Dr. Erin Vinoski Thomas, research assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences and director of health and wellness at the Center for Leadership in Disability, will discuss the findings from a recent mixed method study exploring the effects of COVID-19 on quality of life among Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the direct care workforce that supports them. Interviewed by Brian Greer, Director of Development for the School of Public Health.
Dr. Erin Vinoski Thomas’s research focuses on disability health disparities, with an emphasis on identifying and promoting holistic health behaviors particularly among women and girls with disabilities. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Dr. Vinoski Thomas served as a Disability and Health Fellow with the National Association of County and City Health Officials; in this role, she supported a national program providing technical assistance to local health departments across the US to increase their inclusion of people with disabilities in their policies, programs, and services.
Learn more about Dr. Vinoski Thomas.
The Currents of Public Health webinar series is presented by the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. The goal of this series is to explore relevant public health topics with members of our community to discover how these ideas can positively impact local communities.
2021 Spring Session
How to Advance Professionally During a Global Pandemic: This webinar featured School of Public Health alumni who are currently serving in public health roles at the local and state level. Interviewed by Jessica Pratt, Practice and Career Coordinator for the School of Public Health.
Engaging a Refugee Community to Address COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices: It is critical to engage those most affected by COVID‐19, including vulnerable populations such as refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) communities, in developing effective health education campaigns so their lived experiences can inform contextually and culturally specific messaging. Georgia State Prevention Research Center researchers do not fully understand RIM population knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) about COVID-19 testing and the vaccine in the diverse community of Clarkston, Georgia. Additionally, the researchers do not understand how to effectively develop and disseminate messaging. There is no indication that the plethora of approaches and strategies including educational campaigns, contact‐based interventions, and peer services work with RIM populations. The Georgia State Prevention Research Center researchers work aims to gain a nuanced understanding about COVID-19 KAPs, identify best practices for implementing contextually and culturally appropriate health messaging that explicitly addresses COVID‐19 KAPs, and define a process for disseminating contextually and culturally appropriate health messaging that explicitly addresses COVID‐19 KAPs. Interviewed by Brian Greer, Director of Development for the School of Public Health.
Dr. Ashli Owen-Smith is a behavioral scientist with research interests in health disparities, mental health (specifically serious mental illness, trauma and suicide), chronic pain, and complementary and alternative approaches for complex conditions with both mental and physical causes and manifestations.
Dr. Owen-Smith’s research aims to identify questions that are relevant and important to patients, and to prioritize the translation of research findings into clinical practice. Accordingly, she is interested in conducting patient-centered research and utilizing patient-reported outcomes. She works closely with patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders and is interested in employing qualitative and mixed methods. Learn more about Dr. Owen-Smith.
Why is Cooperation Essential in Public Health? A Discussion on the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: This conversation will introduce the importance of cooperation in public health, using the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as the basis for discussion. Dr. Sarah McCool will discuss the benefits and challenges to cooperation in infectious disease response, and discuss what to anticipate as the vaccine rollout continues. Interviewed by Brian Greer, Director of Development for the School of Public Health.
Dr. Sarah McCool is a Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Dr. McCool has worked in global health in various capacities since 2010. She most recently worked to support a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- funded child protection/anti-trafficking project in Haiti. She has worked extensively in the area of tuberculosis surveillance and prevention in Asia. She completed a USAID Research & Development fellowship in Indonesia and consulted for a Fortune 500 company on methods for reducing tuberculosis incidence among garment factory workers in South Asia. Dr. McCool was previously the Executive Director of a Haiti-based NGO that provides primary care to the rural southwest population. She has lived in Singapore, Indonesia and Haiti and has studied and learned—to varying degrees—French, Haitian Creole, Bahasa Indonesia and BCS (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian) as a U.S. Department of State Critical Languages Scholar. Learn more about Dr. McCool.
Building a Culture of Health – Institutionalizing Equity in Public Health Practice: Angela Glover Blackwell is Founder in Residence at PolicyLink, the organization she started in 1999 to advance racial and economic equity for all. Under Angela’s leadership, PolicyLink gained national prominence in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. Her Radical Imagination podcast debuted in September 2019, and introduces listeners to a world of talented, creative, progressive thinkers whose vision and determination are challenging the status quo to create the change we need. Interviewed by Dr. Rodney Lyn, Interim Dean for the School of Public Health. Learn more about the Kreuter Katz Lecture on Health Equity.
Angela Glover Blackwell is Founder in Residence at PolicyLink, the organization she started in 1999 to advance racial and economic equity for all. Under Angela’s leadership, PolicyLink gained national prominence in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. Her Radical Imagination podcast debuted in September 2019, and introduces listeners to a world of talented, creative, progressive thinkers whose vision and determination are challenging the status quo to create the change we need.
Prior to founding PolicyLink, Angela served as Senior Vice President at The Rockefeller Foundation. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Urban Strategies Council. From 1977 to 1987, Angela was a partner at Public Advocates. Angela is the co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, and she authored The Curb Cut Effect, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2017.
As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Angela serves on numerous boards. She advised the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve as one of 15 members of its inaugural Community Advisory Council, and in 2020 was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to the state Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. She is the 2018 recipient of the John W. Gardner Leadership Award, presented by the Independent Sector, and in 2017, she received the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from the University of California, Berkeley. Learn more about Angela Glover Blackwell.
Primary and Secondary Prevention of Substance Use and Sexual Assault: Sexual assault and alcohol use often co-occur, yet prevention programs typically do not target these issues within one integrated prevention program. Dr. Gilmore discussed integrated primary and secondary prevention programs for sexual assault and alcohol use among diverse, high-risk populations. Interviewed by Brian Greer, Director of Development for the School of Public Health.
Dr. Amanda Gilmore is a clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development and the Department of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health. She is also affiliated with the Department of Psychology (Clinical and Community) and the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence.
Dr. Gilmore’s research interests primarily focus on the development and testing of (1) integrated prevention programs for alcohol and drug use, sexual assault, and sexual risk behaviors among high-risk groups including adolescents, college students, and service members, (2) innovative technology-based interventions to improve the rate of treatment access and decrease treatment drop-out among underserved populations; and (3) secondary prevention programs for individuals who experienced recent sexual assault. Throughout her work she focuses on cultural factors related to gender identity, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. She also focuses her work on reducing barriers to accessing treatment for underserved populations. Dr. Gilmore has served as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Department of Defense, Office for Victims of Crime and the Department of Homeland Security as well as several internal grant mechanisms. She has more than 80 peer reviewed publications. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist with particular expertise in the treatment of substance use disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicidal behaviors and she has founded and led clinics that have provided treatment to recent sexual assault victims, victims of crime with posttraumatic stress and suicidal behaviors using Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and integrated behavioral health care within an OB/GYN clinic. Learn more about Dr. Gilmore.
The Role of SARS-CoV-2 Serostudies for Monitoring Burden of Disease and Associated Risk Factors: Surveillance data from SARS-CoV-2 testing programs are being used to measure burden of disease and to compare disease burden across different types of populations. However, these data have shortcomings including differential access to, and use of, testing among population sub-groups, for example by race/ethnicity. More complex measurement methods are needed to understand how burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection differs across population sub-groups, and SARS-CoV-2 serostudies offer one promising solution. Dr. Heather Bradley discussed the role of serostudies in SARS-CoV-2 surveillance, including current challenges in fielding such studies in the U.S. Interviewed by Brian Greer, Director of Development for the School of Public Health.
Dr. Heather Bradley is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. She is an epidemiologist whose main research interests include HIV prevention and treatment outcomes, surveillance methodology, and the intersection of infectious diseases with the U.S. opioid epidemic.
Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State, Dr. Bradley worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in various divisions, including the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and the Division of STD Prevention. From 2016-2018, she was the Associate Chief for Science for the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, where she oversaw the training and research of more than 50 epidemiologists in the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch.
Dr. Bradley also worked a senior research associate for the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health from 2005 to 2010. During that time, she managed a multi-site research study evaluating integration of family planning and voluntary HIV counseling and testing services in Ethiopia.
Making the Most of an Academic Program and Careers at CDC: Learn the ins and outs of federal employment, contracting, and fellowships from School of Public Health alumni working at CDC. The graduates will share tips for making the most of an academic program and applying for jobs and fellowships at CDC. Interviewed by Jessica Pratt, Practice and Career Coordinator for the School of Public Health.