Healthy people, families, and communities.



It's that SPOOOOOKY time of year again, but there's no need for you or your kids to find comfort in anything less than delicious, HEALTHY Treats! The North Georgia Health District has put together this list of a few HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TREATS that you and your whole family can enjoy Making and MUNCHING!

Monster Teeth

Slide 1Ingredients:

4 medium-sized granny smith apples, cut into 8 sections each
1 cup natural creamy organic peanut butter
1 cup yogurt covered goji berries
1 Tbsp. lemon juice


Section each apple and then sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Spread about 1 tsp. of peanut butter on each slice. Stick 4-6 yogurt-covered berries on an angle in the peanut butter, then place a second peanut butter-covered apple slice on top. (You may need to secure with a toothpick or extra peanut butter.)

Cool for 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving. . .  yum!


Lychee Eyeballs, Banana Ghosts & Clementine Pumpkins

healthy halloween treats

Lychee Eyeballs

Drain a tin of lychees and shake to remove any excess fluid. Try to get lychees that are in fruit juice rather than in syrup. You can use fresh lychees but be warned its very time consuming and difficult to remove the skin and stone while keeping the fruit whole.

Stuff the hole with dried vine fruit such as raisins. For blood red eyes stuff with dried cranberries. The best dried cranberries to use are the ones that are sweetened with pineapple juice rather than sugar.

Banana Ghosts

You can use shop bought chocolate chips for these, but I struggle to buy good quality chocolate chips so I make my own. Also this gives the ghosts a great non-uniform appearance and you can bring out your creative flair. I use a very high 85% cocoa content as it has only a tiny amount of added sugar and with all the sweet fruit a tiny bitter bite tastes great.

Chop up and melt the chocolate in a bowl that’s in another bowl of warm water (bain-marie), you only need about 15g to make enough to decorate 10 ghosts. I tend to melt 2/3rds of the chocolate until its liquid, then remove from the heat and add the other 1/3 and stir until melted. This is an easy way to temper chocolate and makes it the right temp for the crystals to form glossy chocolate without messing with a thermometer or waiting around.

Drop the chocolate however you like onto a non stick sheet and place in the freezer for 5 mins.

Peal and chop all the bananas in half – ensuring that they can stand. Take out the chocolate drops and then push into the bananas to decorate.

Pumpkin Clementines

Peal your Clementine and then slice an inch of celery into a thin strip to push into the centre of the fruit. If you cant get clementines then any other small easy pealing fruit such as satsumas, mandarin or tangerines works just as well. Also the celery can be replaced with any other green vegetable such as cucumber or courgette (although these are technically a fruit).


Watermelon Head

Screenshot 2

This one is REAL Simple! Just carve up your "Upchucking" watermelon and over fill it with bits of watermelon and pineapple - some of everyone's FAVORITE treats!


Creepy Crawly Toasts

spider toasts cheese olives halloween kid

Eeeeeeeek... SPIDERS! But, Tasty!! These creepy toasts are made by slathering a layer of either goat cheese or cream cheese on thick slices of toasted French baguette. Then, one half a black olive is placed in the center as the body while 4 smaller slices are placed on either side as legs. Sprinkle with finely chopped basil, and you’re ready for this yummy treat!


Happy, HEALTHY Halloween!

Ashley Deverell and 2018 Walt Orenstein Award web


North Georgia The North Georgia Health District was honored with the 2018 Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Award at the Immunize Georgia Conference, recently held for the 25th year by the Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta. The conference is an occasion to give special recognition to public health immunization champions for their leadership and influence in getting Georgians immunized.

Immunization is the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza, polio, diphtheria and pertussis, just to name a few, and the Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Award honors individuals, agencies or coalitions that demonstrate excellence in providing immunization care.

The North Georgia Health District (district 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, based in Dalton and comprised of Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties) received this award due to the high level of staff commitment to reducing barriers to immunizations through no- or low-cost vaccinations, community outreach events and flexible clinic hours to meet the needs of the community.

“We are committed to making it possible for everyone to have access to immunizations with quality care,” said Ashley Deverell, RN, BSN, district Immunization Coordinator. “From providing over 1200 no-cost flu vaccinations during the peak of the unusually active flu season this past winter to being a Vaccines For Children provider so we can ensure no one is turned away from receiving eligible vaccines based on ability to pay, our county health departments and Living Bridge Center/Ryan White Clinic work in conjunction with public and private partners to administer all applicable vaccines to as many people as possible.”

Immunizations have been made more accessible in North Georgia through public health in multiple ways.

County health departments stay open until late one day a week so people who work normal business hours can have access to services, including immunizations.

Health department staff go out into their communities to host vaccine clinics with businesses, schools, churches and organizations as well as conduct annual back-to-school clinics and drive-thru flu shot clinics.


They participate in various health fairs to promote immunizations and provide education about many other health issues and public health services.

The health departments have also developed relationships with fellow county agencies, including EMS offices and fire departments, to assist in updating vaccinations among personnel.

The Gilmer County Health Department’s International Travel Clinic in Ellijay administers comprehensive health services to travelers, including vaccines for many diseases that a traveler may encounter along the way such as polio, measles, typhoid and yellow fever. People all throughout North Georgia, and beyond, take advantage of these travel clinic services due to the quality of service and the ability to arrange prompt appointments.

The North Georgia Health District collaborates with local OB/GYN offices to offer low-cost prenatal care and routinely administers vaccines as part of these services. Plus, the Whitfield County Health Department offers many primary care services through their Medical Access Clinic, Women’s Clinic and Children’s Access Clinic to ensure that people who may not have easy access to care can receive health services, including all recommended vaccinations.

The health district’s commitment to reducing barriers to immunizations also includes a solid public information campaign that utilizes media and social media along with community partners and stakeholders to inform the public of their need to maintain immunizations and how, when and where to receive them.

Sherry Gregory, RN, district Infectious Disease Supervisor, said, “Our staff understands the critical role immunizations play in preventing disease and I am proud of their diligent efforts to make immunizations more accessible to everyone.”

For more information about the 2018 Walt Orenstein Champions for Immunization Awards and award recipients, go to


Photo 1 North Ga Health District 1 2 web

Some of the public health staff from the North Georgia Health District who contribute to providing access to immunizations in our communities posed with state staff and Dr. Orenstein:

Standing, from left to right: Sheila Lovett (Georgia Dept of Public Health), Dr. Walt Orenstein (Emory Vaccine Center), Ashley Deverell (Dalton), Karen Penland (Dalton), Denise Bowman (Woodstock), Robin Coffey (Dalton), Doreen Andrew (Canton), Leyna Mashburn (Jasper) and Carol Padgett (Woodstock)

Kneeling: Cyndi Lopez (Canton)


Photo 2 North Ga health district 1 2 for web

Additional public health staff from the North Georgia Health District who contribute to providing access to immunizations in our communities:

Standing, from left to right: Elizabeth Thomas (Blue Ridge), Angie Callaway (Dalton), Marie Smith (Dalton), Robin Coffey (Dalton), Pam Baker (Woodstock), Pamela Graham (Canton), Denise Bowman (Woodstock), Karen Penland (Dalton), Doreen Andrew (Canton), Carol Padgett (Woodstock), Lauren Cedor (Woodstock), Melaina Hutcherson (Jasper) and Leighann Dover (Ellijay)

Kneeling, from left to right: Ashley Deverell (Dalton), Cyndi Lopez (Canton), Leyna Mashburn (Jasper) and Jennifer Vick (Ellijay)


For ages 18 and older. . .

Flu Shots Pickens Rec Center Nov 2018 Flyer web sm

In Recogition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Proclamation signing web

Catherine Dodd and Debbie Pearson, RN of Murray County Health Department pose with Chatsworth Mayor Tyson Haynes as he signs Breast Cancer Awareness Month proclamation.

Chatsworth, GAFree Breast Exams will be provided at Murray County Health Department on Tuesday, October 23rd in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The free exams will be that morning from 7:30 until 11 then will resume that afternoon from 1 to 5:30. Breast cancer prevention education will also be provided, and no appointment is necessary. Save a life and get checked! Murray County Health Department is located at 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road in Chatsworth and the phone number for more information is (706) 695-4585. For more information about breast cancer and prevention of this and other forms of cancer, click here on our website.