Our network

Health

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

ATLANTA -- The third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29 was a huge success in Georgia.

Participants turned in about 3,794.35 pounds of unwanted and expired medication for safe disposal at numerous sites across the state.

This amount exceeded the weight of the drugs collected at the second event in April, which was about 3,509 pounds.

"The total number of drugs taken back in Georgia speaks volumes about the problem of unused and unneeded prescriptions, the danger they pose to the community and the communities' commitment to making prescription drug abuse a top priority in the state," John Comer, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Atlanta Field Division, said in a statement.

Diabetes advocate and former Miss America to speak at Berry

Diabetes advocate and former Miss America to speak at Berry

ROME, Ga. -- Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999, will speak at Berry College about lessons learned from living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Johnson has served as an international consultant and advocate for diabetes issues. She has helped raise more than $28 million for research and programs over the past 12 years and works tirelessly to promote awareness, prevention and early detection of the condition she has lived with since 1993.

In addition to winning several national awards for her work, Johnson is also a Telly-winning journalist and avid writer. She holds master's degrees in journalism and public health, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in public health from the University of South Florida.

ROME: Helicopters to join fight against raccoon rabies

ROME: Helicopters to join fight against raccoon rabies

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Authorities say helicopters will drop packets of rabies vaccine over parts of two Alabama counties this week to try and stop the westward spread of the virus in raccoons.

Dana Johnson, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says there have been seven confirmed cases of rabies west of the Coosa River, which begins in Rome, so far this year.

The vaccines will reportedly be wrapped in fishmeal, which makes them attractive to raccoons. When the animals bite into the packets, they will break pouches that contain the vaccine.

Johnson said authorities are aiming to stop the spread of raccoon rabies west of the Alabama and Coosa river systems.

She said the vaccine isn't dangerous to pets if they ingest the baits.

Sam's Club offers free health screenings for women

Sam's Club offers free health screenings for women

ATLANTA – Sam’s Club is offering free women’s health screenings to help members take charge of their health.

This event, being held to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, will test women’s blood pressure, BMI and test them for thyroid issues. Thyroid disease, in women, can often be a symptom of other issues like cancer and infertility.

According to Sam’s Club, “the disease causes the body to use energy either more slowly or quickly than it should, causing weight loss or gain, hot or cold flashes or drastic changes in energy level. Many people who have thyroid problems do not know until they are tested.”

Sam’s Club will, also, offer free samples of women’s health-related products and awareness information. For more information, times and locations of free health screenings in participating Sam’s Club locations, visit SamsClub.com/healthyliving.

Creekview High among schools that 'rock' for MDA

Creekview High among schools that 'rock' for MDA

CANTON, Ga. -- More than 60 schools participated in this year's School ShamROCKS Program sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Together, these schools raised over $34,000 to fight muscular dystrophy.

Creekview High School in Canton was this year's big winner, raising $2,000 for MDA.

LOCAL PROFILE: Sawanda Spinks, President of Georgia Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation

LOCAL PROFILE: Sawanda Spinks, President of Georgia Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation

ATLANTA – Sawanda Spinks was eight-months-pregnant when she learned her first child would be born with hydrocephalus.

“I had never heard of it; I didn’t know what it was but when I heard the risks, I started crying; I couldn’t take listening to that”, she said.

Spinks had gone into the emergency room for a pulled muscle but when she left her life was changed, forever.

Hydrocephalus is a condition that affects 1-in-500 infants. The condition, also known as having “water on the brain”, happens when fluid accumulates on the brain and in the skull cavities.

As any first-time parent would Spinks visited countless specialists, searching for good news, before she would give birth to her son a month later; she heard none.

“Doctors didn’t give us much hope but they were doing their job, they’re supposed to tell you the worst case scenario”.   

“We heard it all.

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Community Health has adopted a proposal to secure the future of the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

The initiative introduces a new consumer-directed wellness plan, improves plan administration, eliminates the SHBP's projected deficit for this year and substantially reduces future deficits.

"The board is pleased to endorse this thoughtful and responsible plan that is not afraid to tackle the big issues," said DCH board chairman Ross Mason. "This is a forward-looking plan that provides real bottom line-driven solutions."

SHBP is facing a projected deficit of slightly more than $800 million during the next two years.

"Our major concern is the continued delivery of quality health care services at an affordable cost," said DCH commissioner David Cook.