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

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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.

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.

FREE Vision, Hearing, Dental, & Nutrition Screening Events Scheduled at Chatham Co. Health Department

Chatham County Health Department will offer free vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings for Chatham County school students at two events in July. Normally a $30 fee applies when getting the screening at the health department. The events will take place at the Chatham County Health Department, 1395 Eisenhower Drive:

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 12
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 25

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.

No appointment is necessary and students will be seen on a first come, first served basis. Immunization services will also be available at regular cost.

For additional information, call the Chatham County Health Department at 356-2441.


Emergency Help for Opioid Overdoses

Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in the state of Georgia and across our nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

Most overdoses occur in the presence of others. Fear of arrest and prosecution prevent many people from calling 9-1-1. Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law protects victims and callers seeking medical assistance at drug or alcohol overdose scenes.

To find out more about the signs of opioid overdose, the most commonly abused opioids, and Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law, check out the Georgia Department of Public Health’s  Emergency Help for Opioid Overdoses.




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

Posted June 12, 2017

We have recently discovered that the personal health information of CARE Center clients may have been disclosed in direct conflict with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule.

On April 20, 2017, we learned that a temporary employee who had access to personal health information including, but not limited to, Social Security number, date of birth, home address, and medical diagnosis and treatment, may have inappropriately released some of that information. The person was employed between the dates of March 24, 2017 and April 20, 2017.

We deeply regret that this occurred.  We consider the privacy of your medical information to be of the utmost importance and we strive to maintain it in a secure manner.  We have reviewed the events surrounding this matter and are taking appropriate steps to prevent incidents like this from happening again including, but not limited to, a review of screening practices for hiring temporary employees and ongoing education and review of patient privacy and security rules with all employees.

We don’t know with absolute confidence that protected health information was improperly used; however, out of an abundance of caution we want to let our clients know about this potential disclosure. Because this information may have been disclosed, we recommend that clients review the guidance on how to detect and prevent identity theft that is available on the website of the   Federal Trade Commission.

Again, we sincerely apologize for this situation.  Please feel free to call 1-844-863-0325 if you have any questions.

Free National HIV Testing Day Events Scheduled in Chatham County

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will offer free HIV testing in June in observance of National HIV Testing Day. This year’s theme is “Test Your Way. Do It Today.”  Testing will be done without the use of a needle and those tested will get results in 20 minutes. No appointment is necessary. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who tests positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals.
WHEN/WHERE:  3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 27*
Walgreens, 2109 E. Victory Drive, Savannah
*(First 50 people will receive a gift card this day ONLY).

3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 28
Walgreens, 2109 E. Victory Drive, Savannah
(*Free prizes and giveaways)

10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursday, June 29
Walgreens, 2109 E. Victory Drive, Savannah
(*Free prizes and giveaways)

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t know they have it. Nearly 45,000 people find out they have HIV every year. In Georgia, the risk of HIV diagnosis is 1 in 51.  National HIV Testing Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, encourage people to get the facts, tested, get involved, and get linked to care and treatment services. The Coastal Health District is pleased to offer free HIV testing as part of this global effort.

For more information, please call Diane DeVore at (912) 644-5828 or e-mail

Residents with Functional, Access, or Medical Needs Urged to Register with Health Department

As the 2017 hurricane season quickly approaches, public health officials strongly encourage residents in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties who may have functional, access, or medical needs and no way to evacuate if a storm is coming to register with their county health department. The Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry is made up of residents who may require transport and medical assistance during a hurricane evacuation and have no other resources such as family, friends, neighbors, or church members to help them if they need to evacuate. Residents must apply to be on the registry and are encouraged to register now.

Those on the Registry will be evacuated to an American Red Cross shelter in an inland county that will likely be in a gymnasium or similar setting and could be several hours away. The Registry is truly a last resort, but if a hurricane is threatening our area, it is important that health department officials know where the most vulnerable residents are located so that evacuation assistance can be provided to them. People living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes are not eligible for the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs and must follow their facility’s emergency plan.

Functional and Access Needs registrants are individuals who may need services to maintain their independence in a shelter. This includes children and adults with physical, sensory, mental health, and cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities affecting their ability to function independently without assistance. Medical Needs registrants are individuals who require support of trained medical professionals. This includes those individuals who may need assistance with managing unstable, terminal, or contagious conditions that require observation and ongoing treatment.

The application and protected health information authorization form can be downloaded at Residents can also call the following numbers for more information:

Bryan County
912-756-2611 or 912-653-4331

Effingham County

Camden County
912-882-8515 or 912-576-3040

Chatham County

Glynn County

Liberty County

Long County

McIntosh County



Health Department Officials Urge Students to “Vaccinate B4U Graduate”

As students begin looking ahead to graduation and starting a new and exciting chapter in life, it’s a good time to remind both students and their parents about the important role that immunizations play in that chapter. Health department officials in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties want to encourage soon-to-be high school graduates to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease which causes meningitis.

Meningococcal disease is not common; however, when it is contracted it can be dangerous. The bacteria that causes meningococcal disease is spread by exchanging respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit) during close (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially if living in the same household or dorm. There are different kinds of meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be very serious and can even cause permanent disabilities and death. Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis and is usually less serious but can still cause illness.

“We encourage parents of students getting ready to graduate – especially those going off to college – to make sure their children have received the meningococcal vaccine and that all vaccinations are up-to-date,” said Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator, Paige Lightsey, R.N. “This is an exciting time for our students and we want to do everything we can to make sure that they are protected from meningitis as they start on their new adventure.”

When children are 11 or 12 years old they should receive one dose of the vaccine followed by a booster at age 16. Parents can check with the health department or their healthcare provider to get immunization records for their children or schedule a time to get the meningococcal vaccine.

For more information on meningitis or the meningococcal vaccine, please to

McIntosh County Veterinarian Receives Prestigious State Public Health Award

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Pine Harbor Animal Hospital, Lara Bailey, is the recipient of the Al Dohany Award for Community Service by the Georgia Public Health Association. Bailey was nominated for the award by McIntosh County Health Department Environmental Health Manager, Eric Rumer.

Established in 1999, the Al Dohany Award for Community Service honors public health leader, Al Dohany, who was highly respected among his peers and who made great contributions to the promotion of public health through his work with family connection and community groups at the local level. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made a positive contribution to community health through collaboration with the community and its leaders. This contribution involves encouraging a collaborative approach with existing community entities that is essential to realizing the long-term health outcomes of a community while recognizing the importance of communities and celebrating the diversity that makes a community vital.

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Bailey’s nomination:

Since 2003, Dr. Bailey has vaccinated more than 2,600 dogs and cats for rabies, a viral disease that is spread through the bite and sometimes scratches of infected animals. Rabies is deadly for both animals and humans. Although most pet owners get their pets vaccinated against rabies, some may not have the resources to pay for such vaccinations, especially in more rural parts of the state such as McIntosh County. That’s where Dr. Bailey holds her rabies vaccination clinics and provides – free of charge –rabies vaccinations for pets during Saturday clinics. She also amputates suspected rabid animals so that they can be processed to determine whether or not they have rabies. Testing suspected rabid animals helps us to alert and caution the public if there is an issue with rabies. Dr. Bailey also performs this service for the McIntosh County Health Department at no charge.

While Dr. Bailey does not charge for rabies vaccinations during the public clinics, she does take donations from those who can afford to pitch in. Over the years, she has collected $13,000 and donated it to local animal rescue programs such as the Humane Animal Resource Team of McIntosh County and McIntosh County Animal Control.

“Dr. Bailey has consistently been an invaluable asset to McIntosh County Animal Control and Animal Services,” said Marianna Hagan, Director of McIntosh County Animal Services. “She is a true humanitarian and animal lover. She has made a huge impact on McIntosh County’s human and animal population. McIntosh County is a better community because of her generous and selfless work.”

Every animal that is vaccinated against rabies is one less animal that is a threat to spread the deadly disease to residents in McIntosh County. Dr. Bailey never asks for recognition; doesn’t want anything in return for giving up her Saturdays, her vaccine, needles and other supplies; and would likely protest if she knew that this nomination was being submitted. But the truth is that even though “technically” Dr. Bailey is not a part of our public health family, she is very much a part of what we do and what we stand for when it comes to preventing illness and disease. Her efforts have had a tremendous impact on our community. Everybody knows “Doc Bailey” and appreciates not only the compassion she has for our animals but the dedication she shows to the improving the health of our small coastal community.

From L to R: Dr. Selina Smith, GPHA President at the time the Award was presented; Dr. Lara Bailey; Eric Rumer, McIntosh County Environmental Health Manager; Dr. Lawton Davis, Coastal Health District Health Director.


School Health Summit Planned for May 31; School Officials Encouraged to Attend

 The Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program will host a School Health Summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, at the Liberty County Schools Performing Arts Center located at 2140 E. Oglethorpe Hwy. in Hinesville.

The free one-day training is being offered to school administrators, teachers, nutrition directors, and principals to develop and execute nutrition and physical activity policies and to offer resources to help prevent the incidence of chronic disease in children.

“Obesity continues to be a real problem in children of all ages and unhealthy habits developed early translate into unhealthy habits later in life,” said Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Director, Cristina Gibson. “The Summit is a way for school leaders to learn about tools that can help promote better health in students and how to go about using those tools.”

Those interested in attending the training can register by calling Gibson at 912-644-5818 or by emailing

The 2017 School Health Summit is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health, healthMpowers, Georgia SHAPE, and the Coastal Health District.

Liberty County Health Department Offers Late Hours Every Thursday

The Liberty County Health Department is now open until 7 p.m. every Thursday. Health department officials hope that staying open late one day a week will help make it easier for people with busy schedules to get the public health services they need. The health department opens every day at 8 a.m.

For more information on Liberty County Health Department services, click HERE or call 912-876-2173.