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Archway Partnership celebrates Sumter participant’s graduation from UGA Public Health Leadership Academy

AMERICUS — The University of Georgia Archway Partnership is recognizing the graduation of Adrienne Davis, Sumter County Schools; Gavin Bernstein, Furlow Charter School; Latoya Ross, SOWEGA Children, and Whitney Kimbrough, Innovative Senior Solutions from the UGA Public Health Leadership Academy (PHLA). The PHLA is a partnership between the College of Public Health and the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia. Sumter County was one of six communities selected to participate in the year-long academy and the local team’s participation was facilitated and funded by the Archway Partnership.
PHLA provided training to multi-sector teams from across the state with the goal of advancing each team’s leadership skills to foster a culture of health in their communities. PHLA’s mission is to improve the health of Georgians by increasing the capacity of leaders to transcend boundaries, work collaboratively, and transform their communities.
The one-year program offered an array of experiential learning activities that includes six face-to-face multi-day sessions, distance learning, discussions with subject matter experts and national public health leaders, support and peer networking, and the design of an applied project in each team’s respective community. The Sumter team will focus future efforts on reducing the high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Sumter County.
“The experience of participating in the UGA Public Health Leadership Academy is invaluable to me. The facilitators and content provided a wealth of knowledge in a challenging and rewarding way. I look forward to applying what I have learned to projects and campaigns to benefit my community. Archway is a great asset to moving Americus and Sumter County forward and I am grateful for the funding resources that provided me this opportunity!” —  Whitney Kimbrough, MPA, Director of Community Projects, Innovative Senior Solutions
“It was great to have a variety of people at the table from diverse backgrounds. We learned about public health problems and we came together as a group to focus on a common issue that impacts our community — STIs.” — Gavin Bernstein, lecturer at GSW School of Education; Furlow Charter School Board member
“The Public Health Leadership Academy was very informative and eye-opening. The Academy provided evidence-based skills in leadership to me and my cohort. The Sumter County team and I plan to utilize the knowledge obtained from the Academy to reduce the STI rate in Sumter County by 15 percent over the next two years.”  — Adrienne Davis, Sumter School Districtsocial worker/Parent Environment coordinator
“I am grateful for the opportunity to gain the leadership tools to bring back to the community and work on the goal of decreasing the STI rate in Sumter County. There was a wealth of information that we learned both from the instructors and also the participants from various Georgia counties.” — Latoya Ross, Coordinator, Southwestern Judicial Circuit Children and Families in Need of Services (CHINS), Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance Inc.