December 28, 2007 - Today the state Public Health Laboratory recorded Georgia's first confirmed case of influenza for the 2007-2008 flu season.The first official confirmed case of influenza virus by the Public Health Laboratory is a DeKalb resident whose illness was caused by influenza type A. It is likely that the flu may also be circulating in other parts of the state. All Georgians are encouraged to protect themselves from the flu through vaccination and practicing proper hand washing.
December 21, 2007 - The image of a parent and a baby dozing off together in the parent's bed isn't an uncommon one. It's a warm gesture and seems the natural thing to do, particularly on a cold winter's night. But is it safe?
December 20, 2007 - The Americus Office of Child Support Services collected over $100,000 during a one-day Pre-Christmas Amnesty event. The funds were collected from parents who were more than two months behind in back child support payments. The event, hosted in late November allowed parents the opportunity to get back on track with their child support obligations without facing any legal action. Nearly 700 parents responded to the Amnesty event. As a result, the Americus OCSS exceeded its goal of $100,000 and collected over $110,000.00 in back child support just in time for the holiday season.
December 20, 2007 - The Cobb County Office of Child Support Services collected nearly $90,000 during a two-day Pre-Christmas Amnesty event. The funds were collected from parents who were more than two months behind in back child support payments. The event, hosted earlier this month allowed parents the opportunity to get back on track with their child support obligations without facing any legal action. Hundreds of parents took the first step to get back on track by responding to the Amnesty event.
December 20, 2007 - When a severely mentally ill child over 18-years old refuses treatment, what can parents do? If the illness is life-threatening or poses harm to others, involuntary commitment for inpatient care is an option. However, for most parents, helping their grown child may require a host of intervention techniques, crisis services, and community support. What sets mental illness apart from physical illness is that a common response of the psychotic person is to avoid treatment and deny any illness. Understanding what options are available can begin by contacting regional offices under the Georgia Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases (MHDDAD) or support groups such as the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
December 18, 2007 – Georgia got high marks in the fifth annual "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Disease, Disasters, and Bioterrorism" report released today by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). Georgia met nine of the 10 indicators that assess health emergency preparedness capabilities.
December 18, 2007 - The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) is launching a crib matching initiative to improve Georgia's infant mortality rate and to support healthy birth outcomes. The Crib Matching program will help reduce incidents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by providing qualified families with safe sleep education and resources for children. SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby under the age of one. It is the leading cause of death among infants between the ages of a month and one year old. More than 500 infants in Georgia died from SIDS between 2002 and 2005.
December 18, 2007 - According to a national report recently issued by Mental Health America, Georgia ranks 11th in terms of depression, and 19th in suicide rates. "Ranking the States: An Analysis of Depression Across the States," provides a snapshot of the level of depression, from the healthiest states to the least, in addition to suicide rankings. Among factors contributing to state rankings is availability of and access to mental health services. Depression affects more than 21 million children and adults annually and is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people 15-44. In Georgia, depression is the principal cause of roughly 900 suicides each year.
December 17, 2007 – The child welfare systems in Fulton and Dekalb counties show significant improvements in the last year according to a report released today by court-appointed representatives assigned to monitor the Kenny A. Consent Decree and the Division of Family and Children Services’ progress. The report, covering the period between January 1, 2007 and June 30, 2007, is the third from independent agents monitoring child welfare results for the state. The report shows that DFCS improved significantly in safety and permanency placements for children.
December 13, 2007 – Georgia is among a number of states whose vaccine supply has been affected by the recent voluntary recall of 10 lots of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine and two lots of a combination of Hib and Hepatitis B vaccine. The recall does affect the state’s vaccine supply but it does not have a negative impact on the health of Georgia’s children.
December 11, 2007 – More than 35,000 cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Georgia this year – about 97 cases per day. Unfortunately, more than 14,950 Georgians are projected to die from the disease as well. With cancer serving as the second leading cause of death in Georgia, actions must be taken to reduce incidence rates, screen and detect the disease earlier and ensure healthcare providers meet or exceed national standards of cancer care.
December 10, 2007 – Sometimes when an alcoholic's problems reach the crisis level, the only choice left to a family is professional intervention. The holidays can be very stressful times for alcoholics, addicts and those struggling from other addictions. Such stress often contributes to increased drug use with consequences for everyone. Interventions should be carefully planned and developed by professional substance abuse counselors who are experienced in such procedures.
December 10, 2007 - The Board of Human Resources will hold its official monthly meeting at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, in room 29.250, Two Peachtree Street N.W. in Atlanta, immediately following a review of the morning committee meetings.
December 7, 2007 - The Division of Family and Children Services' Right from the Start Medicaid Outreach Project (RSM) will provide holiday health screenings for metro Atlanta families at its annual Winter Wonderland Health Fair, Saturday, December 15th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The family event will be held in the Willie Freeman Health Department, located at 1920 John Wesley Ave. in College Park. The RSM program provides comprehensive health services for working families. The event is free and open to the public.
December 7, 2007 - The Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) is collecting Christmas gifts and donations for children in foster care. Each year, DFCS conducts a Secret Santa Program which collects and distributes thousands of gifts to foster children and families across Georgia during the holiday season. All funding and gifts for the Secret Santa Program come from private donations.
December 7, 2007 - The holiday season is a active time of year for purse snatchers and pick pocketers, looking for an easy opportunity to cash-in on someone else's joy. Older adults and the disabled are often seen as easy prey, but anyone who is carrying a purse or wallet is a potential target. The Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services (DAS) is offering tips to shoppers on how to avoid becoming a victim
December 4, 2007 – Pricing for Medicare Part D Drug Plan Options is going up along with most other things in 2008, so it’s time to have a conversation with your parents, grandparents, relatives or neighbors about their prescription drug plan. Some plans have changed what they include as benefits, and many have increased their premiums, while a few have decreased.