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Get rid of household hazardous waste this weekend

Get rid of household hazardous waste this weekend

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Do you have old bottles of pesticide and other toxic products laying around the house?

Get rid of them for free this weekend.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the city of Johns Creek and Keep Johns Creek Beautiful are sponsoring a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Medlock Bridge Shopping Center.

"A lot of people hang on to toxic liquids and material because they don't want to throw them away and have them end up in a landfill," James Swope, Johns Creek Solid Waste manager, said in a release about the event.

Creekview High among schools that 'rock' for MDA

Creekview High among schools that 'rock' for MDA

CANTON, Ga. -- More than 60 schools participated in this year's School ShamROCKS Program sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Together, these schools raised over $34,000 to fight muscular dystrophy.

Creekview High School in Canton was this year's big winner, raising $2,000 for MDA.

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.

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.

Get vaccinated before school starts

Get vaccinated before school starts

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- The 2011-2012 school year is about to begin for students in both Fulton County and Atlanta Public Schools, which means that vaccination rush week is right around the corner.

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness will administer required vaccinations for school entry at several locations from Monday, Aug. 1 to Friday, Aug. 12.

"During the rush weeks, the nursing division will focus on giving vaccinations, eye/ear/dental screenings and the required certifications for children to attend school," said Dr. Patrice A. Harris, director of Fulton County Health Services.

The county's back-to-school vaccination kickoff will take place Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Fulton Service Center (7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs).

Vaccinations will be given from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.