Healthy people, families, and communities.




Cartersville (GA)Several emergency responders were recently awarded for outstanding service to their communities at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville, Georgia during the 2018 Northwest Georgia Region 1 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council Awards Banquet.


The banquet is held each year to honor Emergency Medical Services providers and stakeholders from Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker and Whitfield Counties for excellence in pre-hospital care, education, pioneering and special achievements.


The 2017 Northwest Georgia Region 1 EMS Awards were presented as follows (SEE AWARD DESCRIPTIONS AND RELATED AWARD WINNER PHOTOS BELOW THIS PRESS RELEASE):


  • Special Recognition - ems region 1 person of the year - "the one": Jaina Carnes, RTAC chair, redmond regional center
  • David Loftin Pediatric Call of the Year: Chris Cline, Aaron Gaddis and Lee Duman of Hamilton EMS, Whitfield County
  • Tommy Gayler Medical Call of the Year: Dennis Kelley, Charlie Flatt and Kyle Gross of the Puckett EMS, North Georgia
  • Dr. Richard A Gray Excellence in Trauma Award: Mitch Golden, Carlton Firestone and Jade Hyde of Ambucare
  • Dr. James H Creel, JR. Pioneer of the Year: Scott Radeker, Hamilton EMS, Whitfield County
  • Dr. Virginia Hamilton Special Achievement Award: Kurt Stuenkel of Floyd Medical Center
  • Mike Miller EMS Educator of the Year: Buck Alday of Georgia Northwestern Technical College
  • Stanley Payne EMS Leadership Award: Scott Stephens of Gilmer County Fire and EMS
  • EMS Region 1 EMT of the Year: Steve Yarbrough of Redmond EMS
  • Danny Hall Memorial Paramedic of Year: Chris Downey of Hamilton EMS, Whitfield County
  • Region 1 EMS Service of the Year: Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services
  • Dr. Paul Nassour Lifetime Achievement Award: David Loftin, Secretary, Region 1 EMS Council, North Georgia


Many council members, loved ones, friends and associates were on hand to offer support to the award recipients for their achievements and well-deserved recognition.

Congratulations to all award recipients for their outstanding service to their communities. 

National Infant Immunization Week is April 21 – 28, 2018


Baby and MomNorth GA – National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 21 – April 28, 2018, and North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) urges all Georgians to protect infants from vaccine-preventable diseases by ensuring our little ones and everyone around them are vaccinated and up-to-date on their immunization schedules.


“Because infants are among the most vulnerable in our population, we need to do our part to protect them from exposure to life threatening diseases – and vaccines are our best defense,” said Sheila Lovett, director of the Georgia Immunization Program.  “Parents should speak with their pediatrician or health care provider to make sure their child and family are up-to-date on their vaccinations.”


NIIW is a call to action for parents, caregivers and health care providers to ensure that infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.


Because some vaccine-preventable diseases, such as pertussis, are highly contagious and can lead to serious complications and death in infants, it’s important for parents (including pregnant mothers) to make sure their families are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Immunization Schedule Chart

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

* Two doses given at least four weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting a flu vaccine for the first time and for some other children in this age group.

 § Two doses of HepA vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of HepA vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age.  The second dose should be given 6 to 18 months later. HepA vaccination may be given to any child 12 months and older to protect against HepA. Children and adolescents, who did not receive the HepA vaccine and are at high-risk, should be vaccinated against HepA.


According to CDC, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Scientists, doctors and health care professionals give vaccines to children only after long, thorough and careful review. The disease-prevention benefits of vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children. Vaccination is the best way to protect others you care about from vaccine-preventable diseases.


The North Georgia Health District encourages everyone – in observance of National Infant Immunization Week – to protect the little ones who cannot yet protect themselves: contact your local county public health department in North Georgia to ensure your infant is up-to-date on vaccinations:

Cherokee County Health Department: 1219 Univeter Road, Canton, GA 30115, (770) 345-7371 and 7545 North Main Street, Suite 100, Woodstock, GA 30188, (770) 928-0133

Fannin County Health Department: 95 Ouida Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513, (706) 632-3023

Gilmer County Health Department: 28 Southside Church Street, Ellijay, GA 30540, (706) 635-4363

Murray County Health Department: 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road, Chatsworth, GA 30705, (706) 695-4585

Pickens County Health Department: 60 Health Way, Jasper, GA 30143, (706) 253-2821

Whitfield County Health Department: 800 Professional Boulevard, Dalton, GA 30720, (706) 279-9600


 For more information on vaccinations, visit

Area residents who may have been exposed to cat are urged to call Public Health Hotline


Stock photo black catAcworth (GA) – Cherokee County Environmental Health officials received word late today that a cat that had scratched and possibly bitten an Acworth, Georgia resident has now tested positive for rabies.

The resident has begun post exposure treatment and health officials are urging area residents to call the toll-free Georgia Public Health Hotline: 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584) if within the last three weeks they or their children may have been in direct contact with a black male cat that had a white belly patch. Rabies is almost always fatal if not treated immediately, before symptoms begin. 

The cat attacked the resident on Tuesday, April 17 at a mobile home on West Pine Ridge Drive in Acworth, leaving the resident with multiple claw scratches and a possible tooth scratch on the hand.


The Georgia Public Health Laboratory received the specimen for rabies testing on Wednesday, April 18, and the positive result was returned on Friday, April 20.

Health officials continue to urge residents to protect against rabies by maintaining vaccinations in their pets and to be wary of any unfamiliar animals, both domestic and wild.

For more information about rabies prevention and symptoms, call the Cherokee County Environmental Health Office at (770) 479-0444. Rabies information can also be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at