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LOCAL PROFILE: Turkey Day Fitness Tips

 

ATLANTA – Next week marks the start of the season many of us look forward to, year round. People love this season, dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year”, for a number of reasons. For children it could be the toys and gifts they receive or the annual visit to Grandma’s house. Or for adults it could be the abundant holiday cheer or the abundant holiday food it's okay to consume for the mere sake of the holiday. For some, the holidays can be too cheery and many end up heavier than they were before they started. 

Was the holiday food really worth a holiday gut? Think again.

Many people struggle with this issue, year in and year out. Some go on crash diets before the holiday or workout until they’re fatigued to “make room” for their Thanksgiving Feast but Amy Henry at FORUM Fitness in Buckhead thinks they’re all “wasting their time”.

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

Take-back event yields 3,800 pounds of drugs

ATLANTA -- The third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29 was a huge success in Georgia.

Participants turned in about 3,794.35 pounds of unwanted and expired medication for safe disposal at numerous sites across the state.

This amount exceeded the weight of the drugs collected at the second event in April, which was about 3,509 pounds.

"The total number of drugs taken back in Georgia speaks volumes about the problem of unused and unneeded prescriptions, the danger they pose to the community and the communities' commitment to making prescription drug abuse a top priority in the state," John Comer, acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Atlanta Field Division, said in a statement.

Greensboro hospital to be sold

Greensboro hospital to be sold

ATHENS, Ga. -- St. Mary's Health Care System in Athens says it has signed an agreement to buy Saint Joseph's at East Georgia in Greensboro from St. Joseph's Health System.

St. Mary's announced Monday that under the terms of the agreement, St. Mary's will assume ownership of the Greensboro hospital Jan. 1.

St. Mary's also said its intention is to acquire the hospital in April. It has been providing interim management for the Greene County facility since May.

The current building, formerly known as the Minnie G. Boswell Hospital, is more than 60 years old. As part of the agreement, St. May's has committed to building a state-of-the-art replacement hospital.

LOCAL PROFILE: Sawanda Spinks, President of Georgia Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation

LOCAL PROFILE: Sawanda Spinks, President of Georgia Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation

ATLANTA – Sawanda Spinks was eight-months-pregnant when she learned her first child would be born with hydrocephalus.

“I had never heard of it; I didn’t know what it was but when I heard the risks, I started crying; I couldn’t take listening to that”, she said.

Spinks had gone into the emergency room for a pulled muscle but when she left her life was changed, forever.

Hydrocephalus is a condition that affects 1-in-500 infants. The condition, also known as having “water on the brain”, happens when fluid accumulates on the brain and in the skull cavities.

As any first-time parent would Spinks visited countless specialists, searching for good news, before she would give birth to her son a month later; she heard none.

“Doctors didn’t give us much hope but they were doing their job, they’re supposed to tell you the worst case scenario”.   

“We heard it all.

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Community Health has adopted a proposal to secure the future of the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

The initiative introduces a new consumer-directed wellness plan, improves plan administration, eliminates the SHBP's projected deficit for this year and substantially reduces future deficits.

"The board is pleased to endorse this thoughtful and responsible plan that is not afraid to tackle the big issues," said DCH board chairman Ross Mason. "This is a forward-looking plan that provides real bottom line-driven solutions."

SHBP is facing a projected deficit of slightly more than $800 million during the next two years.

"Our major concern is the continued delivery of quality health care services at an affordable cost," said DCH commissioner David Cook.

Regents vote to hike health costs for employees

Regents vote to hike health costs for employees

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Board of Regents is raising health insurance premiums for employees and cutting coverage for about 700 workers.

The board voted Tuesday to hike rates by 5.2 percent. The university system will save $30 million by limiting access to certain doctors and hospitals.

University system workers, like all state employees, received no pay increase this year.

The board also voted to cut insurance for about 700 part-time employees by raising the minimum number of hours they have to work to qualify for coverage from 20 to 30 per week. The change will save about $1.5 million.

This is the first time since 2008 that insurance premiums have increased.

GBI: Prescription drug overdoses rise

GBI: Prescription drug overdoses rise

DECATUR, Ga. -- An analysis of autopsies by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has found a 10 percent increase in the number of prescription overdose deaths in 2010 compared to 2009.

The analysis shows that the number of drug overdose deaths involving only prescription drugs jumped from 508 in 2009 to 560 in 2010. It also showed that 68 other deaths were attributed to a combination of prescription and illicit drugs.

In all, there were 729 drug overdose deaths in 2010. Most of those deaths were found to be accidental, but about nine percent were determined to be suicides.

The analysis of the GBI Medical Examiner's drug overdose autopsies involves 152 counties. The study does not include several Metro Atlanta counties, including Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and DeKalb.