Nazeera Dawood’s leadership brings $9 million to Fulton County
Dr. Nazeera Dawood grew up in India seeing her father determinedly changing his lifestyle for the better to avoid complications of diabetes—but then as a doctor she treated many people suffering from amputations and blindness as a result of unchecked diabetes. “Diabetes transformed my career path from a practicing physician treating illnesses to a public health practitioner advocating for wellness,” she says. “My purpose in this world, I grew to realize, was to advocate for prevention rather than treat complications.”
As the health promotion program manager for the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, Dr. Dawood has been working to bring the community together to work for wellness. She has led the three-year-old Fulton County Health Promotion Initiative (HPI), initiating Health Promotion Action Coalitions (HPAC)—Asthma, Diabetes Community Action, Healthy Heart, Interfaith, Safe Kids and Smoke Free Coalitions—whose effectiveness has been affirmed by the recent announcement of the awarding of a stunning $9 million in grants over the next 3 years from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health, PICH, funds) in support of Fulton County’s Health Promotion Partnerships. The grant money will promote wellness through community coalitions of businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and other community organizations. Under Dr. Dawood’s leadership, Fulton County already has an impressive coalition of over 100 health prevention entities, and so stands ready to grow in its role of assuring that PICH grant funds are a tool of empowerment to “create or strengthen healthy environments that make it easier for people to make healthy choices and take charge of their health.”
Fulton County Commissioners honored Dr. Dawood’s quiet, but powerful leadership at the first October Commission meeting by issuing a Proclamation recognizing October 1, 2014 as “Dr. Nazeera Dawood Appreciation Day.” Over 50 leaders of HPI, HPAC, and other community partners assembled to stand with Dr. Dawood in celebration of her work. As a Commissioner remarked during the presentation, “Dr. Dawood’s passion has inspired a true sense of community within the Health Promotion Initiative. This spirit is part of what makes our county great."
Refusing to be limited by traditional approaches to health prevention, Dr. Dawood shares a message of community sufficiency, the power of collaboration to create abundance and good health; and the importance of cultivating a spirit of appreciation and gratitude for the transformation that comes from community based leadership. Her success in bringing together over 350 organizations creating HPI coalitions comprised of corporations, grassroots residents, and government officials was based upon the these principles and the belief that all change must begin with the people and be shaped in the hands of the community.
Fulton County will use the funds to reduce tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities. Besides forming coalitions, several pilot projects in each coalition have been initiated and needs assessments conducted, providing Healthy Corner store network initiative, Community Gardening initiative, and passage of smoke free parks and campus policies, breast feeding promotion policy, and school flag program.
Under Dr. Dawood’s leadership, supported by an influx of crucially needed new funds, 2015 promises to bring the first of three years of true health prevention transformation throughout Fulton County.
Website Bonus Feature
Complete article on Dr. Nazeera Dawood’s honor for bringing almost $9 million to Fulton County:
Article by Dr. Nazeera Dawood on why she works to prevent diabetes:
“Commentary: My dad, my career, and the “D” word” By Nazeera Dawood
Published: Sep 25, 2013
Article on health prevention and the needs of the South Asian community in Atlanta:
“South Asian health dialogue needed” By Nazeera Dawood
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