ATLANTA—The Prevention Research Center at Georgia State University has released its Impact Report on the 2022 Clarkston Summit.
The day-long event in May united community with research and service stakeholders to help shape the future of the Clarkston community’s health and well-being. More than 250 participants, including Clarkston residents, community organizations and leaders attended the summit at the Georgia State University Clarkston Campus.
The Prevention Research Center works to address the public health disparities of refugees and immigrants in Clarkston. Funded by a $3.75 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is led by researchers in the School of Public Health and includes researchers in the College of Education and Human Development, Perimeter College, the Center for Community Engagement, and several community partners.
The morning kicked off with panel discussions relating to health, education and refugee settlement. Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks moderated the panel, which included non-profit organizations, community leaders and questions from the audience.
“The summit was a unique opportunity for us to connect with a broad range of partners – medical professionals, employment specialists, government officials and more – who are essential to our work and help our clients thrive. We were able to learn more about efforts to expand access to mental health care for refugees and other survivors of torture,” said Darlene Lynch, Co-Chair of the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies and Head of External Relations for the Center for Victims of Torture Georgia.
Attendees had a chance to visit over 30 organizations and agencies during the summit's expo. There were activities for children, free COVID-19 vaccinations and health screenings, plus CPR and Stop the Bleed training.
The afternoon was devoted to building solutions, establishing partnerships, and planning a way forward to address the identified topics of interest, including healthcare, mental health, resettlement, food security, affordable housing and early childhood education.
“The most exciting part of the summit was the robust participation from our community residents,” said Mary Helen O'Connor, Deputy Director of the Prevention Research Center at Georgia State University. “Seeing so much diversity leading the conversation and so much collaboration among participants was inspiring. It is evidence that when communities make a commitment to collaborate and share resources, they are able to solve even the most complex and critical issues.”
For more information about the Prevention Research Center and to view the Clarkston Summit Impact Report, visit https://prc.gsu.edu/clarkston-summit/.
Photo by Leita Cowart for Georgia State University