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The Georgia Public Health Commission has released its report to the Governor and recommends Public Health become an independent agency.
The Commission was formed to study options for reorganizing the Division of Public Health and to make a recommendation to the Governor at the end of this calendar year. Options considered included the Division of Public Health as an attached agency within the Department of Community Health, existing as an independent agency or as part of another organizational structure.
The report states, “…the unanimous recommendation of the Commission is that the Division of Public Health become an independent, cabinet-level state agency – the Georgia Department of Public Health, with a Commissioner directly reporting to the Governor and acting, by statute, as the state’s chief health officer. The Commission believes that this is the single best option to improve the health of Georgia’s citizens and to move Georgia from among the lowest-ranking states in the nation regarding health to among the best in the nation. The commission believes that an independent Department of Public Health can be created with existing human and financial resources, but in order to effect improvements in health outcomes, additional investments in public health will need to be made in the years to come. An independent Department of Public Health also fosters our state’s ability to attract exceptional, cabinet- level leadership for Georgia’s public health function.”