Healthy people, families, and communities.


September is National Preparedness Month

Whitfield Community Disaster Awareness Day Event is October 3!


Community_Disaster_Awareness_Day_4Web.jpgDALTON, Georgia September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) will culminate the month with Community Disaster Awareness Day at Home Depot at 875 Shugart Road in Dalton from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 3.
Community Disaster Awareness Day is being held in conjunction with Home Depot’s Safety Day and Whitfield’s PrepareAthon! campaign.
The public is invited to attend this fun, family event and learn how to prepare for and protect against disasters. Call (706) 259-3730 for more information.
The theme for National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2015 is Don’t Wait. Communicate. MakeYour Emergency Plan Today.
Residents are urged to take action now – make a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets.  Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. Everyone is asked to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! and the national day of action, National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30, the final day of National Preparedness Month.
The Whitfield County EMA and LEPC encourage everyone to take time to prepare for a disaster before it happens. Floods, wildfire, hurricanes, power outages . . . these are just a few disaster-related events that residents need to prepare for AHEAD of time.
Go to for information regarding preparedness and learn how you can prepare yourself, your family and your community for disaster!
North Georgia – Residents can once again roll in, roll up a sleeve and arm against four strains of flu at Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics opening soon throughout North Georgia.
Always fast, safe, and convenient, public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties have conducted the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics annually since 2008. These clinics are designed to serve people quickly and efficiently as they remain in their vehicles.
Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics in each of these counties will offer the four-in-one quadrivalent flu vaccine plus the Fluzone High Dose vaccine for people who are sixty-five and older.
Marie Smith, immunization and child health coordinator for North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said, “Quadrivalent flu vaccine is designed to protect against four different strains of flu, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.”
The Fluzone High-Dose influenza vaccine has four times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that prompts the body to make antibodies) contained in regular flu vaccine to provide extra protection for people 65 and older whose immune systems have become weaker with age.
The cost of the quadrivalent flu shot at the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics will be $25 and the Fluzone High-Dose flu shot will cost $50. Cash, Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield Health Insurance will be accepted, as well as some other forms of payment and insurance, depending on the county.
The Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics also provide public health staff and community partners with the opportunity to test their plans for rapidly administering medication during a public health crisis such as a widespread disease outbreak. Participating community partners include local law enforcement, volunteers, businesses and first responders such as the county Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department.
The Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics are scheduled in each county, as follows:
Cherokee: Wednesday, October 14th, 7:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M., Woodstock Health Center: 7545 North Main Street, Woodstock, GA. Call (770) 928-0133 or (770) 345-7371 for more details.
Fannin: Thursday, October 1st, 9 A.M. – 5 P.M., The Farmers Market: East First Street, Blue Ridge, GA. Call (706) 632-3023 for more details.
*Gilmer: Thursday, October 15th, 8 A.M. – 4 P.M., Pleasant Grove Baptist Church: 115 Pleasant Grove Road, Ellijay, GA. Call (706) 635-4363 for more details.
Murray: Tuesday, October 13th, 8 A.M. – 6 P.M., Murray County Parks and Recreation Department: 651 Hyden Tyler Road, Chatsworth, GA. Call (706) 695-4585 for more details.
Pickens: Tuesday, September 22nd, 8 A.M. – 4 P.M., Mt. Zion Baptist Church: 1036 North Main Street, Jasper, GA. Call (706) 253-2821 for more details.
Whitfield: Tuesday, October 6th, 8 A.M. – 5:30 P.M., Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center: 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road, Dalton, GA. Call (706) 226-2621 for more details.
*Please note the new location for Gilmer County’s Drive-By Flu Shot Clinic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each season.
The most convenient way to get that vaccination in North Georgia will be at the nearest county health department’s Drive-by Flu Shot Clinic.
For additional details about the Drive-by Flu Shot Clinics, call the local county health department (phone numbers can be found by clicking on the LOCATIONS tab above) or continue to visit us here at for updates. To learn more about influenza and flu protection, log onto the CDC’s website at
Fun for Everyone. . . Register TODAY!
Express_Your_SuperPower_5K_logo_for_web.jpgCanton (GA) – The Express Your SuperPower 5K is on Saturday, September 19 and will be a fun, family event that starts and finishes in the brand new Etowah River Park at 600 Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton. The goal of the Express Your SuperPower 5K is to raise awareness of breastfeeding and the health of babies and children throughout Georgia and the surrounding areas.
Participants are urged to come early. Registration is at 7 a.m. and activities are planned for people of all ages.
Both a walking and running event, the Express Your SuperPower 5K begins at 8 a.m., followed by a 1 Mile Fun Run at 9 a.m. and a Tot Trot at 9:30 a.m. The Awards Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m.
Bubbles and face painting will be part of the fun; plus, participants who express their superpower by dressing up like their favorite superheroes will be eligible to win prizes for best costumes.
13_year_old_Lexa_Hendrix_of_Calhoun_GA_prepares_for_the_Express_Your_Superpower_5K_events_forWeb.jpgThe North Georgia Health District and the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition are presenting this first-of-its-kind 5K in Georgia as an extension of our celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, observed annually August 1 – 7,” said Carol Hendrix, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District. “Proceeds from the Express Your SuperPower 5K will go to the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition.”
Breastfeeding is a vitally important public health issue that affects all Georgians.
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report card shows that breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers. According to the CDC, support for breastfeeding is needed in many different arenas including hospitals and birth centers, worksites, and communities. However, the CDC report shows that Georgia still lags behind the national average on infant breastfeeding rates.
The CDC states, “The success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, health care leaders, employers, and policymakers. Given the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of mothers and children, it is critical that we take action across the country to support breastfeeding.”
For more details about the Express Your SuperPower 5K and to register online, log onto or search for it at


 Express Your SuperPower 5K schedule of events and details at a glance:

  • Packet pick-up will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 17th at the Etowah River Park, 600 Brown Industrial Pkwy., Canton.
  • Race day registration will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, September 19 at Etowah River Park, followed by these events:
    • 5K - 8:00 a.m.
    • 1 Mile Fun Run - 9:00 a.m.
    • Tot Trot - 9:30 a.m.
    • Awards - 10:00 a.m.
  • Course starts and finishes in the Etowah River Park, with only one small hill (4% grade) and a water station is at the top.
  • Early arrival is urged. Late arrivals will not be allowed to run the race.
  • Parking will be in Etowah River Park. Carpooling is recommended. Overflow parking will be in the nearby Industrial Park.
  • All runners must sign a liability waiver to race.
  • Wearing technical clothing (non-cotton) is best while running.
  • Registration information and other event details are at or search for Express Your SuperPower 5K at


Debra_Thomas_of_the_Fannin_County_Health_Department_conducts_a_Child_Car_Safety_Seat_inspection-forWeb.jpgBlue Ridge (GA) – When is a child's car safety seat not safe? It is never safe when it is improperly used, according to Debra Thomas of the Fannin County Health Department.

She is ensuring car safety seats for children are installed and used correctly.
Thomas has been trained as a certified child safety seat technician through the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Passenger Safety Mini-Grant, funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.1
Since 2007, at least 283 children in Georgia who were involved in crashes were saved from serious injury or death by car seats, booster seats, and education provided through the Mini-Grant.
“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children and it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to protect our children on the road,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Buckling up our children is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries.”
Thomas has been working with community partners such as the Fannin County Fire Department to educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use child car safety seats, offer child car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Through the Child Passenger Safety Mini-Grant, the Fannin County Health Department is one of more than 135 counties working with community partners to keep Georgia’s children safely buckled up right, every trip, every time.
Thomas said, “When correctly installed and used, child car safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71 percent in infants and 54 percent in toddlers, according to CDC’s Injury and Prevention and Control division.”2
Debra_Thomas_of_the_Fannin_County_Health_Department_inspects_Parker_Lees_car_seat_to_ensure_it_is_properly_installed-forWeb3.jpgAs part of her job, Thomas provides child car safety seat checks at the health department as well as at partner-sponsored safety events in Fannin County and surrounding areas.
“Most people think they use their child car seats correctly,” said Thomas. “But actual car seat inspections show that 80 to 90 percent are installed or used incorrectly.”
She said reasons for this confusion range from unclear car seat instructions and vehicle owner manuals to the fact there is such a wide variety of car seat designs, automobile seat belt systems and vehicle seat shapes and sizes.