‘Health Means Business’ forum taking place Feb. 2 in Columbus

A healthy and knowledgeable workforce should lead to a stronger business and overall community.

That’s the basic theme for a “Health Means Business” regional forum that is taking place 8:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 2 at Columbus State University’s Cunningham Conference Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd.

Spearheaded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the event also is being hosted by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Columbus State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

It is part of a major campaign that already has made appearances in major cities across the U.S. in 2015 and 2016, including Denver, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Fla., Fort Worth, Texas, Memphis, Tenn.,Indianapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago and Los Angeles.

The goal of “Health Means Business” is to give local and regional businesses the knowledge to take action and “empower healthier individuals and communities through education, employment, and increased income.” There also will be discussion around fostering a culture of health in rural areas outside of major cities.

There will be multiple sessions, including “Health is the Heart of Business,” “Rural Community Health” and “The Infrastructure of Health,” followed by a call to action.

To register for the forum, email Maggie Reese at or call 706-596-7014, or email Kirsten Fedewa at

Speakers include:

▪ Brian Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce

▪ Elyse Cohen, director of the Health and Wellness Program and executive director of the Health Means Business Campaign at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

▪ Richard Crespin, CEO of CollaborateUp, and senior fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

▪ Monte Galbraith, CEO of DNA Textile Group

▪ Daniel Koontz, CEO of St. Francis Hospital

▪ Ryland Harrelson, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at TSYS

▪ Dr. Gary D. Nelson, president of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation

▪ Dr. Tara Underwood, associate professor of Health Science and associate director of the Center for Health Disparities and Community Based Research at Columbus State University

▪ Dr. Glenn Landers, research assistant professor of the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University

▪ Dr. L. Joy Baker, obstetrician and gynecologist at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Ga.

▪ Charles Owens, clinical associate professor and center director at Georgia Southern University, Jiann Ping-Hsu College of Public Health and the Center for Public Health Practice & Research