REED Summit focuses on healthcare Leave a comment

The University of North Georgia (UNG) will host its annual Regional Education and Economic Development (REED) Summit on Sept. 20 at the Convocation Center on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus. This year’s event theme is “Transforming Healthcare in North Georgia.”

Dr. Carolynn DeSandre, dean of UNG’s College of Health Sciences & Professions, looks forward to bringing together so many stakeholders. Tickets are available on the REED Summit website.

“Having access to high-quality healthcare is foundational to a thriving region and healthy citizenry. The inner workings of healthcare are complex, and having a qualified workforce that is ready to meet our region’s needs is essential,” DeSandre said. “This REED Summit pulls together experts so that we have the opportunity to learn from each other and build the healthcare infrastructure that is needed both today and for the future.”

Carol Burrell, CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS), and Maria Thacker, CEO of the Center for Global Health Innovation and president and CEO of Georgia Bio, will serve as the keynote speakers.

“While COVID-19 hit our region very hard, there were some positive things to come out of the pandemic,” Burrell said. “The lessons we learned have reshaped the way we deliver care to — and partner with — the communities we serve. I’m looking forward to the conversations at this year’s REED Summit.”

NGHS is the presenting sponsor. AT&T is the breakfast sponsor, Georgia Power the lunch sponsor and Jackson EMC the refreshment sponsor.

“I am thrilled to keynote the REED Summit this year because the work my organization is doing really resonates with this year’s theme of Transforming Healthcare in North Georgia,” Thacker said. “With a focus on health equity, The Center works to improve health outcomes for rural and underserved areas by organizing, accelerating, and supporting talented people and successful companies to innovate around the world’s biggest health challenges.”

The event starts at 8 a.m. with registration and breakfast, followed by Burrell speaking at 9 a.m.

A 9:45 a.m. session for all participants will focus on Georgia’s mental health crisis. DeSandre will facilitate that discussion, which will include panelists Kevin Tanner, Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission chairman and Forsyth County manager; Adrian Johnson, deputy director of the Division of Behavioral Health within Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities; and Cindy Levi, CEO of Avita Community Partners.

At 10:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., four sessions will be held in both timeframes, with participants getting to pick the two they want to attend:

  • Healthy Aging & Gerontology
  • Not Everyone in Healthcare Wears Scrubs
  • Healthcare Innovation
  • Physical Therapy: More Than Rehab

The summit will wrap up with Thacker serving as the lunch keynote speaker at 12:15 p.m.

The REED Summit is a unique one-day event that brings together economic developers, community and government leaders, industry partners, and faculty, staff and students (university, technical college, and high school) to discuss industry trends, educational pathways and career opportunities in healthcare.


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