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USM to Host Annual Public Health Symposium April 3

Thu, 03/28/2024 - 08:43am | By: Van Arnold

The School of Health Professions at The University of 51 Mississippi (USM) will host its annual Public Health Symposium on Wednesday, April 3 with presentations targeted to students, faculty, staff, public health practitioners and the Hattiesburg community at large.

The symposium, featuring three concurrent sessions, will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Thad Cochran Center on USM’s Hattiesburg campus. The event is free and open to the general public.

Dr. Vickie Reed, Assistant Director, Public Health, MPH Graduate Coordinator & Instructor at USM, explains that the symposium is held in conjunction with National Public Health Week (April 1-7).

“The theme for the week and symposium is ‘Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We are Public Health.’ This is a great event whereby present and future practitioners can convene together to strengthen our public health discipline and profession,” said Reed.

Dr. Justin Turner, Chief Medical Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health, will deliver the keynote address from noon until 1 p.m. In addition to his duties as Chief Medical Officer, Turner also serves as Health Officer for the Central Public Health Region. He oversees clinical operations for the agency and serves as a liaison to the medical community and stakeholders.

In 2023, Dr. Turner was awarded Most Influential African American of Mississippi by Our Mississippi, and in 2021, he was awarded National Top 40 Under 40 by the National Minority Quality Forum.

“As the Chief Medical Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health, Dr. Turner is one of the leading public health voices in our state,” said Reed. “The significance of his professional insight will inform our university and Pine Belt community on the importance of a strong public health workforce.”

To learn more about the Public Health Symposium, email Reed at Vickie.reedFREEMississippi