Georgia CTSA Community Engagement and UGA Cooperative Extension Working Together to Advance Health Equity

colleagues at a conference
2023 National Health Outreach Conference: Kathy Hosig, PhD, MPH, RD, Virginia Tech; Courtney Still Brown, PhD, RDN, University of Georgia; Alison C. Berg, PhD, RDN, LD, University of Georgia; LaToya J. O'Neal, PhD, MA; University of Florida

“Strategic partnerships are critical for advancing health equity. The Cooperative Extension System is uniquely positioned to collaborate with CTSA Community Engagement programs across the U.S. to assess community needs, disseminate evidenced-based strategies for advancing health equity, and evaluate impact,” says Courtney Still Brown, PhD, RDN, LD, Georgia CTSA Community Engagement and Community Health Engagement Coordinator, UGA Extension Office.

During the 2023 National Health Outreach Conference in Ithaca, NY, Georgia CTSA Community Engagement leaders Dr. Brown and Alison C. Berg, PhD, RDN, LD, Extension Nutrition and Health Specialist, UGA; along with colleagues from Florida and Virginia, presented how Cooperative Extension Systems (CES) and Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Programs can partner to advance health equity.

The national conference is an annual meeting of professionals who address health, nutrition, youth development, workforce development, and human development, most of whom are affiliated with a land-grant university’s Cooperative Extension Service. “Since the conference theme this year was ‘Health Equity: Framing Our Work’, it was an excellent opportunity to discuss synergies with CTSAs,” adds Dr. Brown.

“There is growing interest across Cooperative Extension in working with institutions that receive Clinical and Translational Science Awards to assist scientists in speeding up treatment innovations to reach patients sooner. Through such engagement, Cooperative Extension can leverage existing connections with academic health centers to establish new private and public partnerships for addressing large-scale national public health issues together,” shares Dr. Berg.

In Georgia, UGA Extension is embedded in all 159 counties. Georgia CTSA Community Engagement Co-Director Allisen Penn, EdD, Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach, UGA, comments, “Our faculty work locally to address health disparities. Our in-depth knowledge of local needs and our community engagement expertise allow us to bridge between research and the community.”

Georgia’s State of the Public's Health conference will be held at UGA on Thursday, October 26. Registration is now open. This year's presentations will cover issues related to homelessness, climate and health, creative collaborations to advance health, novel approaches to using data, and more. Drs. Brown and Berg, along with Sarah Henes, PhD, RDN, LDN; and Beth Kindamo, MS, LD; UGA, will present how Extension is working with Georgia CTSA to improve population health.

To learn more, join us via Zoom on Monday, September 11, from 12:00-1:00 PM. Georgia CTSA’s Integrating Special Populations program is facilitating collaboration between people with an interest in rural maternal health disparities. Drs. Berg, Brown, and Henes will discuss ‘Partnering with Cooperative Extension to Engage Communities: Examples and Opportunities in Maternal Health’. View flyer.

Register for Georgia CTSA webinar