Georgia CTSA Community Engagement Steering Board Member Advances Health Equity

Darrell Sabbs, a member of the Georgia CTSA Community Engagement Program Steering Board, continues to advance health equity in Southwest Georgia, the least populated region in the state. In this Medically Underserved Area (MUA), Sabbs serves as Community Benefits Coordinator for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. He works to identify ways to impact community health including his leadership role during the annual Women's Health Fair.

At this year's women’s health fair on October 26 at Albany State University, "Take Charge, Rule Your Health," Sabbs helped lead over 100 volunteers in providing free diabetes and cholesterol screenings, blood pressure readings, flu shots, fitness classes, and healthy cooking demonstrations. Sabbs comments, "Health equity is a human value. In order to achieve a standard of equity, so many must work together …. families with practitioners, health systems, academics, businesses, faith communities, policy makers and community-based organizations. The human service we provide is strongest when we work together."

Sabbs explains, "Our partnership with the Georgia CTSA's Community Engagement Program helps make that happen. When communities and families participate in their well-being, great things happen. The academic sharing, workshops, training, and seed funding all play a very important role in the goal of health equity."

When discussing the value of Sabbs' role, Georgia CTSA Community Engagement Program Steering Board Chair Neicey Johnson, RN, BSN, Esq. remarks, "It has been a pleasure to have Mr. Sabbs on the Community Steering Board. Darrell brings a unique understanding of the needs in rural health and the dynamics of urban Georgia. His ability to be a bridge between both creates a foundation for realizing One Georgia, where all persons are afforded the opportunity to live optimally. Darrell is a joy to work with and his energy sets the standard for the success of our Board."

Georgia CTSA's Community Engagement is a core component of a collaborative effort between Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and University of Georgia (UGA). The program improves the way biomedical research is conducted and disseminated throughout Georgia and across the country. It works to unite existing academic-community research partnerships, facilitate community input into university research, and to increase health research in community settings that is both responsive and relevant to the health needs of the community.

The Georgia CTSA is a statewide partnership between Emory, MSM, Georgia Tech, and UGA and is one of 60 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.

Photo Credit: Carlton Fletcher, The Albany Herald