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Marlo Vernon, PhD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

Marlo Vernon, PhD

Associate Professor | Augusta University


Skilled in Program Evaluation, Grant Writing, Program Development, Public Health Research and Data Analysis.





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Augusta food pharmacy teaches new moms about nutrition, resources




Experienced research scientist with a demonstrated history of working in higher education and public health. Skilled in Program Evaluation, Grant Writing, Program Development, Public Health Research and Data Analysis.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Physical Activity

Childhood Obesity

Program Development

Program Evaluation

Public Health Research

Obesity Prevention

Body Composition

Accomplishments (3)

Georgia Public Health Association, Student Poster Award

2017 Georgia Public Health Association "Current patterns of emergency department utilization: patient characteristics of high frequency utilizations"

American Public Health Association Student Presentation Award

2017 American Public Health Association, Medical Care Section "Costs and Trends of Emergency Department Utilization Pre- and Post-ACA: Evidence from a Rural Georgia Hospital"

The Anthony Shuker Scientific Poster Award

2016 GeorgiaBio Innovation Summit "New Measures of Innovation Productivity in Bio Sciences"

Education (4)

Augusta University: Ph.D., Applied Health Sciences 2018

University of South Carolina: M.P.H., Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Maternal and Child Health 2003

Franciscan University of Steubenville: B.A., English Language and Literature/Letters 2001

Marquette University: Certificate, Natural Family Planning Instructor

Affiliations (2)

  • American Public Health Association
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science

Media Appearances (6)

Augusta food pharmacy teaches new moms about nutrition, resources

WRDW  tv


A new food pharmacy is helping pregnant and postpartum mothers make sure they get the right resources for nutrition. We spoke with a mom about how this is helping her and other moms in our area. The National Institute of Health ranks Georgia as number two in the country for maternal mortality. What’s the biggest issue they face here in Augusta? Access to healthy food and knowledge of how to take care of their body both before and after the baby is here. Augusta University, the HUB and Augusta Locally Grown are all teaming up to find solutions and teaching moms to use food as medicine. Pregnancy complications were never in the cards for first-time mom Sara Clark.

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Food as medicine: New Food Farmacy opens in Augusta to help pregnant, postpartum women

Augusta Chronicle  print


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Georgia has one of the worst maternal and fetal mortality rates in the country. While there is no quick fix to the problem, there are some steps being taken in the Augusta area to help pregnant and postpartum women with a new Food Farmacy program. Dr. Chad Ray, professor in the Medical College of Georgia‘s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Marlo Vernon, associate professor for the Georgia Prevention Institute at MCG, have teamed up with Augusta Locally Grown at the Hub for Community Innovation to provide mothers and expectant mothers with not only fresh produce, but also other healthy activities, such as meeting with nutritionists, free in-person cooking classes and more.

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Lack of access key to maternal mortality rise in Georgia, but some are taking action

Augusta Chronicle  print


Shortly after she received her doctorate in 2018, Medical College of Georgia associate professor Dr. Marlo Michelle Vernon experienced something that refocused her research. "I ... had a cousin who was 38 weeks pregnant with her second baby, and she woke up the day after her baby shower with a excruciating headache that would not go away," she said. Vernon had worked on maternal and child health for years, but had never focused specifically on maternal mortality. She says she now knows that a headache like that can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorder. But her cousin and her family did not know it at the time. Once they decided to visit a hospital, it was too late.

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Improving health, improving the community

Jagwire  online

“I’ve worked at Augusta University for 15 years but had always wanted to get my PhD,” Vernon said. “When Allied Health announced this program, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me.”

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A new Georgia Cancer Center project will benefit the MM Scott community

The Augusta Press  online


On Thursday afternoon, Feb. 23, the Georgia Cancer Center’s CHANGE initiative gifted the MM Scott neighborhood with a family friendly storywalk, along with easy access cancer screening tools and prevention information. The CHANGE (Cancer Health Awareness through screeNinG and Education) program, first started by Augusta University assistant professor Marlo Vernon, aims to minimize racial inequities by raising awareness of cancer through education and community relationships. “So this project is funded by the American Cancer Society and Pfizer, and what we have done is developed an education program for residents of several Augusta housing authority communities, including here at MM Scott,” said Vernon. “We come in and we do a four-week session with residents. We help them to evaluate whether or not they need screening for cancer, and then we navigate them to those screenings.”

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Local professor grateful for daughter’s open-heart surgery

WRDW  tv


A professor of the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Cancer Center is thanking the Children’s Hospital of Georgia for performing open-heart surgery on her daughter. Marlo Vernon has worked at the two for more than 20 years. Her work focuses on engaging with communities to address cancer health disparities in the community.

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Articles (6)

Costs and Trends of Emergency Department Utilization Pre-ACA and Post-ACA

Medical Care

Marlo Vernon, Steven Goggans, Gianluca De Leo, Vahé Heboyan

2019 A high volume of emergency department (ED) visits in the rural United States may be the result of barriers to accessing primary care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the number of insured, which may improve patient access to primary care and therefore reduce ED utilization.

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Are university rankings useful to improve research? A systematic review

PloS one

Marlo M Vernon, E Andrew Balas, Shaher Momani

2018 Concerns about reproducibility and impact of research urge improvement initiatives. Current university ranking systems evaluate and compare universities on measures of academic and research performance. Although often useful for marketing purposes, the value of ranking systems when examining quality and outcomes is unclear.

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Respiratory therapy faculty perspectives on interprofessional education: Findings from a cross-sectional online survey

Journal of Interprofessional Care

Marlo M Vernon, Nicole Moore, Andrew Mazzoli, Gianluca De Leo

2018 Interprofessional education (IPE) improves collaboration and patient care through joint education between health professions. Respiratory therapy (RT) has not been previously evaluated as participants in IPE. A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to evaluate the opportunities and barriers towards IPE of 874 respiratory therapy faculty with both quantitative measures and open-ended questions.

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Respiratory therapy faculty knowledge of and attitudes toward interprofessional education

Respiratory Care

Marlo M Vernon, Nicole M Moore, Lisa-Anne Cummins, Stephanie E Reyes, Andrew J Mazzoli, Vahe Heboyan, Gianluca De Leo

2017 Interprofessional education (IPE) improves collaboration and patient care through joint education between health professions. Respiratory therapy (RT) faculty were surveyed to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes toward IPE.

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Maternal stress predicts postpartum weight retention

Maternal and Child Health Journal

Kara Whitaker, Deborah Young-Hyman, Marlo Vernon, Sara Wilcox

2014 Postpartum weight retention (PPWR) is a significant contributor to the development of overweight and obesity in women of childbearing age. Stress may be a key mechanism making it more difficult for mothers to lose weight in the year following delivery.

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Georgia Cancer Center helps local residents access fitness classes to reduce cancer risk


Janell Williams


Daily exercise can help reduce the risk of more than 10 forms of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, and a new initiative from the Georgia Cancer Center will help local residents access the tools they need to stay fit. As a part of the Cancer Health Awareness through screeNinG and Education (CHANGE) Initiative implemented by the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, residents of five local low-income housing complexes completed surveys to voice what they feel is needed in their community to increase healthy living. The goal of the CHANGE Initiative is to educate citizens of Georgia about the prevention of cancer as well as reduce the risk of the disease.

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