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DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance

DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted against proposed smoking amendments to make the current ordinance more comprehensive.  The proposed ordinance presented to the commissioners by the DeKalb County Board of Health would have prohibited smoking in all public places including parks, playgrounds, entrances and exits to buildings, restaurants, bars including adult entertainment establishments, outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor service lines, such as ATM lines.

“I am disappointed that the commissioners did not find any value in any of the amendments including those protecting our parks, playgrounds and service lines,” stated S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A., district health director of the DeKalb County Board of Health. “Despite this setback, we will continue to move forward to promote safe air for all who live, work and play in DeKalb.” 

Commissioner Radar, along with Commissioner Gannon, voted in support of the ordinance.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)-GA Outreach Meeting for Adults and Older Teens

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA)-GA Outreach Meeting for Adults and Older Teens

IDA-GA Outreach Meeting for Adults and Older Teens

Wednesday, October 19.2011

This event is free and open to the public.

     (404) 256-1232.


Dyslexia affects between 15 and 20 percent of Americans, many of whom remain undiagnosed and receive little or no intervention services. For some individuals who have never been diagnosed, dyslexia is a hidden disability which may result in underemployment, difficulty navigating academic environments, difficulty on the job, and reduced self-confidence. Even those who have been diagnosed are likely to struggle with reading or writing in some aspects of their lives. Dyslexia is a specific reading disorder and does not reflect low intelligence.

Metro Atlanta buildings go blue for prostate cancer

Metro Atlanta buildings go blue for prostate cancer

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta buildings have started turning blue this week and the skyline will eventually turn even bluer to bring awareness to prostate cancer.

RELATED: Real Men Wear Gowns

Georgia has the 11th highest death rate of prostate cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

This year, 241,000 new cases are expected across the nation.

The "Who do you wear blue for?" campaign will benefit the national Prostate Cancer Foundation and local prostate cancer coalitions, such as Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition.

SMYRNA: Eye-popping surgery saves vision

SMYRNA: Eye-popping surgery saves vision

SMYRNA, Ga. -- Summertime and, if you are an Atlanta opthamologist, the livin' is not easy.

Eye injuries this time of the year are as prevalent as pop up thunderstorms.

Now that's the bad news, but there is good news if you get injured.

The advancements in surgery are dazzling.

Dr. Steve Hamilton of Eye Consultants of Atlanta was preparing to perform a remarkable surgery.

He was going to reconstruct the destroyed eye of a Decatur mother struck by a flying rock from a lawnmower.

Dr. Hamilton said, "I'm going to replace her cornea, and I am going to give her a lens again with an implant. But this implant is unique. It also restores her iris tissue, which was lost from the injury."

Corneal transplants and iris implants restore vision and the cosmetic look for the patient.

All this was unimaginable in the past.

Northside Hospital: Mortality rates on par with national average

Northside Hospital: Mortality rates on par with national average

ATLANTA -- Northside Hospital was on par with the national average for mortality rates for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia even though the raw numbers were slightly higher than other hospitals across the country.

Northside was one of two local hospitals whose death rates for all three measures of patient care were slightly higher than the national average.

For example, the mortality rate for heart attack patients nationwide is 15.9 percent. At Northside, 16.6 percent of patients admitted to the hospital with a heart attack die.

But the raw numbers don't tell the whole story. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services analyzes the data from thousands of hospitals nationwide to see how significant statistically those differences are.

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.