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

News


Raccoon on Skidaway Island Tests Positive for Rabies

A raccoon in Clairborn Retreat on Skidaway Island has tested positive for rabies. A family dog was found interacting with the raccoon in the family’s back yard. The dog is up to date on his rabies vaccination and will receive a booster vaccine.

Several species of wild animals that are native to coastal Georgia – including raccoons, foxes, and bats – can carry rabies. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that is primarily spread by infected animals. The Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health office offers these tips to protect you and your family from rabies:

  • Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.
  • Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines after 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster shot within one year and vaccination every 1-3 years depending on veterinary recommendation and vaccine used.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to learn.

Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 and the Chatham County Environmental Health office at 912-356-2160.

 

Coastal Health District Team Members Named Georgia Medical Society Health Care Heroes

Debbie Hagins, M.D., Jonathan Gibson, and Ilya Snyder-Shvahbeyn. Not pictured, Cristina Gibson.

The Georgia Medical Society (GMS) recently named the 2018 Health Care Heroes and two Coastal Health District team members were among those recognized. Debbie Hagins, M.D., was presented the Health Care Innovation Award, and Cristina Gibson – along with her son Jonathan and his classmate, Ilya Snyder-Shvahbeyn – was presented the Community Outreach Award. A total of six awards are given annually in recognition of contributions made by individuals and organizations that “have helped enrich the length, the joy, and the comfort of the lives of the citizens.”

Health Care Innovation Award
The GMS Health Care Innovation Award was given to Debbie Hagins, M.D., medical director and principal investigator for the Coastal Health District CARE Centers which provide comprehensive outpatient primary care (including nutritional services and oral health) and case management to persons with HIV/AIDS. The Coastal Health District Ryan White HIV program serves an eight-county geographic region and has the highest HIV incidence outside of the metro Atlanta area.

Twelve years ago, Dr. Hagins helped spearhead the effort to bring HIV clinical trials to the Coastal Health District. The trials provide medication for individuals who otherwise may have never had access to research and that research will help determine what drugs will work best in treating HIV. Since 2006, she has served as Principal Investigator for 46 trials related to HIV care with a special focus on enrolling and maintaining two groups that have been historically overlooked or excluded: minority and female patients.

Dr. Hagins’ hard work in the area of clinical trials has garnered local, state, and national attention bringing to light the important efforts being put forward in public health regarding HIV medication research and treatment. Her exceptional performance in providing comprehensive primary care to HIV patients and as Principal Investigator for numerous clinical trials has resulted in her participation as a key note speaker at several national meetings and she recently shared her expertise for an article in MD Magazine. She has co-authored many publications, abstracts and posters (several on the international stage).

Dr. Hagins is highly respected in her field and is an excellent representative for public health and a strong advocate for providing comprehensive health care to underserved populations, especially those living with HIV. She achieved and has maintained certification as an HIV Specialist from the American Academy of HIV Medicine and was named a Fellow of the Academy of Physicians of Clinical Research (FAPCR). The FAPCR designation is reserved for Academy of Physicians of Clinical Research members who have shown significant commitment to, and achievement in, clinical research.

Community Outreach Award
The GMS Community Outreach Award was given to Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Director, Cristina Gibson, her son Jonathan and his classmate, Ilya Snyder-Shvahbeyn.  As a dedicated public health employee and head of the Chronic Disease Prevention program for our eight-county health district, Cristina is very attuned to the public health-related issues facing our citizens – particularly when it comes to health disparities – and has always looked for ways to help narrow the gap. A couple of years ago when Cristina’s son Jonathan and his classmate Ilya were trying to come up with a community outreach event as a class assignment, the three brainstormed and created Everybody Eats Fresh FREE Fridays (E2F3).

E2F3 is a produce- and bread-only distribution program that provides access to healthy foods to residents in need, primarily on Savannah’s southside. The distribution takes place in a local church parking lot which gives it somewhat of a farmers market feel. To make this happen, Cristina, Jonathan, and Ilya partnered with America’s Second Harvest Food Bank to relieve the Food Bank of healthy foods that might otherwise be thrown out. Through its partnership with America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, E2F3 has been able to distribute an average of 12 tons of produce each year – tons of produce that would have otherwise been thrown away because of spoilage. During each event E2F3 is serving an average of 70 families and about 283 individuals (a majority of these being children and seniors).

E2F3 serves those who are in the middle – they don’t quite qualify for government assistance but their income may not be enough to cover all necessities and often, food is an easier sacrifice than rent. E2F3 has been so successful that three additional sites are now running in the Savannah area. With the addition of the partner sites, E2F3 is able to provide even more Savannahians with healthy food that may give them a reprieve from worrying about where their next meals are coming from and allow them to redirect their dollars towards paying an electricity bill or paying down a medical bill.

 

Free HIV Testing Events Scheduled for World AIDS Day (WAD)

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will offer two free HIV testing events on Saturday, December 1 in observance of World AIDS Day. Both events will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at these locations:

  • Walgreens, 2109 E. Victory Drive, Savannah
  • Walgreens, 4210 Augusta Road, Garden City

Testing is completely confidential and results will be available in one minute. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who tests positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals. The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Know Your Status.”

December 1 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Launched in 1988, the annual observance highlights worldwide efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. World AIDS Day is also an occasion to show support for those living with HIV and to remember those who have died from the infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate more than 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV today, and only 1 in 7 know it. Young people are the most likely to be unaware of their infection. Among people aged 13-24 with HIV, an estimated 51% don’t know it.

Georgia leads the United States in HIV rates for adults and adolescents according to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Coastal Health District HIV/AIDS program currently serves 1,398 clients living with HIV/AIDS throughout the eight-county district. As a reminder, HIV testing is free at all health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties and available Monday through Friday during regular health department hours of operation.

Anyone with questions about testing can call Diane DeVore at (912) 644-5828 or e-mail Diane.Devore@dph.ga.gov.

Learn more about HIV Prevention and how you can reduce risk.

Request for Proposals (Chatham County)

Sealed Request for Proposals/Request for Qualifications for the “Chatham County Health Department – space conversion for Dental Clinic” will be received by the Chatham County Health Department at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, Georgia 31406 until 2:00 p.m. local time on December 18, 2018.  The names of the respondents will be read aloud at 2:10 p.m. of the same day and no further proposals or request for qualifications will be accepted.  Qualifications will subsequently be opened and evaluated by the Department and the proposals submitted by qualified proposers/contractors shall be opened and read aloud at 2:45 p.m.  A mandatory pre-proposal conference with proposers/contractors is to occur on November 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the Health Department located at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, Georgia 31406. Get more details here:
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11-09-18 RFQ RFP.Final{3094484.1}

Chatham County Health Dept. to Hold Drive-Through Flu Vaccination Clinic Nov. 15

The Chatham County Health Department will hold a drive-through flu vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, at the parking lot across from Goodwill on Sallie Mood Drive in Savannah. Regular flu shots are $29 and high-dose flu shots – made especially to protect those 65 and older – are $55. Cash, checks, credit cards, most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare will be accepted.

The flu can cause mild to severe illness and getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the virus. Every flu season is different and we never know how bad a flu season is going to be or how long it’s going to last which is why it is important for everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine every year. It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for the vaccine to provide the body protection against the flu. While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information or to download the consent form ahead of time, go to www.gachd.org/chathamflu.

 

Diabetes Prevention Program Meeting Scheduled for Nov. 19 in Savannah

The Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program will hold National Diabetes Prevention Program kickoff meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m., on Monday, November 19, at the Coastal Health District administrative office located at 420 Mall Blvd. in Savannah.

There are more than 79 million Americans who have prediabetes and many do not know it. In Georgia alone, more than one million people have diabetes and about 44,000 Georgians are diagnosed with diabetes every year. People with prediabetes have blood glucose (sugar) levels higher than normal. The levels are not yet high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis; however, people with prediabetes are more likely to get type 2 diabetes than others. Diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of toes, feet, or legs. Even though prediabetes puts you at high risk, there are ways you can lower your chance of getting type 2 diabetes.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is focused on helping prediabetics avoid type 2 diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes. The Program is free and is designed so that participants receive support not only through a Lifestyle Coach but also from each other by sharing ideas, celebrating successes, and working to overcome obstacles. Participants at high risk for type 2 diabetes will learn how take steps to make positive, sustainable lifestyle changes.

Anyone seeking additional information about the Diabetes Prevention Program can contact Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Director, Cristina Gibson at 912-644-5818 or email cristina.gibson@dph.ga.gov.

 

Invitation to Bid on Security Services

The Chatham County Health Department in Savannah, Georgia, is soliciting competitive sealed bids from firms that are interested in and capable of providing Security Services; ITB # 2018-111.  The Invitation to Bid is for three properties; 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, GA, 107 Fahm Street, Savannah, GA and 1602 Drayton Street, Savannah, GA.  Packages can be obtained by contacting the Chatham County Health Department Administrator, Dr. Randy McCall, at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah Georgia (912)-356-2441.  There will be a mandatory pre-bid meeting on October 26, 2018 at 2 p.m. at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah, GA.  Interested parties are required to attend.  Bids are due on November 2, 2018 at 2 p.m. and must be submitted to Randy McCall, Administrator.  CHATHAM COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS THE AUTHORITY TO REJECT ALL BIDS AND WAIVE MINOR FORMALITIES.

HIV Medical Director Featured in MD Magazine

Medical Director and Principal Investigator for Coastal Health District’s HIV CARE clinics, Debbie P Hagins, MD, FAPCR, AAHIVS, recently lent her expertise to MD Magazine. Read the article here: First Efficacy Trials on Switch to RPV/FTC/TAF for HIV Yield Positive Results

Camden, Chatham, Long Counties Offer Free Mammogram Screenings

Health departments in Camden and Long counties will partner will Southeast Georgia Health System Breast Care Center to provide free mammogram screenings for women who meet eligibility guidelines. The screenings are provide through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP).

Camden County Health Department Mammogram Screening Information
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Friday, October 12
Camden Woods Shopping Center, 1601 State Hwy. 40 E., St. Kingsland

Long County Health Department Mammogram Screening Information
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday, October 16
IGA, U.S. Hwy. 84, Ludowici

Chatham County Health Department Mammogram Screening Information
9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday, October 22
Chatham County Health Department, 1602 Drayton Street, Savannah

Women who meet certain annual income guidelines and are 40-64 years of age without insurance will be eligible to receive a screening mammogram at no cost. No appointment necessary.  For more information, call the Camden County Health Department, the Long County Health Department, or or the Chatham County Health Department.

Flu Shots Start Sept. 24; Drive-thru/Walk-in Clinics Announced

Health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties will begin offering flu vaccine on Monday, September 24. Regular flu shots are $29 and high-dose flu shots – made especially to protect those 65 and older – are $55. Cash, checks, credit cards, most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare will be accepted.

To date, the following drive-through flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled:

Camden County
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, October 13
Lowe’s
1410 East Boone Ave., Kingsland

Glynn County
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 18
Glynn County Health Department
2747 Fourth Street, Brunswick

McIntosh County
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, October 30
McIntosh County Health Department
1335 GA Hwy. 57, Townsend

To date, the following walk-in flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled:

Long County
8 a.m. – 4  p.m.
Tuesday, October 30
584 N. Macon Street, Ludowici

The flu can cause mild to severe illness and getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the virus. Every flu season is different and we never know how bad a flu season is going to be or how long it’s going to last which is why it is important for everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine every year.

Last year’s flu season was particularly severe with widespread flu activity around the state of Georgia and throughout the country. Generally speaking, flu season starts in October and peaks around January or February but it’s not too early to get the flu vaccine. The duration of flu seasons varies but last year’s season lasted well into the Spring.

It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for the vaccine to provide the body protection against the flu. While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information or to download and fill out the consent form ahead of time, go to gachd.org/flu.