Healthy people, families, and communities.


Dr. Richard Spanjer of Dalton (right) receives the 2013 Breastfeeding Friendly Physician of the Year Award from Arlene Toole of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of PediatricsDalton (GA) - On March 26, 2013, the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition (GBC) honored pediatrician, Richard Spanjer, MD, at the GBC Annual Meeting Dinner with the 2013 Breastfeeding Friendly Physician of the Year Award.

The Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics present this physician award each year to a doctor who supports breastfeeding by educating moms and engaging in research and legislation related to lactation and who has community and peer support programs as well as a baby-friendly office.

Dr. Richard Spanjer has done all the above while serving the families of Dalton and the surrounding area for over 35 years. According to his many admiring patient families, Dr Spanjer is known for his kindness and consideration and his unflagging belief in the benefits of breastfeeding.

"Dr. Spanjer was chosen from over 30 other nominees for this honor," said Arlene Toole of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ellijay (GA) - On March 2 in Gilmer County, a female Pit Bull Terrier attacked a raccoon that has now tested positive for rabies. The attack occurred on Dalrymple Circle in a neighborhood off Highway 52 West in Ellijay.

The dog was not current on its rabies vaccination; therefore, it is now undergoing a six-month strict quarantine.

There was no human exposure.

Gilmer County Environmental Manager Andrea Martin said their office was notified of the incident by the VCA Appalachian Animal Hospital on March 7 and the positive rabies test result was reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory on March 13.

Health officials urge residents to maintain current rabies vaccinations in their pets, not only for the sake of the pet, but also, to protect themselves and their family members from rabies.

Kim Bennett, RN, Cherokee County Health Department Nursing Supervisor, provides TB education to a new patientDalton (GA) - March 24th is World TB Day. This date commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch stunned the scientific community by announcing his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB). On this day, the North Georgia Health District joins other health officials worldwide in not only recognizing this early significant event in TB-control efforts, but we raise awareness about the devastating impact that TB disease has on the economy and health of our world today.Pickens County Health Department TB Nurse Caroline Garrett, RN, is reading a Tuberculin Skin Test (TST)

TB is the second leading killer of adults in the world and is the leading  cause of death in people who are infected with HIV. There were 10,528 reported cases of TB in the US in 2011, and Georgia reported 347 of those new cases. There have been 17 cases in the 6 counties of the North Georgia Health District in the past two reported years.

For the second year in a row the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the global Stop TB Partnership have chosen "Stop TB in my lifetime" as the slogan for World TB Day. This theme encourages people of all ages, all over the world, to make an individual call for the elimination of TB.

Dalton (GA) - The North Georgia Health District, part of the Georgia Department of Public Health, is proud to promote National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 3-9, 2013. During this week, we are asking everyone who lives or works in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties to Be a Force of Nature and better prepare for severe weather threats in our area.

As part of weather-readiness, we as individuals can Be a Force of Nature by knowing the risk, taking action and serving as an example.

Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort to increase awareness of severe weather and to motivate individuals, families, businesses, and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of severe weather.

Each year, individuals are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite advance warning. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual.

According to David Huskey, district director of Emergency Preparedness, "We are committed to working with leaders in all six of our counties to ensure the safety of each community; however, each individual has an important role to play in this, as well. By taking a few steps now, you can be better prepared and assist in saving lives."