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KNOXVILLE — Climate change has been called “one of the most serious public threats facing our nation” by the American Public Health Association.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is participating in
National Public Health Week April 7-13 by offering a seminar Thursday, April 10, on the national theme “Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance.”

Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Ken Givens and Connie Givens, director of Coordinated School Health in the Tennessee Department of Education, will be guest speakers at the seminar, which lasts from 5 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. in room 235 of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is organized by UT’s Public Health Academic Program Committee. The public health program at UT is part of the Department of Instructional Technology, Health and Cultural Studies in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

Ken Givens, a former state representative, serves on the Tennessee Homeland Security Council and coordinates the department’s work on animal health, chemical use, food safety and other security matters. He also is president of the Southern United States Trade Association, which represents the agricultural interests of 15 Southern states and two U.S. territories.

His wife, Connie Givens, is head of Tennessee’s Coordinated School Health, which encourages healthy lifestyles, supports at-risk students and helps reduce the incidents of health problems that can impair academic success. As a result of her leadership and advocacy, Tennessee became the first state to provide funding to all school districts to implement Coordinated School Health.

For more information about attending the seminar, contact (865) 974-5041.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,

June Gorski, chairperson of the Public Health Academic Program Committee and professor of Public Health/Health Education, (865) 974-5041.