The Capitol Corner: July 9, 2010


By Scott Maxwell of Mathews & Maxwell, Inc.

smaxwell2The Executive Board and Executive Director Dr. Robert Stolarick have asked me to post regular comments on the web site in order to keep the GPHA membership better informed about activities at the State Capitol and environs. This is the second edition of “Capitol Corner.”

Public Health Commission to Consider Next Steps in Reorganizing Public Health

When in 2008, the Georgia General Assembly was debating the merits of HB 228 – the bill which reorganized the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Community Health — there was considerable discussion about where the Division of Public Health should be located. In somewhat of a compromise, the decision was made to put Public Health in DCH in the near term, but to also establish a commission to study the question in detail beginning July 1, 2010. The Commission’s charge is to “examine whether the interests of this state are best served with the Division of Public Health being a part of the Department of Community Health, an attached agency pursuant to Code Section 50-4-3, an independent agency, or as part of another organizational structure to be determined by the commission.”

The Commission is required to make its report to the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House by December 1, 2010 and the Commissions stands abolished on December 31, 2010.

The Public Health Commission is now officially in existence, the members have been appointed,  and the first meeting is Monday, July 12th. We will keep you posted as the Commission begins its work.

Those serving on the Commission are listed below.

Public Health Commission – 2010

Governor’s appointments:

Jimmy Burnsed, Richmond Hill – Burnsed is the chairman and chief executive officer of Bryan Bank & Trust. He is the chairman of both the Bryan County Board of Commissioners and the Bryan County Board of Health, and is a member of the Richmond Hill Rotary Club and the Richmond Hill Lions Club. He also serves on the Coastal Regional Commission Council. Burnsed attended Armstrong State College. He and his wife, Becky, have four children, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Lynne Feldman, M.D., MPH, Valdosta – Feldman is the district health director for District 8-1. She is also the medical director for Partnership Health Center and serves as chair of the Quality and Safety Committee for the South Georgia Medical Center Hospital Authority.  She is board certified in both Pediatrics and Preventative Medicine. She is a member of the Lowndes/Valdosta Hospital Authority and is a member and past-president of the Georgia Public Health Association.  She is an active member of the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is chair of the Public Health committee. She has received both the Jules S. Terry Memorial Award for Leadership in Public Health (2001) and the GlaxoSmithKline Child Health Recognition Award (2001). Feldman earned a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University, a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and a master’s degree from Emory University. She has two children.

John T. “Ted” Holloway, M.D., Hoboken – Holloway retired as District Health Director for the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, Southeast Health Unit. He serves on the board of directors of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Advisory Council for Public Health and is a member of the Medical Association of Georgia and the Georgia Public Health Association. Holloway earned a bachelor’s degree from Wofford College and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He and his wife, Linda, have one child and two grandchildren.

Diane Z. Weems, M.D., Savannah – Weems is the chief medical officer for the Chatham County Health Department and Coastal Health District. She also serves as the medical director for the Chatham County Health Department Laboratory and is an adjunct faculty member of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University. Her professional associations include the American and the Georgia Public Health Associations, Georgia Medical Society, American Public Health Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is chair of the Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council, Inc., and is on the board of directors for Step Up Savannah and the Savannah Country Day School. Weems earned a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree from the University of Florida. She and her husband, David, have two children.

Phillip L. Williams, Ph.D., Watkinsville – Williams is the founding dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia and he also holds the Georgia Power Professorship of Environmental Health Science in the College’s Department of Environmental Health Science.  He has authored over 100 publications including 2 textbooks on toxicology.  Prior to coming to UGA in 1993, he was the vice president of the Environmental Health Safety Division of A. T. Kearney from 1988 to 1993, a senior research scientist with the Georgia Tech Research Institute from 1978 to1988, and an industrial hygienist with the USDOL/OSHA from 1975 to 1978. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and a doctoral degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Theda, have two children and two grandchildren.

Lt. Governor’s Appointments:

Greg Dent, Macon —  Gregory J. Dent is President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Works, a non-profit health care company. Dent is a graduate of Georgia College and State University where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Dent served as Chairman of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners and Chairman of the Health & Human Services Policy committee for the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia. Greg serves as a Trustee of the National Rural Health Association and President of the Georgia Rural Health Association’s Board of Directors. Additionally, he is a member of the America College of Healthcare Executives and President of Georgia Small Business Lender and a graduate of Leadership Georgia. He also serves as President of the National Cooperative Health Networks Board of Directors.  Greg and his wife, Alecia, have a teenage son, Adam, and they reside in Macon, Georgia.

Jack Chapman, Jr., MD, Gainesville – Chapman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Athens and his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his Ophthalmology residency training at the Medical College of Georgia Hospitals and Clinics. He is board certified in Ophthalmology and has lived in Gainesville since 1992. Chapman is active in the community and serves on the Health Access Initiative Board of Directors. He is a committee member for the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce and served as President of the Medical Association of Georgia for the 2007-2008 term. He and his wife, Leslie, have one son.

Speaker’s Appointments:

Deb Bailey RN, BS, BSN, MSN,  Gainesville – Bailey is currently Director of Governmental Affairs for the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Inc. Prior to her current position, she was the Vice-President for Nursing at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. She also previously served as an Associate Professor of Nursing at Brenau University. Deborah has been a manuscript reviewer and has authored or co-authored more than 10 professional books; one of which was named the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year. She is a Wharton Fellow and has the distinction of being the first woman to ever speak publicly in the United Arab Emirates where she addressed the Ministry of Health. She belongs to numerous professional and leadership organizations.

Jim Peak, Bainbridge — Peak is CEO of Memorial Hospital and Manor and serves as Chairman of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. He served as a trustee and chairman of the board for the Georgia Hospital Association. He is a board member of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, member of the Rotary Club and the Decatur County School Board Foundation and previously served as a member of the Health Strategies Council for the State of Georgia. Peak earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree from Georgia Southern University. He and his wife, Bettie, have two sons.