What do playgrounds, school lunches, vaccinations, sidewalks and wheelchair ramps have in common? They all contribute to a community’s ability to help its residents get healthy and stay healthy, sometimes called a culture of health.

The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development and the College of Public Health have announced a joint program designed to engage community leaders in creating and sustaining a culture of health in their communities.

The collaborative program will work with community leaders throughout Georgia to look at different ways to address public health issues.

Communities may nominate teams of four individuals to participate in the 2015 Public Health Leadership Academy. In the application process, they should propose a local public health issue that they would like to address. The participant pool may include, but is not limited to: non-profit, public and business leaders; professionals from multiple sectors, including health, social work, psychology, ministry and education; and other community based entities that have an impact on factors that affect public health.

The one-year program will offer experiential learning activities including six face-to-face multiday sessions, distance learning, discussions with subject matter experts and national public health leaders, support and peer networking and the design of an applied project in each team’s respective community.

For more information or to apply, go to www.publichealth.uga.edu/outreach/PHLA.