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Dr Elam poses with AwardDr. Elam poses with his District 1-2 TB Team, Tammy Bowling, Public Health Nurse Consultant, and Irma Sandoval, Infectious Disease Admin. AssistantDalton, GA – The North Georgia Health District congratulates Dr. Mark Elam for receiving the Sellers-McCroan Award this year at the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA) Conference, held earlier in May at Jekyll Island.

GPHA presents the Sellers-McCroan Award annually to a nominated public health professional who deserves recognition and encouragement for outstanding achievement and service to Georgians in epidemiology and/or laboratory services.

Dr. Elam is certainly deserving of this award in full measure as he compassionately serves the people of north Georgia.

The following is the GPHA award biography that was included in the Sellers-McCroan Award presentation:

Dr. Mark Elam is a well-known name in Public Health in the North and Northeast Georgia Health Districts due to his 26 years of dedicated public health service along with his leadership roles in multiple health care facilities and his inspiring passion for serving the community.

Dr. Elam is a 1986 graduate of the University of Tennessee Medical School and he completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington in 1989. He served in the U.S. Army from 1982-1993 and was discharged with the rank of Major. Dr. Elam worked for seven years in private practice during which time he began volunteering for the Medical Access Clinic at the Whitfield County Health Department. While providing primary care for low-income adults in this clinic, Dr. Elam found his calling to public health.

In 2002, Dr. Elam assDr_Elam_Award_close_shot.pngGPHA Sellers-McCroan Award Presented to Dr. Elamumed the role as Medical Director for both the Medical Access Clinic at the health department and for the District 1-2 HIV Living Bridge Clinic. From there, he added the duties of District 1-2 Tuberculosis Program Medical Consultant in 2008 and Medical Director for the District 1-1 HIV Clinic and District 1-2 Travel Clinic Medical Consultant in 2014.

Over the years, Dr. Elam has served as the President of Georgia Medical Directors (2004-2006), Chairman of the NW Georgia Healthcare Partnership (2006-2008), Board Member of Hamilton Health Care Systems (2001-2007) and Medical Director of multiple nursing homes and hospice facilities (2004-2021). In July 2019, Dr. Elam was appointed as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Medical College of Georgia, training upcoming physicians at Hamilton Medical Center.

Dr. Elam has been married to his lovely wife, Ellen, for 38 years and has two daughters and two grandchildren. In his spare time, Dr. Elam enjoys traveling, running, cheering on the UT Vols and spending time with his family and friends.

Free at home COVID 19 tests from COVID.govNorth Georgia – Testing for COVID-19 is still critical to continue reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and now those tests are even more readily available.

Free COVID-19 At-Home Test Kits are provided by the federal government in partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS). Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order the free COVID-19 home tests and have them delivered straight to their door.

To order, go to If help is needed with placing an order, call 1-800-232-0233 to be assisted in either English or Spanish. Anyone with a hearing impairment who needs assistance may use TTY 1-888-720-7489.

Here is what to expect after placing an order:

  • Each order currently includes 8 rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • An order of 8 tests will come in 2 separate packages (4 tests in each package), each with its own tracking number
  • Packages will ship free

Here are reasons to test for COVID-19:

  • If experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • It is at least 5 days after a known or suspected close contact to COVID-19
  • For screening (schools, workplaces, congregate settings, etc.)
  • To protect before and after travel
  • When asked by a healthcare professional or public health official to do so

Go to to order the free COVID-19 At-Home Test Kits without delay.

COVID 19 Testing web

MAKO will continue operating at Dalton drive-thru site 

North GA – MAKO Medical drive-thru COVID-19 testing will close in Woodstock after operations on Friday, June 3rd at the JJ Biello Park Riverside Athletic Complex. The address is 610 Druw Cameron Court, Woodstock, GA 30188 and the site is currently operating Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 3 PM.

COVID-19 cases have decreased in Georgia and home test kits are easily available, causing the numbers of residents seeking services from the test sites to dwindle drastically.

Public health officials continue to urge people to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, if they have COVID-19 type symptoms or have been in recent close contact to a person infected with the virus.

The MAKO test site that will remain open in North Georgia is at Pleasant Grove Park in Dalton. Please note the address and hours of operation:

Pleasant Grove Park
1732 Pleasant Grove Drive, N.E., Dalton, GA 30721
Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 3 PM

COVID-19 testing is free at this site and there are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering at This is PCR testing done by a mid-nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. It is not an antigen or antibody test.

DPH News Release banner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                               
May 17, 2022
DPH Urges Parents to Talk to Their Pediatricians for
Guidance During Baby Formula Shortage  
Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging parents unable to find baby formula typically used for their child to contact their pediatrician about appropriate nutritional and safe feeding alternatives. Georgia WIC is working with WIC agencies statewide, local grocers and retailers, and formula manufacturers to help locate formula for clients, especially those in need of specialized formula.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is offering guidance for parents that are having difficulty finding baby formula: 
  • Watering down baby formula is dangerous and can cause nutritional imbalances that may lead to serious health problems. Always mix formula as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Homemade baby formulas are not advised. While recipes may seem healthy, they are not safe and do not meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
  • Buy baby formula online but only from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies. 
  • Be leery of ads on social media. You can check out a company’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at
  • Do not use imported formulas from other countries that are not reviewed by the FDA.
  • Only prepare the amount of formula you will use - throw out any infant formula that is left in the bottle after feeding your baby.
  • It is recommended that during the shortage you buy no more than a 10-day to two-week supply of formula.
For a complete list of AAP guidance and tips for finding formula during the shortage, visit Parents should not hesitate to talk to their pediatrician with any concerns about their baby's health and nutrition.
WIC clients who need help finding formula or who have questions should contact their local WIC office or call 1-800-228-9173.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is warning Georgia consumers to beware of price gouging and other scams in response to the nationwide baby formula shortage. Consumers can report scams and suspected price gouging to the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) by calling 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123. Georgians can also file a complaint online by visiting CPD’s website.
DPH will continue to monitor all information coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and formula manufacturers regarding the shortage and work to ensure Georgia babies have access to food and nutrition they need to grow healthy and strong.
Nancy Nydam
Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street, N.E., 15th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 657-2462
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