Healthy people, families, and communities.



Routine childhood immunizations help protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two!

NIIW 2019 web post

North GA - National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve health of children two years old or younger. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of this initiative that emphasizes the critical role routine childhood immunizations play in helping protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two. These vaccines are available at all County Health Departments in the North Georgia Health District, which include Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties.

Log onto Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2019 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website to find out which vaccines are needed at each stage from early childhood through teen years.

NIIW Post webSome diseases that once harmed or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the United States, primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.

One example of the positive impact that vaccines have had in the United States is polio. Polio was once America’s most feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country; but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the U.S.

Though many diseases are rare in this country, they still occur around the world and can be brought into the United States, putting unvaccinated children at risk. Continued vaccination is still necessary to keep outbreaks from happening. If infants are not immunized, the consequences can be severe. 

The need for continued vaccination is pronouncedly underscored by the current increase in measles cases or outbreaks in the United States. From January 1 to April 19, 2019, 626 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states, including Georgia. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000, second only to the 667 cases reported during 2014. In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels. The outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries where large measles outbreaks are occurring. Therefore, heeding the CDC’s advice to get vaccinated against measles is especially important before traveling internationally.

Our Gilmer County International Travel Clinic, located in Ellijay, Georgia, serves the entire region and provides comprehensive health services that travelers need before leaving the country, including appropriate travel vaccines to ensure a healthy journey abroad and back home again. Click HERE for more information and to make an appointment that can be scheduled right away.

During the 25th anniversary of NIIW, established in 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have worked together through NIIW to highlight the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children, and to call attention to immunization achievements efficacy.

Several important milestones in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants worldwide have already been reached:

  • Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.
  • Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
  • Routine childhood immunization among children born 1994-2018 will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes, at a net savings of $406 billion in direct costs and $1.9 trillion in total societal costs.
  • The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.


The federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program can assist uninsured and underinsured families by providing vaccines free of charge to qualifying children. To help keep your babies safe, it is important that you and other family members are fully immunized. 

To schedule an appointment for you or your child to receive immunizations, contact your County Health Department in North Georgia by clicking on the name of your county to link to that Health Department page on this website: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens or Whitifield.

Learn more about National Infant Immunization Week on the CDC website at



Express Your SuperPower web pic 5

Let your inner super hero shine at the Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Come solo or bring the whole family for this exciting event held annually at the Etowah River Park on Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton. Be sure to dress as your favorite super power hero for a chance to win a prize for your costume!

Preregister at to guarantee receiving an Express Your SuperPower T-shirt, or you may register that morning prior to race time.

Both a walking and running event, the Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K begins at 8 a.m. See the following Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K Activities and Details at a Glance guide.

Fun activities are planned for people of all ages as we raise awareness of breastfeeding and the health of babies and children.

Carol Hendrix, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District, said, “We join each year with our breastfeeding coalition at the local and state levels to present the Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K as an extension of our celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, observed annually August 1 – 7. Proceeds go to the Northwest Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition.”

Breastfeeding is a vitally important public health issue that affects all Georgians.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breastfeeding is the best method for early infant feeding and the healthiest option for most mothers and babies. Mothers and their children show short-term and long-term health benefits from breastfeeding. Although 80% of mothers start out breastfeeding, more than 50% stop before they intended. Only about 22% of infants are being exclusively breastfed as recommended by the time they are 6 months old. These low rates of breastfeeding add more than $2 billion a year to direct medical costs in the United States.

The CDC also emphasizes the necessity of physical activity for everyone.

The CDC states that physical activity offers many benefits for the health of individuals and communities. Getting enough physical activity can prevent 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer, 1 in 8 cases of colorectal cancer, 1 in 8 cases of type 2 diabetes and 1 in 12 cases of heart disease.

The Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K is not only a terrific opportunity for you and your family to engage in physical activity but to also support breastfeeding awareness.

Register today for the Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K at


Express Your SuperPower web pic 1

Express Your SuperPower 5K/10K Activities and Details at a Glance Guide:

September 21, 2019

Etowah River Park
Brown Industrial Pkwy.
Canton, GA

Race Starts: 8:00 AM

Awesome flat & fast course completely inside the parks, so the little super heroes won't have to run on the street. The 5K/10K starts at 8:00 AM, then a 1-mile Fun Run, and a Tot Trot. The finish line will have loads of fun things to do before the awards are given out (Overall M/F, Master's Overall M/F, & top 3 in all the regular age groups).

 Runners & Walkers are both welcome.

 Great technical race shirts to everyone preregistered.

Express Your SuperPower web pic 2
Race Day Schedule

7:00 AM - Race Day Check in Starts
8:00 AM - 5K & 10K Start


Express Your SuperPower web pic 3The 5K course starts and finishes in Etowah River Park and is FLAT, except for the bridge over the river. The 10K course is a double loop and should provide a perfect opportunity if you're wanting to do your 1st 10K. If you're a seasoned 10K vet, this should provide you with an opportunity to get a PR.

Timing & Awards
The event will be chip timed and we'll have awards for the Overall M/F, Overall Master's M/F, as well as top finishers in all the normal 5yr age groups starting at 10 & under through 75+.

Finish Line & Post Race Refreshments
Super Heroes, music, & a ton of fun stuff await you at the end of your run.

Five Star Turkey Trot & Five Star Championships
All participants will be eligible for free entry into the Five Star Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. Top finishers will earn a spot in the Five Star 5K championships to be held on 12/17.

Entry Fee Registration

Regular Entry...Through 9/20

Fun Run...25
Tot Trot...$10
Virtual 5K...$27
Phantom 5K...$27

Race day registrations are welcome for $5 more... and shirts are not guaranteed.

Timing & Awards

The event will be chip timed and we'll have awards in the following Categories:

Overall M/F
Overall Master's M/F
Overall Grand Master's M/F
Overall Senior Master's M/F
Top finishers in all the normal 5yr age groups starting at 10 & under through 75+.

Finish Line & Post Race Refreshments:

Super Heroes, music, & a ton of fun stuff await you at the end of your run.

Teams & Groups

Grab your family, friends, and co-workers and participate as a team…you can score a great discount, and nothing will replace the additional fun.

5+...Save 10%
11+…Save 15%
21+…Save 20%
51+…Save 25%
100+…Save 30%

Rabid Raccoon alert graphic web

Resident undergoing series of rabies postexposure vaccinations


North Georgia – While preparing to fish on Hot House Creek between Curtis Switch Road and Old Mill Pond Road in Mineral Bluff, Georgia on Sunday, April 7, a local resident was chased and bitten on the ankle by a raccoon.

The animal continued pursuing, so the resident shot and killed it.

The raccoon has now been tested and confirmed as positive for rabies by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory.

The resident began receiving rabies postexposure vaccinations on Sunday.

Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period and should begin as soon as possible after exposure. 

A bite or scratch from any wild mammal should cause concern and be reported to a health care provider and the local environmental health office. Fannin County Environmental Health can be reached at (706) 632-3024. If calling after hours, contact the Georgia Poison Control Center, toll-free, at 1-800-222-1222.

All residents are urged to avoid wild or feral animals and to maintain rabies vaccinations in pets. If a pet receives an initial one-year vaccine, it can receive a three-year vaccination the following year.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

Miracle League flyer2 003

Go to Miracle League of Whitfield County for more information and learn how to join at


Miracle League flyer2 Spanish 002

Vaya a La Liga de Milagro del Condado para más información y aprenda a unirse en


Or.... Read or Click On the Flyer Below to Learn More About It!

Miracle League flyer 002

CMS Telemedicine Genetics (Dalton)

Georgia Department of Public Health announces the start of a new Genetics Telemedicine Clinic coming to North Georgia Health District 1-2 in Dalton via Children’s Medical Services & Genetics. We are currently accepting new patients or patients who would like to transfer their services from other areas within the state. The clinic will be offered every quarter beginning April 30, 2019 from 8:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. and will possibly increase to monthly as more patients are needed to be seen. Most private insurances and Georgia Medicaid will be accepted.



Below is a brief profile of the physician that will be providing the service.


Dr. Vidya KrishmamurthyDr. Vidya Krishnamurthy (‘Dr. V.’) is Board Certified in Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She completed her pediatric training at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA. Dr. Krishnamurthy is also Board Certified in Medical Genetics and is a member of the American College of Medical Genetics. She completed her medical genetics training at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr. Krishnamurthy has over 12 years’ experience as a Pediatrician, practicing in Malaysia. She is also Board Certified in Pediatrics in the UK and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP.



To make a referral, please fax a completed referral form along with medical notes to (706) 529-5767. For more information, please contact Children’s Medical Services at (706) 529-5763 or (888) 276-1558.


CMS Telemedicine Genetics (Dalton)

More about Telemedicine Services

Sometimes the best doctor to care for your child's special health care needs is not in the area where you live. Children's Medical Services (CMS) has a program that may help. The CMS Telemedicine Program allows a child to see an expert specialty doctor who is in a different location without taking up a lot of time for travel.

Telemedicine is the use of special computer equipment with cameras and secure telephone lines that so children and youth who are at a different location from their specialty doctor can still get the care and services they need.

telemedicine kids

Telemedicine is a way for a child to easily see a doctor who may be hours away. A CMS nurse helps the child and family during the telemedicine visit while allowing doctors and other health care providers to talk to a parent and child about health concerns, to answer questions, to make recommendations for a plan of care, or follow-up on past care. Telemedicine is safe, secure, and private with only the people in the room with the child and the doctor able to see what is going on.

For more information on telemedicine and to find out if telemedicine may work for you and your child, contact your local CMS Office in North Georgia.


You're Invited! 

BCW Blocks GDPH Logo



Georgia Department of Public Health

State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC)

Meeting April 18, 2019

Macon District Health Office

201 Second Street

Macon, Georgia 31201

9:30 am - 12 noon


Georgia’s Part C Program | Babies Can’t Wait (BCW)

Public Comment begins 11:00 am


The mission of the Georgia SICC for Early Intervention Programs is to advise the Department of Public Health and other agencies responsible for serving infants and toddlers, birth to age three with developmental delays and disabilities and their families, with an appropriate family-centered, comprehensive service delivery system which promotes optimal child development and family functioning.



VOICE YOUR OPINION!  We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the Babies Can’t Wait Program.  Would you like to attend the State ICC Quarterly Meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 9:30am – 12:00pm? Ask your local BCW Service Coordinator about limited financial assistance available to help you with related expenses.

Public Comment 

Time is set aside for public comment during each quarterly meeting of the State Interagency Coordinating Council. If you would like to share any thoughts or ideas about Babies Can’t Wait with the Council please choose one of the options below. 

    1. Written Comment:  

Send written comments, clearly marked “PUBLIC COMMENT” to fax number 770-342-7699 or email to Phyllis Turner, SICC Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Your comments will be read aloud during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.

    1. Remote Participation:  

Pre-Register to make Public Comment via remote participation by conference line or telehealth during the meeting. (See instructions below for remote participation.) Email Phyllis Turner, SICC Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Your name will be announced to provide public comment remotely during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.

    1. In person


At registration sign-in on the day of the meeting checkYes” to the question, Would you like to make public comment? Your name will be announced to provide public comment during the Public Comment portion of the meeting. 

 For more information, please email Phyllis Turner, SICC Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




For remote participation during the SICC meeting, please use one of the following options:


Free Conference Line


  • Participants can listen to the public portion of the meeting and make public comment by telephone when announced by the Council Chairperson at the time set aside for Public Comment on the meeting agenda.

  Dial (641) 552-9446, enter access code: 988041 


Telehealth Network


The Telehealth Network allows participants to view and listen to the public portion of the meeting by going to one of the following locations around the state. Participants who pre-register can make a public comment when announced by the Council Chairperson at the time allotted for Public Comment on the meeting agenda. See pre-registration instructions under Public Comment via remote participation. District Early Intervention Coordinators and Local Interagency Coordinating Council members will be given an opportunity to provide updates and information in the order listed on the meeting agenda. 


Northwest Health District                   

1309 Redmond Rd

Rome, Ga. 30165

Conference room 253 


North Georgia Health District 1-2

1710 Whitehouse Court

Building B CSN Conference Room

Dalton, GA 30720

Cobb & Douglas County Board of Health

1738 County Services Parkway

Marietta, GA 30008

Building B

WIC class room B

College Park Regional Health Center

1920 John E. Wesley Ave.,

College Park, Ga., 30337

Location Supervisor:  Janice Wright

North Central Health District

201 Second St., Room 805

Macon, GA 31201

District 4 Public Health

301 Main Street

Lagrange, GA 30240

South Health District 

206 S. Patterson St.

3rd Floor, BCW Conference Room

Valdosta, GA 31601

West Central Health District

2100 Comer Avenue

Columbus, GA 31904

Coastal Health District

420 Mall Blvd

Savannah, GA 31406

Large Conference room

Southwest Health District

1109 N. Jackson Street

Albany, GA 31701


North Health District

1280 Athens Street

Gainesville, GA. 30507

Large Conference Room

Southeast Health District

1123 Church Street, Annex B

Waycross, GA  31501

Richmond County Health Department

1916 North Leg Rd.  

Building B- Small training room

Augusta, Ga. 30909

South Central Health District 5-1

105 E. Jackson Street

Dublin, GA  31021

Conference Room

Northeast Health District

189 Paradise Blvd.

Athens, GA 30607

Athens District WIC Conf. Rm.

Ga Dept. of Public Health

2 Peachtree St

Atlanta, GA 30303

Room DPH 3-240 EOC Briefing Room

Clayton County Board of Health/BCW

District 3-3

1895 Phoenix Blvd.

College Park, Georgia 30349





About Babies Can’t Wait

The Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) program is Georgia’s statewide early intervention system for infants and toddlers from birth to age three with special needs and their families. BCW enhances families’ ability to meet the special needs of their child to ensure each young child with significant developmental delays reaches his or her maximum developmental potential. To learn more about DPH Babies Can’t Wait program, please call (404) 657-2850 or (888) 651-8224 or visit


 About the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters. DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information about DPH, visit

DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory.  For more information about DPH, visit

 Available at Cherokee County Health Department!

Rabies Pre Exposure Shots and Titer Testing flyer web

 Click flyer to download and print!

Rabies exposure is an occupational hazard for the veterinary healthcare team and other animal care workers, and preventive measures are necessary to protect personnel. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination provides additional protection for at-risk veterinarians, vet techs and other staff.

Rabies pre-exposure vaccinations and titer testing are available at the Cherokee County Health Department. Contact Julia Hewgley at (770) 928-0133 for more information and to make an appointment.

For more information about rabies prevention for veterinarians from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), log onto

STD Awareness Month2019 Flyer website

The numbers are in and the fact is this: sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are surging across the United States, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Not only should the public be aware of the prevalence of STDs and how to take preventive measures to protect against them, but healthcare providers should also ensure people are well-informed.

*Staff at each County Health Department in the North Georgia Health District and at both Living Bridge Center HIV Clinics are educating clients and the public about STDs and STD prevention.

Anyone who has sex is at risk of infection, so what can be done? Two important actions can have big payoffs:


“At a time when STDs are at a record high, it’s never been more important to protect your patients’ sexual health as a provider, or stand up for your own sexual health as a patient,” says Gail Bolan, MD, Director of STD Prevention at CDC. “Having a strong patient-provider relationship is always important, and the stronger these relationships are, the weaker STDs will become.”

Enter Treat Me Right – a campaign with resources and materials for patients and providers to improve communication and increase the productivity of office visits.

Treat Me Right: Tips for Patients to Work with their Healthcare Providers

By talking to a provider about what to do—and how to work together—patients can be proactive in safeguarding their sexual health. Here are some ways patients can stand up for themselves and their health in and out of the exam room:

  • Prepare to honestly answer provider’s questions about sex.
  • Get testedmany STDs are curable, and all are treatable. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.
  • Get treated – prevent long-term, irreversible damage by starting treatment immediately.
  • Know the benefits of expedited partner therapy (EPT) in which a provider may be able to give medicines or a prescription to partners of someone with an STD without seeing them first.
  • Get retested –STDs can occur more than once, so getting retested in 3 months is important, even if you and your partner took medicine.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate – with sex partners and providers.


Protecting Our Nation’s Health: Healthcare Providers’ Key Role in Keeping People Healthy

In addition to offering the basics of STD diagnosis and treatment, Treat Me Right can help providers engage in a way that makes their patients feel heard and respected, especially around sensitive issues. For example:

  • STD Awareness Month StatsTake a thorough sexual history—ask essential sexual health questions in a welcoming, relaxed tone.
  • Build trust with the patient— for example, make your office teen friendly to put younger patients at ease.
  • Reassure patients that their information is confidential—especially before asking sensitive questions.
  • Ensure that the patient understands all terms used to avoid confusion.
  • Determine which STD tests the patient needs—information from the sexual history also helps in selecting the anatomical sites that should be tested. Some patients, such as gay or bisexual men or pregnant women, may have special testing considerations.
  • Follow CDC’s STD Treatment Guidelines if patients are diagnosed with an STD.
  • Encourage your patients to return for follow-up testing in 3 months—reinfection is common for some STDs.


Take Control and Be Informed

When patients and providers work together, it empowers individuals to take control of their sexual health, and it allows providers to more quickly diagnose and treat any infections that occur. Let’s all work together to reduce STDs.

Please visit the Treat Me Right website for information on STDs, as well as for resources for healthcare providers and patients.

*Contact information for County Health Departments in the North Georgia Heath District is as follows:

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

*The Living Bridge Center is located at 1200 West Waugh Street in Dalton and The Living Bridge Center South is at 130 Riverstone Terrace, Suite 102 in Canton. The Living Bridge Centers are the providers of Ryan White Part B and C in the North Georgia Health District. 

Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available to prevent hepatitis B and some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause disease and cancer. And for all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people – STI screening and prompt treatment (if infected) are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.

More information about STDs is available at all the above county health departments in North Georgia and on the CDC website at




About STD Awareness Month: April is STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to raise public awareness about the impact of STDs on the lives of Americans and the importance of preventing, testing for, and treating STDs. It is an opportunity to normalize routine STD testing and conversations about sexual health.