Healthier Together Georgia

ALEC researchers play a key role in Healthier Together Georgia: A High Obesity Prevention Program, is a cooperatively-funded partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the UGA Cooperative Extension Service, UGA College of Public Health, and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This program utilizes a community coalition model in each of the five counties most at-risk for obesity in Georgia to determine the best course of public health action appropriate for each community. The program focuses on increasing healthy food access and physical activity in each county (Calhoun, Clay, Dooly, Stewart, and Taliaferro).

The CDC grant was initially awarded to UGA faculty in 2016 with the purpose of enhancing obesity prevention efforts in Calhoun and Taliaferro counties—two of the rural counties most heavily impacted by the obesity epidemic in Georgia. The project was funded through the CDC’s program to Reduce Obesity in High Obesity Areas. The initial funding for this cooperative agreement was for a two-year pilot project in the two aforementioned counties for $1.25 million, and was ben renewed and expanded as a five-year project targeting five of Georgia’s most at-risk rural counties for $5 million in 2018.


Resulting scholarly efforts related to the project include:

Peer-reviewed Publications


  • Fernandez, J., & Song, Y. (2021, May 7). Exploration of place for data-driven design: Fort Gaines, Georgia [Pilot Study for CDC High Obesity Program (HOP) 1809]. University of Georgia: College of Environment and Design.

Oral Presentations

  • Dobbins, C. E., Lamm, A. J., Southall, H., Borron, A., Lamm, K. W., & Davis, M. (October 2020). Assessing social impact for community-based health initiatives: An introduction to the CD+SI toolkit. Abstract submitted for presentation at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting: San Francisco, CA. (Virtual)
  • Southall, H. G., Longenecker, D., Spooner, D., Lamm, A., & Davis, M. (October 2020). Academic-community partnerships to address built environment active living barriers: A pilot. Abstract submitted for presentation at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting: San Francisco, CA.
  • Brown C, Davis M, Everson D, Scarrow A, Miller M, Ashley S, Berg A. Making PSE Practical: Engaging Rural Communities Around Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change. Oral session, National Health Outreach Conference 2019, Fort Worth, TX, May 2, 2019.

Panel Discussions

  • Brathwaite, N., Southall, H., Smith, P., and Walker, C. Panel Discussion. Expanding Public Health Transportation to Improve Health Equity: The Maryland and Georgia Experience. February 26, 2020. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Chamblee Campus, Atlanta, Georgia.