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LOCAL PROFILE: Sawanda Spinks, President of Georgia Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation

LOCAL PROFILE: Sawanda Spinks, President of Georgia Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation

ATLANTA – Sawanda Spinks was eight-months-pregnant when she learned her first child would be born with hydrocephalus.

“I had never heard of it; I didn’t know what it was but when I heard the risks, I started crying; I couldn’t take listening to that”, she said.

Spinks had gone into the emergency room for a pulled muscle but when she left her life was changed, forever.

Hydrocephalus is a condition that affects 1-in-500 infants. The condition, also known as having “water on the brain”, happens when fluid accumulates on the brain and in the skull cavities.

As any first-time parent would Spinks visited countless specialists, searching for good news, before she would give birth to her son a month later; she heard none.

“Doctors didn’t give us much hope but they were doing their job, they’re supposed to tell you the worst case scenario”.   

“We heard it all.

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Community Health has adopted a proposal to secure the future of the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

The initiative introduces a new consumer-directed wellness plan, improves plan administration, eliminates the SHBP's projected deficit for this year and substantially reduces future deficits.

"The board is pleased to endorse this thoughtful and responsible plan that is not afraid to tackle the big issues," said DCH board chairman Ross Mason. "This is a forward-looking plan that provides real bottom line-driven solutions."

SHBP is facing a projected deficit of slightly more than $800 million during the next two years.

"Our major concern is the continued delivery of quality health care services at an affordable cost," said DCH commissioner David Cook.

Regents vote to hike health costs for employees

Regents vote to hike health costs for employees

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Board of Regents is raising health insurance premiums for employees and cutting coverage for about 700 workers.

The board voted Tuesday to hike rates by 5.2 percent. The university system will save $30 million by limiting access to certain doctors and hospitals.

University system workers, like all state employees, received no pay increase this year.

The board also voted to cut insurance for about 700 part-time employees by raising the minimum number of hours they have to work to qualify for coverage from 20 to 30 per week. The change will save about $1.5 million.

This is the first time since 2008 that insurance premiums have increased.

Get your spot in the Peachtree City Urban Garden

Get your spot in the Peachtree City Urban Garden

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – Peachtree City has caught the organic gardening bug.

Want to harvest your own vegetables? You can. Soon, Peachtree City will have a Community Garden off Kelly Drive (just east of Hwy 74 and Hip Pocket). 

Recently, the Mayor and Council approved an agreement with Fresh South, Inc., the non-profit organization that hosts the Peachtree City Farmers Market. According to Peachtree City Updates, plots can be reserved (8 X 10, $100/year; or 8 X 20, $175/year) and will include soil with an ideal mixture for successful organic gardening, along with the initial seedlings

For more information, visit www.ptcfarmersmarket.org

GBI: Prescription drug overdoses rise

GBI: Prescription drug overdoses rise

DECATUR, Ga. -- An analysis of autopsies by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has found a 10 percent increase in the number of prescription overdose deaths in 2010 compared to 2009.

The analysis shows that the number of drug overdose deaths involving only prescription drugs jumped from 508 in 2009 to 560 in 2010. It also showed that 68 other deaths were attributed to a combination of prescription and illicit drugs.

In all, there were 729 drug overdose deaths in 2010. Most of those deaths were found to be accidental, but about nine percent were determined to be suicides.

The analysis of the GBI Medical Examiner's drug overdose autopsies involves 152 counties. The study does not include several Metro Atlanta counties, including Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and DeKalb.

Coca-Cola Issues an A.P.B. (All Play Bulletin) to Families: Go Outdoors. Play in the Park. Vote.

Coca-Cola Issues an A.P.B. (All Play Bulletin) to Families: Go Outdoors. Play in the Park. Vote.

America Is Your Park campaign urges families to get out, discover fun ways to get active in the park while helping their favorite park win big

 

ATLANTA, July 10, 2011 – If you’re reading this, you should get to your favorite park – STAT! Coca-Cola is calling all families to go out and play this summer as part of the second annual America Is Your Park campaign.

Ga. school nurses to gather in Peachtree City

Ga. school nurses to gather in Peachtree City

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -- The Georgia Association of School Nurses will gather in Peachtree City this month for its annual conference.

The conference July 11-14 is at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center (2443 Highway 54 West). The keynote speaker is Garry McGiboney from the Georgia Department of Education.

The association is facing a tough year for school nurses in Georgia.

The state ranks near the bottom of the nation in the ratio of nurses to students. The state has one full-time nurse per every 2,317 students, far outpacing the recommended number of 750 students.

And that likely will only get worse.