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DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance

DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted against proposed smoking amendments to make the current ordinance more comprehensive.  The proposed ordinance presented to the commissioners by the DeKalb County Board of Health would have prohibited smoking in all public places including parks, playgrounds, entrances and exits to buildings, restaurants, bars including adult entertainment establishments, outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor service lines, such as ATM lines.

“I am disappointed that the commissioners did not find any value in any of the amendments including those protecting our parks, playgrounds and service lines,” stated S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A., district health director of the DeKalb County Board of Health. “Despite this setback, we will continue to move forward to promote safe air for all who live, work and play in DeKalb.” 

Commissioner Radar, along with Commissioner Gannon, voted in support of the ordinance.

City of Atlanta Initiates First Comprehensive Downtown "Street Tree" Inventory

City of Atlanta Initiates First Comprehensive Downtown "Street Tree" Inventory

The City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development and the Office of Parks has conducted the first comprehensive inventory of the city’s publicly-owned downtown trees.  The inventory included an assessment of the trees along streets, boulevards, parks, and public spaces in the downtown area.  The tree inventory will provide information about the species, size, quality, and condition of public trees in downtown Atlanta. 

Information from the inventory will help establish management priorities by:

  • identifying trees that need to be pruned or removed,
  • revealing any systemic problems with pests or disease,
  • identifying the distribution of tree species with size, height, and other characteristics, and
  • providing an up-to-date report on the overall condition of the trees. 

The inventory identified locations with sufficient space for planting trees, aiding in future planting efforts. 

Camp Sunshine Presents Cocktails for Cancer

Camp Sunshine Presents Cocktails for Cancer
Cocktails for Cancer
Benefiting Camp Sunshine
 
Compound
September 8, 2011
7 - 10pm
 
Cocktails for Cancer will be an amazing night of fun with Atlanta’s finest Mixologists at Compound, the city’s premier nightclub.

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.

Atlanta Public Schools implement heat ban until Friday

Atlanta Public Schools implement heat ban until Friday

ATLANTA – According to Keith Bromery of Atlanta Public Schools:

APS officials have banned all outdoor student activities until after 6 p.m. through the end of the week because of the current high heat and humidity conditions in the region.

The restriction is district-wide for all K12 grades and includes football and other sports practices and conditioning activities, band practices and rehearsals, and other outside activities.

 In many instances, coaches and band directors have moved practices and rehearsals indoors as a precaution to prevent heat-related health issues.

The DeKalb County Board of Health Expands Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy Treatment

The DeKalb County Board of Health Expands Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy Treatment

Decatur – Do you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco?  Have you thought about quitting, or tried to quit?  The good news is that among current adult smokers in the United States, approximately 70 percent report that they want to quit completely and have attempted to quit. In DeKalb County, two out of every five deaths are tobacco related.

To improve the health of DeKalb families, free tobacco cessation medication support is being offered.  The DeKalb County Board of Health is excited about intensifying efforts to support Georgia families.