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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.

Time to get a flu shot

Time to get a flu shot

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Flu season will be here before we know it, and the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Immunization Clinic is going mobile in an effort to help citizens combat the virus.

In addition to offering flu vaccinations to everyone six months and older at all public health centers, CDPH is giving them at local workplaces and events for groups of 20 or more people.

"We are committed to ensuring everyone is properly protected, so we're encouraging community members to walk in to one of our many clinic locations. However, we're also ready and willing to come to any group in Cobb or Douglas County that has 20 or more people who'd like to get immunized," said Karen Thomas, district immunization director for CDPH.

This year's flu vaccine costs $20.

SMYRNA: Eye-popping surgery saves vision

SMYRNA: Eye-popping surgery saves vision

SMYRNA, Ga. -- Summertime and, if you are an Atlanta opthamologist, the livin' is not easy.

Eye injuries this time of the year are as prevalent as pop up thunderstorms.

Now that's the bad news, but there is good news if you get injured.

The advancements in surgery are dazzling.

Dr. Steve Hamilton of Eye Consultants of Atlanta was preparing to perform a remarkable surgery.

He was going to reconstruct the destroyed eye of a Decatur mother struck by a flying rock from a lawnmower.

Dr. Hamilton said, "I'm going to replace her cornea, and I am going to give her a lens again with an implant. But this implant is unique. It also restores her iris tissue, which was lost from the injury."

Corneal transplants and iris implants restore vision and the cosmetic look for the patient.

All this was unimaginable in the past.

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.

French Farmers' Market-Inspired Lavender Vanilla Caramel Flan

French Farmers' Market-Inspired Lavender Vanilla Caramel Flan


It’s been 2 years since I’ve been to France. 2 years too long. For me, France perfectly epitomizes a beautiful life. Its rich culture, classical art, immense history and chic lifestyle make it a country I’d easily live in.

And that was that plan I had committed to earlier this year. More on that later, but let’s just say my non-stop American hustle has arrested my plans in motion for the time being and so any dream of making Paris or any central France my home for an enviable amount of time is on the backburner.

Back-to-school vaccines recommended for everyone

Back-to-school vaccines recommended for everyone