Category Archives: Health

Are you protected from the Flu?

Are you protected from the flu? *According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is increasing in the U.S., and the usual time for flu season to peak is just ahead. The best way to protect against the flu is with a flu shot. Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and time missed from work and school due to the flu, and a shot can prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in, so now is the perfect time to get vaccinated!

North Georgia Health District public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties have flu vaccine and no appointment is necessary. Please contact your local health department for more information:

  • Cherokee: Canton (770) 345-7371 / Woodstock (770) 928-0133
  • Fannin (706) 632-3023
  • Gilmer (706) 635-4363
  • Murray (706) 695-4585
  • Pickens (706) 253-2821
  • Whitfield (706) 279-9600


For more information about flu and its prevention, log onto

Deal: Kaiser Permanente to create 800 jobs in metro Atlanta

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Kaiser Permanente, an integrated provider of health care and coverage, will create 800 jobs in metro Atlanta. Of the newly created positions, more than 600 will be located at a new facility in Gwinnett County, representing a $51 million capital investment into the local community.

 “The health care industry is an economic driver in Georgia,” said Deal. “Kaiser Permanente’s devotion to bettering the lives of citizens through innovative health care services makes the company a good fit for Georgia. The state looks forward to continuing this partnership with Kaiser Permanente as it further expands and produces a positive impact on Georgia’s economy.”

Kaiser Permanente will retrofit an existing building to serve as a Member Service Contact Center, bringing the company’s total presence in Georgia to some 5,000 personnel. Situated on an 18-acre site in Duluth, the 185,000-square-foot office complex will have the capacity to hold up to 1,000 contact center workers. The facility will also be designed to meet requirements for LEED certification.

The contact center, which will support Kaiser Permanente members across the country, is slated to open this fall. Employees will be tasked with handling calls related to insurance coverage and billing. In addition to recruiting new employees, Kaiser Permanente is relocating its Georgia-based member service representatives, appointment schedulers and advice nurses to the new facility.

“Kaiser Permanente has been caring for metro Atlanta residents for 30 years, and we are excited to be able to help this region’s economy thrive as well,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “By expanding our footprint in metro Atlanta, we are showing just how committed we are to bringing our unique model of care to this region.”

Last year, the health care organization announced plans to open a new IT facility in Midtown this spring, which is expected to create 900 jobs by 2019. Kaiser Permanente provides care and coverage to more than 10 million members across the country, including nearly 300,000 in Georgia. Existing contact centers are based in California, Colorado, Hawaii and Maryland.

“Kaiser Permanente’s decision to invest in Gwinnett speaks to the strength of our community and the economic vitality of this area,” said Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chair Charlotte Nash. “With access to a skilled workforce and significant infrastructure, companies like Kaiser are able to successfully grow and expand their business with confidence.”

“Kaiser Permanente’s expansion in metro Atlanta further strengthens Georgia’s reputation as the nation’s health IT capital,” said Metro Atlanta Chamber President & CEO Hala Moddelmog. “This investment in the region is a great example of Kaiser’s commitment to being a leader in customer service and patient care.”

Lindsay Martin, director of existing industry and regional recruitment at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), assisted Kaiser Permanente on behalf of Georgia in conjunction with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Partnership Gwinnett, Georgia Power and Jones Lang La Salle.

“It is no surprise that Kaiser Permanente is choosing to open their new Member Service Contact Center here,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Our abundant pool of talent and No. 1 business climate create an ideal location for a fast-growing company to increase quality service and remain competitive.” 

 About Kaiser Permanente

Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities it serves. The company is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information about employment opportunities with Kaiser Permanente, visit the careers page at


Health Departments in North Georgia Awarded Car Seat Mini Grant

Several county health departments in the North Georgia Health District were awarded the 2016 Car Seat Mini-Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Through the Mini-Grant, health departments and collaborating community partners are able to work together to provide car seats and education to financially eligible families in Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties!

This program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles.

And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and saved at least 303 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars. Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.

Keeping children safe is vital, and the Car Seat Mini-Grant is a great opportunity for communities to help protect kids from serious injuries or death in motor vehicle crashes.

In Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties, the Mini-Grant is enabling public health departments and their partners to educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

For more information about the car seat program in North Georgia, contact the Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitfield County health department (numbers are listed below). If you would like information regarding other counties involved in the program, please contact the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Child Occupant Safety Project via email at or at (404) 679-0500.