Sen. Renee Unterman Named Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Public Health Association

State Sen. Renee Unterman (center) is congratulated by Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) President Regina Abbott (left) and legislative liaison Scott Maxwell upon receiving the Legislator of the Year award. GPHA recognized Unterman at its annual statewide meeting in April attended by 350 association members. Sen. Unterman was lauded by the association’s officials for her efforts to improve the health of all Georgians and for her ability to successfully negotiate the legislative process on behalf of public health issues.

ATLANTA (May 2, 2013) – The Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) named Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) as the GPHA 2013 Legislator of the Year during their annual conference on April 23.

“At the beginning of my career as a public servant, I challenged the Department of Public Health, lawmakers and health advocates alike to sit around the table and develop strategies to keep Georgians healthy,” said Sen. Unterman.  “This is also a personal challenge that I’ve gladly taken on.  The health of our state should come first and foremost, since Georgia needs a healthy workforce and community before we can address other concerns.  I am thankful for this recognition and promise to continue prioritizing public health on my legislative agenda.”

Sen. Unterman has been a longtime advocate for public health through various initiatives, from carrying House Bill 214, which created the Department of Public Health (DPH) as a cabinet level department in 2011, and securing funds for the DPH through the appropriations process this session.  Furthermore, she was a leader in developing new funding equations for county health departments that were implemented in 2011 by modernizing the 30-year-outdated formulas.  Recently, she authored Senate Bill 14 to create a state-wide Alzheimer’s and Dementia Task Force; it is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.

“Renee Unterman has committed her time and energy to understanding public health issues,” said GPHA President Regina Abbott. “And, she has invested her considerable political acumen in turning good ideas into effective legislation. We are thrilled to honor the senator for her many contributions to the field of public health, this year and in years past.”

The Georgia Public Health Association is comprised of individuals and organizations advocating for public health, promoting the scientific foundation of public health practice and policy, and representing a broad voice for public health in Georgia.

For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2013

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist