Your local health department is a leader in improving the health and well-being of your community.
Your health department is responsible for:
- Protecting you from health threats. Your health department works to prevent disease outbreaks and makes sure the tap water you drink, the restaurant food you eat and the air you breathe are all safe. It’s also ready to respond to any health emergency—be it bioterrorism, Ebola, West Nile Virus or an environmental hazard.
- Educating you and your neighbors about health issues. Your health department gives you information about making healthy decisions, like exercising more, eating right, quitting smoking or simply washing your hands to keep from spreading illness. During a public health emergency, your health department also provides important alerts and warnings to protect your health.
- Providing healthy solutions. Your health department offers easy access to the preventive care you need to avoid disease and maintain your health. It provides flu shots to the very young, the elderly and everyone in between, and it helps mothers get prenatal care to give their babies a healthy start. Your health department also provides children with regular check-ups, immunizations and good nutrition to help them grow and learn.
- Advancing community health. Your health department takes part in developing new policies and standards that address existing and emerging challenges to your community’s health while enforcing a range of laws to help keep you safe. Your health department works through research and staff training to maintain healthy communities.
Look in the toolbar above for the name of your county and click to see all the services your health department has to offer!
What is the North Georgia Health District and how do we work with our local County Health Departments to provide Public Health Services in North Georgia?
North Georgia Health District 1-2, based in Dalton, is one of 18 districts under the Georgia Department of Public Health. This district provides administrative support to public health departments and environmental health offices in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties.
The health district, county health departments and environmental health offices coordinate public health services and programs to serve almost 430,000 people in North Georgia.
Improving the quality of people's lives through disease preventatives, healthy lifestyle education and emergency preparedness is part of our public health vision and mission here in North Georgia.
How does public health affect individuals, families and communities?
Infectious Diseases: Through the health district’s Infectious Diseases Department and our county health employees, the prevention of epidemics and spread of diseases in your community is ongoing.
Communicable diseases: Communicable diseases such as TB, Hepatitis, HIV, Norovirus, Lyme Disease, Giardia, Pertussis, Salmonella, and Rabies are reported to the Infectious Diseases office for investigation. Public health staff, locally and at the state level, monitors the health status of the community to identify outbreaks and epidemics and how to best provide preventive measures.
Anyone who may have been exposed to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and/or HIV may receive education, testing, counseling, treatment and referral to appropriate specialists.
Those living with HIV are served by a health district administered program called The Living Bridge Center, provider of Ryan White Part B and Part C. Funded services include: outpatient HIV ambulatory care, primary care, and sub-specialty medical care; medical case management and adherence; oral health; non-medical case management; individual and group level mental health and substance abuse outpatient counseling; consumer advisory services; laboratory and nutritional services; pharmaceutical assistance; linguistic services; medical transportation; and, HIV counseling, testing, and prevention services. There are now two Living Bridge Center locations - in Dalton and Canton. Learn more by clicking HERE.
Immunizations: The prevention of disease and its spread are made possible through our life-saving immunizations to children and adults for influenza and other vaccine preventable diseases, including state required vaccinations for school registration.
Environmental Health: Our Environmental Health employees provide a wide variety of services, including inspections of hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and body art establishments; issuance of septic system permits; investigation of mosquito-borne diseases; collaboration of animal testing for rabies; lead investigations and education, and much more. Click HERE to access the Health Inspection Search Tool on our website to check the most recent health scores for restaurants in our six counties.
Emergency Preparedness: Through the North Georgia Health District's Emergency Preparedness Department, local plans are in place to respond to terrorism, natural disasters and other public health emergencies. Ongoing county, district and state public health emergency preparations are coordinated with community partners, including city and county governments, law enforcement, hospitals, healthcare facilities, schools, businesses, Emergency Medical Services, each county's Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the counties' emergency operations centers.
Health Screenings: Public health promotes and encourages healthy behaviors and injury prevention through health screenings, including physical exams and screenings for breast and cervical cancer; family planning services and education; prenatal care; pregnancy tests; and, children's car seat safety education.
Women’s Health: County health department clinics provide comprehensive services for well women, including physical exams, breast and cervical cancer screening, family planning services and education, prenatal care and pregnancy tests.
Children’s Health: The Children's Clinic provides healthcare services to children from birth to 21 years of age. It is our goal to give children the best care available by providing services by an experienced and dedicated staff. These services include:
- Complete well child physicals
- Immunizations for children
- Immunizations for child caregivers
- Limited acute care for children
- Hearing, vision and dental screenings
- Car seat education program
- Children’s Medical Services works to provide healthy outcomes for local children from birth to 21 years of age who have special healthcare needs, but their families are unable to afford this type of care. Children’s Medical Services coordinates access for these families and their children to affordable, quality specialty healthcare in areas such as hearing, neurology, cardiac services, orthopedics and genetic counseling.
- Babies Can't Wait provides a coordinated, comprehensive system of services for infants and toddlers from birth to age three who have been identified as having special needs related to developmental delays and chronic health conditions.
- Children 1st identifies children from birth to five years of age who are at risk for poor health and developmental outcomes. Children 1st serves as the single point of entry for these children to be connected with other public health programs and community services. Moreover, Children 1st provides follow-up services through the Universal Newborn Hearing, Screening and Intervention (UNHSI) program. Services through the UNHSI program include education and links to community resources for families of newborns that have failed a hearing test.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC): WIC services range from providing vouchers for healthy food purchases, tips on healthy meal choices and preparation for young children and mothers, nutritional support of breastfeeding moms and pregnant women to referrals to doctors, dentists, and programs such as Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Dental Clinic: The health district has a progressive, state-of-the art dental clinic and mobile van that provides basic dental care for children. These services are targeted toward children who have limited or no access to dental care and offers routine cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings and extractions as well as sealants, space maintainers, baby tooth root canals, dental health programs for schools, dental screenings and referrals, and emergency care. The local Public Health Children’s Dental Clinic is in the Whitfield County Health Department at 800 Professional Boulevard in Dalton.
Medical Access Clinic: The Medical Access Clinic is located at the Whitfield County Health Department. The Medical Access Clinic, also known as MAC, is an adult primary care clinic that provides physical examinations, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and management of acute and chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. The Medical Access Clinic is available in Whitfield County due to the combined efforts of the local community and the health district.
MedBank: MedBank Clinics in Murray and Whitfield Counties help eligible clients secure prescription drugs from patient-assistance programs offered through participating pharmaceutical companies.
Vital Records: Vital Records services are available in our Cherokee, Gilmer and Whitfield County Health Departments for residents needing assistance in obtaining birth and death certificates.
International Travel Clinic:The Gilmer County International Travel Clinic is based in the Gilmer County Health Department in Ellijay and provides comprehensive health services that travellers need before leaving for faraway lands.
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation: We conduct tobacco prevention and cessation education to warn people against the dangers of tobacco usage and secondhand smoke through mass broadcasting, health fairs and public presentations. We promote the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (1-877-270-STOP) where tobacco cessation support is available to callers 24 hours every day, and we encourage businesses, schools, agencies and organizations to adopt 100% tobacco-free policies.