Healthy people, families, and communities.


Dalton (GA) – Girl Scout Brownie Troop 12617 of Whitfield County, Georgia and their leaders were recently recognized for the outstanding tobacco-free accomplishments they achieved as part of their healthy living community service project for this year.

Jennifer King of the North Georgia Health District presented trophies and merit badges to the group at New Hope Elementary School in Dalton on Tuesday, May 13 for their successful appeal to the Whitfield County Schools Board of Education in adopting the Georgia Model 100 Percent Tobacco-Free Schools Policy.*

The board voted to adopt the policy following a presentation by the troop at the board of education meeting on April 14. The board began to consider changing the policy several weeks prior to the vote GS Brownies with TFS Trophies and Badges-3after the troop had sent petition letters and tobacco-free pledges to Whitfield County Schools Superintendent Judy Gilreath.

"Although Whitfield County Schools has been a tobacco free system since 2001, the revised policy will bring us more in line with the state criteria required in order to be officially designated by the state as tobacco free,” Dr. Gilreath said after the policy was passed. She said of the scouts, “It is so encouraging to see this young troop of girls actively involved in making our community healthier for all of us. Troop 12617 and their adult leaders are to be commended for leading this effort."

Download 7th Grade Immunizations PosterSeventh graders are now required to have the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal (meningitis) vaccines prior to entering school.

Effective July 1, 2014, children born on or after January 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. ("New entrant" means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year).

For more information about this and all school required immunizations, go to the Georgia Department of Public Health website.

Shots are available at each of our health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. Click above on the LOCATIONS tab to find health department contact and location information for each county.

Jerry Tatum of Hamilton Medical Center and Claude Craig of Whitfield County Emergency Management address partners in Incident Command Center for GHA Region A Hospital DrillDalton (GA) May 8, 2014 Disaster rarely comes in the form of just one event. That is why hospitals and partnering agencies must be prepared to deal with widespread emergencies on multiple levels.

Today, Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton staged a full-scale drill to test response plans for evacuating the hospital due to an imaginary impending storm while a hypothetical chemical leak led to a sudden influx of patients to the hospital’s emergency room.

The full-scale drill was conducted in collaboration with several partnering agencies and Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) Region A hospitals, including Fannin Regional Hospital, Gordon Hospital, Hutcheson Medical Center, Murray Medical Center, North Georgia Medical Center and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital. Hamilton Medical Center is the GHA Region A Coordinating Hospital.

niiwNational Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), set for April 26 - May 3, 2014, is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of NIIW. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health.

Learn more about NIIW at