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Laura Colbert Commencement Address to the University of Georgia, College of Public Health’s Graduating Class of 2024

Public Health: People, Power, & Possibility

Courtesy of the UGA College of Public Health

Laura Colbert, Executive Director of GHF, was invited to deliver the commencement address to the graduating Class of 2024 at the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Public Health. 

A recording of her remarks is available here and a transcript is provided below. 

Across each of the successful and unsuccessful efforts that I’ve been a part of, I have learned that the best, most effective, most important public health work is done when you stay focused on three key components: People, Power, and Possibility.

-Laura Colbert

Congratulations to the College of Public Health’s 2024 graduating class! 


GHF legislative update: Wrapping up Georgia’s 2024 legislative session

2024 Session Sine Die

The 2024 Georgia legislative session is over, but GHF is not finished!

We’ve made it to the end of the legislative session and through Sine Die (the last day of legislative session).

In this week’s update we review which notable health bills passed and which bills didn’t quite make it across the finish line, as well as the major health changes and investments in the state budget. 

You can find a full list of this year’s health care-related legislation at GHF’s legislative tracker. In May, we’ll provide one final update about the Governor’s bill signings, vetoes, or budget changes.

Did you enjoy these weekly updates from the legislative session or find them useful to your work and advocacy? Great! We enjoy putting them together for you. We hope you will consider supporting this time-intensive, detailed, and expert-driven work with a donation to GHF! Please give here (and consider making it a monthly gift because advocacy is year-round!). Thank you for your generous support. 


GHF legislative update: March 25

Legislative Update: Week 11

In this week’s update:

  • GHF testifies to close Georgia’s coverage gap
  • Budget updates 
  • Legislation on the move: housing, paid leave, Medicaid financing, & more!
  • GHF’s got you covered this session!


GHF legislative update: March 18

Legislative Update: Week 10

In this week’s update:

  • Action alert: Close Georgia’s Coverage Gap!
  • Action alert: Send HB 404 to the floor for a vote! 
  • Action alert: Urge your Senator to say NO to HB 1170 new substitute language!
  • Legislation on the move: minimum wages for people with disabilities, naloxone, & more!
  • Join GHF’s new coalition!
  • GHF’s got you covered this session!


2 Action Alerts: YES on housing & NO to bans on youth health services!

Make your voice heard! The Senate Rules committee needs to hear from you about 2 bills! 

How can you help? Both action alerts below are directed towards the Senate Rules Committee. Calls are more effective than emails. We suggest starting with two calls to Committee Chair Matt Brass (404-656-0057) and Vice Chair Frank Ginn (404-656-9222) about both bills. Calls to other committee members are also encouraged! Refer to the action alerts below for helpful talking points and please be respectful and courteous to whoever answers the phone.

Thank you for your advocacy! 


GHF legislative update: March 11

Legislative Update: Week 9

In this week’s update:

  • Action alert: Urge Senators to modify HB 1339!
  • Amended FY25 budget updates 
  • Bills on the move: Parental leave and children’s residential treatment programs 
  • Crossover Day correction: HB 1125
  • Advocacy events: Housing Day at the Capitol
  • GHF’s got you covered this session!

Action alert: Urge your Senators to amend HB 1339!


GHF legislative update: March 4

Legislative Update: Crossover Day Recap

Thursday was the 28th day of the Georgia legislative session, which is also called Crossover Day. Crossover Day is the final day for a bill to cross from its chamber of origin to the opposite chamber to remain viable for this legislative session.

Today, we run down which consumer health bills made it through and which did not. We have primarily focused on bills that were covered in our previous legislative updates.

Note: After the flurry of activity on Thursday, we are still working to update our legislative tracker with the current status of each bill. While many are updated, it is best to find the bill you are interested in and click through to find the full information about the bill’s status on legis.ga.gov. 


GHF legislative update: February 26

Legislative Update: Week 7

In this week’s update:

  • New bill would study options to close Georgia’s coverage gap 
  • Cover Georgia is at the Capitol today! Advocate with us!  
  • Legislation GHF is tracking 
  • Legislation on the move 
  • Advocacy events for your calendar
  • GHF’s got you covered this session!

What Public Health Workers Have to Say About The State of Public Health In Georgia

Public health is the science of protecting and improving Georgians’ health and the health of our communities where we live, work, and play. Public health workers, agencies, and laws make it possible to track disease outbreaks, safely drink water from our faucets and eat at restaurants, and help community residents learn healthy behaviors and understand why some of us are more likely to experience poor health than others. 



GHF legislative update: February 19

Legislative Update: Week 6

In this week’s update:

  • Thank you for showing up! 
  • Cover Georgia Advocacy Day: Feb. 26th 
  • Budget update
  • Legislation: workforce, workforce, workforce!
  • Advocacy events for your calendar
  • GHF’s got you covered this session!


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GHF In The News

May 31, 2024
Experts urge Georgia to reform health insurance system
Wilborn P. Nobles III

Health care researchers and advocates want Georgia to implement new policies across its health insurance system as the state concludes its yearlong process of redetermining eligibility for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.