Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) has been recognized as the 2016 Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) in recognition of her numerous contributions to the profession and to the health of all Georgians. The award presentation was made in front of more than 500 GPHA members at the association’s annual Spring meeting in Atlanta.
GPHA President Selina Smith said, “Sen. Unterman is an aggressive and effective legislative leader in the field of public health. She seems always to be one or two steps ahead of the latest trend, effectively sheperding legislation and directing budget priorities to improve health outcomes for Georgia’s entire population.”
Unterman’s recent accomplishments include a pay rate increase for public health nurses as part of a recruitment and retention effort to keep highly qualified registered nurses from moving to better paying jobs in the private sector. She also worked to include “hold harmless” funding for counties that would have otherwise lost financial support from the state under a new distribution formula.
Unterman chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Development, Behavioral Health/Developmental Disabilities, and Public Health. She is also a member of the Insurance and Labor Committee and the powerful Rules Committee.
A long-time supporter of public health initiatives, Sen. Unterman has been previously recognized as GPHA’s Legislator of the Year and also as the National State Legislator of the Year by the National Association of Local Boards of Health.
GPHA is the largest organization of public health professionals in the Southeast, with a vision of “healthy Georgians, living in healthy communities.”