Notice of Possible Disclosure of Protected Health Information for CARE Center Clients


The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh


Homerun to Wellness Health Fair Aug. 12

Children’s Special Services, a variety of programs designed to identify and address, needs early in life so that children can reach their maximum potential will hold the Homerun to Wellness Health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 12. The event will take place at 420 Mall Boulevard in Savannah.

The health fair is open to the public and will include free health screens (blood pressure, blood glucose, and BMI) and door prizes. Other agencies – such as Safe Kids Savannah, Peach State Health Plan, CareSource, and Amerigroup – will also be on hand.

Children’s Special Services includes programs such as Children 1st, Babies Can’t Wait, Children’s Medical Services, and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention. Children may be linked to one or more of these early intervention programs based on their risk factors and age.

For more information on Children’s Special Services, click HERE. For more information on the event, please call 912-644-5805.



Boil Water Advisory Lifted for City of St. Marys

The Boil Water Notice that was issued by the City of St. Marys has been lifted.  Free chlorine residual measurements and coliform bacteria samples were collected from enough sites to adequately represent all areas of the distribution system, following the Environmental Protection Division’s recommendations.  Free chlorine residuals were detected throughout the distribution system and all microbiological tests were performed by a certified laboratory and were negative for total coliform bacteria. A copy of the laboratory results are being sent to the Environmental Protection Division, and based upon the laboratory results, the City of St. Marys has decided to rescind the boil water notice effective immediately.  Thank you for your understanding as the City worked through the process of ensuring that the microbiological quality of the water in the distribution system is safe for human consumption.

If you should have any questions please call St. Marys Public Works at 882-4415.

Cupcakes & Condoms: Candid Conversations for Women & Teen Girls

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will host Cupcakes & Condoms, an afternoon of cupcakes and girl talk about sexual health, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  on Saturday, August 12, at University Meeting Room located at Savannah State University, 3219 College Drive in Savannah.

Cupcakes & Condoms is a program presented by the Red Pump Project to engage women and teen girls in an open dialogue about sexual health. Attendees are treated to complimentary desserts while engaging in discussion designed to foster healthy intimate relationships and promote positive choices to aid in the prevention of HIV and STIs. Founded in 2009, The Red Pump Project ® is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.

Today, about one in four people living with HIV in the United States is female. Only about half of women living with HIV are getting care, and only four in 10 of them have the virus under control. Women face unique HIV risks and challenges that can prevent them from getting needed care and treatment. Addressing these issues remains critical to achieving an HIV- and AIDS-free generation.

To register, please click HERE.


Eastern Equine Encephalitis Detected in Chatham County; Officials Urge Residents to Take Precautions

Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected in western Chatham County. Mosquito Control has subsequently conducted mosquito abatement activities in that area. West Nile Virus (WNV) has also been detected in mosquitoes in Chatham County. It’s shaping up to be an active mosquito season and continued precautions to prevent mosquito breeding and bites are encouraged.

EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three to four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps. No human cases of disease have been reported in Georgia this year; however, humans are susceptible to EEE.

EEE is one of several viruses that can be transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes including West Nile Virus, chikungunya, and Zika.

One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes. For containers without lids or that are too big to tip over or toss out (bird baths, garden pools), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks or Pre-Strike Mosquito Torpedoes and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals.

It is also important to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants and socks to help prevent mosquito bites.

Residents are always encouraged to remember the 5 D’s of Prevention:

  • Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
  • Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed.
  • DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

For more information on mosquito-borne diseases click HERE or go to




Coastal Health District to Host National Dance Day Event

The Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program, in conjunction with Savannah Mall, will host a National Dance Day event at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, at Savannah Mall. The event is free and open to the public.

The Savannah Flash Mob Dance Crew will be on hand at the event to teach participants the 2017 National Dance Day dance. Anyone interested in learning the dance prior to National Dance Day so that they can help teach the dance at the event can attend dance tutorials at the at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, and Saturday, July 22, in the Community Room at Savannah Mall (between Burlington and the Soft Play area on the first floor).

“Dancing is a great way to increase physical activity to help promote a healthier and more active lifestyle,” said Director Chronic Disease Prevention for the Coastal, Cristina Gibson. “Dancing is fun and it’s also good for you. Including dance as part of a regular exercise routine can help prevent chronic disease and obesity.”

National Dance Day was started in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe, co-creator of the television show “So You Think You Can Dance” and co-president of Dizzy Feet Foundation, a national organization created to “support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States.” National Dance Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in July.

For more information, please call 912.484.1885 or check out the Savannah Flash Mob Dance Crew’s Facebook Page at


World Breastfeeding Week Events Scheduled in August

The Coastal Health District Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) nutrition program will hold two World Breastfeeding Week celebrations in early August. The first event will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, August 4 at Jekyll Island Square on Newcastle Street in Brunswick and the second event will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 5, at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market in Savannah. The celebrations will include public walks, prize giveaways, and information on the benefits of breastfeeding. All events are free and family friendly.

Those who register for the events by going to will receive a free T-shirt while supplies last.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated during the first week in August every year in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.  This year’s theme is “Sustaining breastfeeding together” and is focused on working together for the common good. The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for breastfeeding mothers within their home and community. The Coastal Health District is committed to helping mothers breastfeed their babies because breastfeeding is so important for good health. Breast milk is easy to digest, with just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein for a baby’s growth and development. Breastfed babies usually get sick less often, because breast milk contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections.

For more information on the objectives of World Breastfeeding Week 2017, click HERE.

For more information on the scheduled Coastal Health District events, contact Monica Lightfoot at

Mosquito-borne Virus Activity Detected in Chatham County; Officials Advise Taking Protective Measures

Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that a sampling of mosquitoes collected in southeast Chatham County has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).  This indicates that WNV is actively circulating in local mosquito populations this year.  Mosquito control personnel are surveying all areas of Chatham County and scheduling control operations as required. No human cases of WNV have been confirmed in any Coastal Health District counties, including Chatham.

WNV is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The Chatham County Health Department and Chatham County Mosquito Control urge residents to take appropriate precautions now and throughout the summer to minimize mosquitoes around their property.

One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard. Tip ‘n Toss containers after every rain and at least once a week. Dump out standing water in flowerpots and planters, children’s toys, pet dishes. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes. By helping to limit potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, every resident can contribute to reducing the nuisance caused by mosquitoes and stop the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases.

Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:

Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active.
Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water – buckets, barrels, flower pots, tarps – because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

Chatham County Mosquito Control is actively treating all areas of Chatham County for mosquitoes. Residents should expect to see Mosquito Control’s low flying, yellow helicopters on a regular basis throughout the county.

July 12 UPDATE

Chatham County Mosquito Control has identified positive West Nile Virus (WNV) mosquito samples in east Savannah and the Islands area. This is in addition to the positive samples identified last week in southeast Chatham County. Chatham County Mosquito Control will increase abatement efforts and public health’s message remains the same: We encourage residents to prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito bites.

After every rainfall – or at least once a week –  tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets and anything else around your yard that can hold water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out.
Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus when outdoors.
Other tips:

  • Clean out gutters.
  • Remove piles of leaves.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
  • Keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.
  • Homeowners associations and neighborhoods are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.
  • Make sure to keep doors shut and cover windows with screens. Repair or replace any screens with holes in them.

Back to School Clinics Scheduled

It won’t be long before the new school year begins and health departments in the Coastal Health District want to help parents beat the back to school rush by holding clinics that are focused on providing the screenings and immunizations that students need before starting school.* Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis and no appointment is necessary.

Students entering a Georgia school for the first time – no matter what the grade level –  must have a completed Certificate of Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition screening form. “First time” means never enrolled in a Georgia school before at any time in their lives.

In addition, children born on or after January 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. (“New entrant” means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year).

The following health departments have scheduled back to school clinics:

Chatham County Health Department, 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah
*Wednesday, July 12
8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

*Thursday, July 25
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

*(Free eye, ear, dental, and nutrition screenings)

Camden County Health Department, 1501 Georgia Ave., Woodbine and 905 Dilworth St., St. Marys

*Thursday, July 20
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

*(Free eye, ear, dental, and nutrition screenings)

Liberty County Health Department, 1113 E. Oglethorpe Hwy. Hinesville
Thursday, July 20
8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 29
8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tuesday, August 1
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Long County Health Department, 584 N. Macon Street, Ludowici
Tuesday, July 25
8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

McIntosh County Health Department, 1335 Hwy. 57, Townsend
Tuesday, August 1
1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.


*The health departments listed above have chosen to focus immunization and screening efforts on specific days to make it convenient for parents; however, those health departments – along with the other Coastal Health District health departments –  offer immunizations and Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition screening on a daily basis.

For more information, please contact Your County Health Department.

Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner named head of Atlanta-based CDC


July 7, 2017 – from the office of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal:

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, current director of Health Protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), as interim commissioner of DPH, effective immediately. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, current commissioner of DPH, as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by President Donald Trump.

“I am immensely proud of my friend and colleague Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, and I am grateful to her for her tireless work to promote the health and well-being of Georgia’s citizens,” said Deal. “She has been an asset to the State of Georgia and I know she will bring the same determination and persistence to her new role of CDC director, working for the good of the entire country. I want to thank President Trump for naming one of our own to this prominent role and I am confident Dr. O’Neal will be able to successfully pick up where Brenda left off at DPH.”

“I am humbled by the challenges that lie ahead, yet I am confident that the successes we’ve had in Georgia will provide me with a foundation for guiding the work of the CDC,” said Fitzgerald. “The progress we’ve made in Georgia around early brain development, childhood obesity and creating a model for addressing the Ebola epidemic would not have been possible without the full support of Governor Deal and a dedicated public health staff.”


Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.

Fitzgerald formerly served as the commissioner of DPH and as State Health Officer. She is a board-certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist and practiced medicine for more than three decades before coming to Public Health in 2011. As Commissioner, Fitzgerald oversaw various state public health programs including Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Health Protection, Georgia WIC, Office of Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care and Vital Records. She also directed the state’s 18 public health districts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Georgia State University and a medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine. As a Major in the United States Air Force, Fitzgerald served at the Wurtsmith Air Force Strategic Air Command Base in Michigan and at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.



J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D.

O’Neal serves as the Director of Health Protection for DPH, overseeing more than a dozen public health programs including Epidemiology, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Emergency Preparedness and the Georgia Public Health Lab. He is also the medical director for the Office of EMS and Trauma. O’Neal previously practiced emergency medicine for 29 years at DeKalb Medical Center and also served as the regional medical director for EMS throughout the Metro Atlanta area. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and a medical degree from the Tulane University School of Medicine. Following medical school, O’Neal entered the United States Air Force for training in flight medicine and later served as a flight surgeon in Vietnam.



Chatham County Health Department Midtown Location to Reopen July 5

The Chatham County Health Department midtown location at 1602 Drayton Street will reopen on Wednesday, July 5, after being closed for a year while much needed enhancements were made to the building. All public health services will available when the doors open at 8 a.m. on July 5.

The facility has been completely reconstructed to improve patient flow. New furniture and fixtures are also now in place and a new phone system, security system, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system have been installed.

“The midtown location was long overdue for a facelift but this goes beyond basic aesthetics,” said Chatham County Health Department Administrator, Randy McCall. “The choices we made during the reconstruction process helped improve efficiencies that will ultimately benefit our clients.”

The project was funded by Chatham County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), the Chatham County Health Department, and Women, Infants, and Children supplemental nutrition program.