partnership with The Forum Institute, an Oregon-based nonprofit think tank, to implement a first-of-its-kind preconception to infancy public health initiative for the state of Georgia.

Description: A group photo of officials from UGA and The Forum Institute that were present when they signed an agreement between the College of Public Health and the Oregon based think tank to form a strategic partnership to implement a preconception public health initiative in the Peabody Board Room at the Administration Building. Pictured left to right are College of Public Health Dean Phil Williams, The Forum Institute Executive Committee Member Judi Rees, Professor Jose Cordero, VP of Development and Alumni Relations Kelly Kerner, Provost Pamela Whitten, The Forum Institute Board Chairman Gleason Eakin, The Forum Institute Board President David Humphrey, The Forum Institute Executive Director of the P2i program Mary Closson, VP of Research David Lee, The Forum Institute Fundraiser Gary Smith, and The Forum Institute Executive Committee Member, Lee Grossman. Date of Photo: 9/9/2016 Credit: Andrew Davis Tucker, University of Georgia Photographic Services File: 34189-080 The University of Georgia owns the rights to this image or has permission to redistribute this image. Permission to use this image is granted for internal UGA publications and promotions and for a one-time use for news purposes. Separate permission and payment of a fee is required to use any image for any other purpose, including but not limited to, commercial, advertising or illustrative purposes. Unauthorized use of any of these copyrighted photographs is unlawful and may subject the user to civil and criminal penalties. Possession of this image signifies agreement to all the terms described above.

[Photo: A group photo of officials from UGA and The Forum Institute that were present when they signed an agreement between the College of Public Health and the Oregon based think tank]

The Forum Institute will provide $2.4 million in funding to the UGA College of Public Health over two years to support the establishment of the P2i Center of Excellence, the nation’s first center focused on preconception to infancy care. Dr. José F. Cordero, Patel Distinguished Professor of Public Health in the College of Public Health, will serve as director of the new center, which will open in Atlanta in early 2017.

The Forum Institute established the Preconception to Infancy initiative, or P2i, on the conviction that existing strong science and clinical practice offer a means of improving outcomes and significantly reducing the incidence of chronic disorders among infants when women reduce exposure to toxins, ensure proper nutrition and maintain optimal health before and during pregnancy.

Cordero and the College of Public Health will lead the center’s efforts in developing best practices for preconception care, while expanding current knowledge in the field through clinical research, statistical analysis and the publication and distribution of scientific findings. The college will also collaborate with The Forum Institute in developing curricula for physicians and mothers-to-be in preconception care and related topics.

“We are very pleased to establish this partnership with The Forum Institute to advance the Preconception to Infancy public health initiative,” said Phillip Williams, dean of the College of Public Health. “With Dr. Cordero, we have one of the leading experts in child and maternal health guiding this program. His role places us in an ideal position to implement an outstanding public health program for Georgia residents.”

An internationally recognized researcher and public health leader, Cordero has dedicated his career to addressing maternal and child health, minority health and health disparities. For 27 years, he served in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During his time at the CDC, he attained the rank of assistant surgeon general of the Public Health Service and held a number of leadership positions focused on improving the health of mothers, children and adults in programs such as immunizations, birth defects and disabilities. The most prominent of these roles included deputy director of the National Immunization Program and founding director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

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