Healthy people, families, and communities.



Dalton (GA) April 27, 2012 - raccoonWhitfield County Environmental Health officials announced today that a raccoon found last week in Dalton has tested positive for rabies.

Odin Stephens of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services said he had retrieved the dead raccoon from the garage of a LaVista Road residence on April 16 and tested it for rabies. Stephens reported to county environmental health yesterday that the results were positive.

This testing was part of wildlife vaccination and surveillance in this area that is being done under the USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services and the National Rabies Management Program.

Dalton (GA) April 27, 2012 - Dr. J. Sherwood Jones with patient Elizabeth ReidMedical Access Clinic physician volunteer Dr. J. Sherwood Jones with patient Elizabeth Reid. Dr. Jones has volunteered with the clinic for over 10 years. Ms. Reid said, "Dr. Jones has been a wonderful friend who has coached me through to a much healthier weight and lifestyle. I couldn't have done it without him."A primary care clinic that is unique in Whitfield County is the Medical Access Clinic located in the Whitfield County Health Department.

The Medical Access Clinic, also known as MAC, is an Adult Primary Care clinic that focuses on low-cost, high-quality medical care and overall wellness for patients. The staff consists of Dr. Mark Elam, medical director, Debbie York, APRN, clinic manager, and advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses, clinical and administrative support staff and community physician volunteers that are specialists in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine, urology, nephrology, pulmonology and general surgery.

"Due to the strong support of our community partners, including our medical volunteers, we are able to offer adult primary care and specialty care through public health," said Gayle Brannon, health department manager.

STD Awareness PosterClick image to download poster (pdf)Dalton (GA) April 13, 2012 – Approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in the United States – and almost half of these are among young people aged 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) pose a serious public health threat to Americans – particularly young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men (MSM), and individuals living in poverty or who have limited access to healthcare. STDs cost the United States’ health care system as much as $17.0 billion annually.

Mayor Gene Hobgood with Cherokee County Health Department Manager Denise Bowman at left and Cherokee County Immunization Outreach Coordinator Nancy Stackhouse on the rightCanton Mayor Gene Hobgood with Cherokee County Health Department Manager Denise Bowman at left and Cherokee County Immunization Outreach Coordinator Nancy Stackhouse on rightDalton (GA) April 11, 2012 - Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Countless more miss time from day care and school because they are under-immunized or inappropriately immunized.

During the week of April 21-28, 2012 the North Georgia Health District and health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties will observe National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). NIIW is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of childhood immunizations. Each year during NIIW, state, regional and local public health officials highlight the importance of vaccinations for children under the age of two.

Nancy StackhouseCherokee County (GA) April 11, 2012 - Cherokee County Health Immunization Outreach Coordinator Nancy Stackhouse, LPN, is the 2012 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for the state of Georgia.

The CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award is a new annual award that recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization.
Gayle BrannonGayle Brannon is the new Manager of the Whitfield County Health Department; however, she is certainly no stranger to this area or to public health.

Mrs. Brannon most recently served the North Georgia Health District in Dalton as Assistant Director of Public Health Nursing and Clinical services and as Director of Public Health Nursing and Clinical services for the Northwest Georgia Health District based in Rome. In both positions she had oversight of the programmatic and financial operations of clinical programs key to public health services such as child health, adult health, immunizations, HIV services, cardiovascular disease prevention, WIC, tuberculosis, epidemiology, and pharmacy.