June 29, 2007 – Given the opportunity to work in a medical hospital versus a mental health hospital, most nurses would likely choose the first option. Yet, a growing number of nurses are choosing to work in state mental hospitals which are administered by the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR). In fact, within the last six weeks, DHR has hired an unprecedented 224 nurse professionals - at a time when the nation, including Georgia, is experiencing a nursing shortage within the healthcare industry.
June 28, 2007 – Older Georgians deserve respect and dignity, but many times they experience the opposite. They are easy prey for scams and are increasingly becoming victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Georgia Division of Aging Services (DAS) Adult Protective Services (APS) program received an average of 937 calls a month between July 1, 2006 and March 31, July 2007, with an average number of 539 calls being referred for an APS investigation of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
June 28, 2007 – Some people devote years of their lives to providing services for Georgia’s older population and at-risk adults. Even though their services are appreciated, sometimes they don’t receive the recognition they deserve. To honor individuals for the great work they have done at senior centers, the Georgia Division of Aging Services (DAS) established an "Outstanding Senior Center Manager of the Year Award." The first recipient of the award was Josephine B. Brown, manager of the Newton County Senior Services at Turner Lake, 6183 Turner Lake Road in Covington.
June 27, 2007 – July 1 marks the second anniversary of Georgia’s Smokefree Air Act, and the Department of Human Resources (DHR) wants to take this opportunity to provide an update and remind Georgians about the importance of this law. The primary reason for the enactment of the Smokefree Air Act of 2005 was to reduce secondhand smoke exposure for employees and patrons, particularly children. Smokefree environments make restaurants and public establishments safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings and restaurants where children under the age of 18 are allowed.
June 27, 2007 - (ATLANTA) More than 600 teenagers and young adults who are participating in TeenWork, DHR’s summer work program, will have earned approximately $730,000 by the end of the six week employment period this summer. The program, which provides job opportunities to young people in the foster care system, has seen a steady increase in its participation by those seeking summer work and by companies looking to hire them.
June 26, 2007 – Changes to the way restaurants are graded and the way those grades are posted were approved by the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) Board earlier this year, and staff are hard at work preparing to implement those changes. One of the changes is that a letter grade and a numeric score from the latest, as well as the two most recent restaurant inspections, must be posted. The form must be visible within 15 feet of the main entrance to the restaurant, as well as on drive-through windows. More than 400 food establishment inspectors in all 159 Georgia counties have been trained about the changes to the way Georgia restaurants are graded and the way those grades are posted at restaurants.
June 26, 2007 – In Georgia, more people die from suicide than homicide – most often due to untreated depression. With the right treatment, 80-90% of persons suffering from clinical depression can and do recover. Yet, many wait until it’ s too late. People considering suicide should get help now, rather than allowing problems to become worse, warns the State Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases (MHDDAD). Georgia Crisis & Access Line, 1-800-715-4225, can help any time of the day.
June 26, 2007 – On June 27th, individuals across the country will visit their local health departments in observation of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), an annual event that raises awareness about the importance of knowing one’s HIV status and encourages others to get tested. With Georgia ranking sixth in the nation for AIDS’ cases in 2005, the Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health encourages all state residents to help reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS by getting tested and knowing their status.
June 20, 2007 – Everyone who is released from a state mental hospital has an individualized discharge plan. While consumers themselves are aware of these plans, many families are not, which is why the Georgia Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases is encouraging families to inquire about these plans with their loved ones. Families can help to prevent relapse and hospitalization by knowing what discharge plans entail and supporting their loved ones’ recovery process.
June 20, 2007 – Ninety-four percent of Georgia’s nursing homes have signed up to participate in the "Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes" campaign that is being promoted by the Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) program to improve quality of life and care in nursing homes. The campaign promotes excellence in caregiving, acknowledges the critical role staff have in providing care, and monitors key indicators of quality. The Georgia LTCO program advocates for residents rights in long-term care facilities, and is participating in the campaign by encouraging residents and their families to join these quality improvement efforts.
June 20, 2007 – The State Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases is funding an unprecedented effort with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to train 20% of Georgia law enforcement to handle public safety situations involving the mentally ill. Recognized as the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), its impact is recognized nationwide as the program is credited with decreasing the need for intensive and costly police responses and diverting the mentally ill to community-based services.
June 20, 2007 - Ann G. Williams of Atlanta received the highest honor in the MetLife Foundation Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards, during a ceremony on June 8, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) announced the award recipients and celebrated the contributions of 28 outstanding older volunteers.
June 18, 2007- Today, a report prepared by the Accountability Agents, assigned to monitor the Kenny A. Consent Decree and the state’s progress, was released. The Period II Monitoring Report outlines twenty-three outcomes that measured The Department of Family and Children Services’ (DFCS) performance in specific areas of child welfare between the dates of June 2006 to December 2006. The report reveals that DFCS either surpassed or were within points of the required scoring for more than 80% of the twenty-four outcome measures.
June 15, 2007 – For people who suffer from depression, summer offers a good time for sun and exercise. As part of routine treatment of medication and counseling, physical activity is now being used to treat mental health problems such as depression. Individuals who exercise 2-3 times per week tend to have significantly less depression. In addition, the physically active tend to have positive self-concept, more self-esteem and more positive moods, according to the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Public Health.
June 15, 2007 – Last year, the Georgia Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases (MHDDAD) helped more than 8,000 people get jobs - people often isolated from mainstream society. Employment services have become an increasing focus of MHDDAD, as the agency s erves to help the most vulnerable populations manage disabling illnesses and rebuild their lives. MHDDAD funds organizations that help integrate consumers into regular work settings – enabling consumers to earn a living and contribute their skills and talents.
June 15, 2007 – The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR), Division of Public Health, and the Safe Kids of Georgia community partners urge parents not to leave children unsupervised in vehicles for any length of time. As we are in the summer season, it is crucial to remember that in a matter of minutes, the temperature in your vehicle could top 160 degrees on a hot and humid day – even with the windows partly open.
June 13, 2007 – One out of every two men will be diagnosed with cancer some time in their lifetime. Lung cancer accounts for 79% of all smoking-related cancer deaths in Georgia, and approximately 25% of Georgia men 18 years and older smoke cigarettes, according to the 2005 Georgia Department of Human Resources’ (DHR) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Father’s Day is June 17, and DHR is encouraging Georgians to help fathers, sons, grandfathers, and significant others quit tobacco by encouraging them to call the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line, 1-877-270-STOP or 1-877-2NO-FUME or TYY 1-877-777-6534, to get help quitting the tobacco habit.
June 13, 2007 – The Division of Aging Services (DAS) Adult Protective Services program is encouraging Georgians to wear purple June 15 to promote the second annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This is an international observance and Georgia is joining other states, countries and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) in recognizing, honoring and raising awareness of disabled adults and persons 65 and older who suffer in silence because of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
June 12, 2007 – Public health officials report that 90 percent of current adult smokers started before the age of 21 and approximately 4,000 young persons begin smoking each day. In Georgia, nine percent of middle school students and 19 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use statistics for Georgia’s youth reflect a national trend of rising rates that have health experts taking action to help decrease the numbers.
June 8, 2007 – People with developmental disabilities are benefiting from the largest funding increase in Georgia history – moving Georgia’s ranking from 44 – 30 in terms of community based services (2007 United Cerebral Palsy Report). Since 2005, close to 4,000 new Medicaid waivers amounting to over $100 million is being given to individuals with disabilities including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and autism.
June 8, 2007 - The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) wants men their families, friends and colleagues to become educated about prostate cancer. It is recommended that men in high-risk groups including African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer get checked at age 45 and get educated on the issues surrounding prostate cancer detection and treatment.
June 7, 2007 – Approximately twenty thousand state employees, working for the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) will receive customer service training over the next three months. The training is being offered to enhance the agency’s service delivery. By providing this training, DHR can work towards continuous improvement through making its services faster, friendlier, and easier. DHR launched its first web-based Customer Service E-Course throughout the agency this month.
June 7, 2007 – Some 29 foster care teens who recently graduated from hi gh school and are headed to, or currently in college, will be awarded more than $86,000 in scholarships for their academic achievement – an achievement and milestone that most foster care youth don’t reach: a high school diploma or a college degree.
June 7, 2007 – A state program that helps people stay in their homes longer before going to a nursing facility has increased the number of consumers it serves by 15 percent compared to 10 years ago. The Georgia Division of Aging Services (DAS) Community Care Services Program (CCSP) annual report shows that in FY 2006, CCSP served 14,534 consumers for an average length of 41 months, helping them stay at home years longer.
June 6, 2007 – Men seek help less often than women for a variety of problems, including substance abuse and depression, often due to pride and stigma, according to recent studies. For these men, making a confidential call is an easier way to start the process of getting help. Georgia’s first statewide crisis and access line, 1-800-715-4225, offers both confidentiality and anonymity. On average, about half of callers are male.
June 5, 2007 – The Georgia Division of Aging Services is sponsoring its tenth annual healthy aging summit, "Living Longer, Living Stronger with Food, Fun and Fitness," June 6-8, 2007, at Marriott Augusta Hotel and Suites in Augusta, for dietitians, nurses, care coordinators, health educators, senior center managers, nutrition service providers, caregivers and other professionals who provide care for older adults.
June 1, 2007 – The complete report entitled Environmental Health Education Needs Assessment confirms that reported cases of glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain cancer, do not indicate a cancer ‘cluster’ in the Dalton area or the presence of an environmental chemical hazard. This environmental health study was conducted by the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR), Division of Public Health, in response to community members concerns about whether hazardous substances are in the area, and whether environmental exposures are resulting in an increased number of cancer cases.
June 1, 2007 – Approximately 25 children with hopes of finding permanent families and prospective parents who are interested in adoption, will have the opportunity to get acquainted at an "adoption party" and videoconference Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness in downtown Atlanta.
June 1, 2007 – The Board of Human Resources will hold its official monthly meeting at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, June 4, in room 29.250, Two Peachtree Street N.W. in Atlanta. All Board of Human Resources meetings, including committee meetings, are open to the public.