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Health & Wellness

Health and wellness tips, information and reviews of products and local professionals to help you get in great shape!

Tips to keep your family safe in the pool


Memorial Day signals the start of summer and also marks the opening of community, neighborhood and backyard swimming pools in East Cobb. Drownings can happen any time of the year but parents and caregivers need to be particularly vigilant during warmer months, when the number of drownings skyrockets. The majority of pool-related incidents occur at backyard, apartment complex and subdivision swimming pools. Many of these facilities are “swim at your own risk” and require extra diligence from parents and caregivers.

In 2014, Cobb County firefighters responded to 17 drowning or near-drowning incidents. Though these numbers are down from 47 in 2011, safety officials say one is too many and all are preventable.

Officials attribute this decrease to aggressive public awareness campaigns. A technique called “Water Watcher” strives to designate a responsible adult who agrees to watch out for pool patrons, especially children in the water. The idea is to periodically rotate the duties to another responsible adult, so as not to be intrusive on any one person. This is particularly important in situations where the pool becomes crowded or when there is no lifeguard provided. In order to stay safe and enjoy the summer, safety officials suggest following simple pool safety rules:

SUPERVISE: Never take your eyes off children in and around the water.
USE BARRIERS: Fences, with self-closing/self-latching gates and secured doors with alarms, can prevent young children from wandering into the pool.
AVOID ENTRAPMENT: Suction from a pool’s drain is so powerful it can trap an adult underwater. Be sure to check for and replace a missing or broken drain cover.
LEARN TO SWIM: To stay safe in the water, all family members should learn how to swim. Those who cannot swim should wear approved floatation devices.
KNOW HOW TO RESPOND: Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills.

For additional information on water safety, visit


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Take a tour of WellStar East Cobb Health Park’s New Outpatient Surgery



The new outpatient surgery center at WellStar East Cobb Health Park will open July 1. The community is invited to get a sneak peak of the state-of-the-art facility during tours on Saturday, June 6 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Bringing an outpatient surgery center to East Cobb is a result of WellStar’s commitment to create innovative healthcare solutions that bring healthcare close to home.

WellStar East Cobb Health Park is located at 3747 Roswell Road NE in Marietta, Ga. No R.S.V.P. is required to attend the free event.


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Stay safe this summer


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Summer Safety Tips, focus on five aspects of summer safety that parents and children can practice to ensure a safe and healthy summer. The list includes helpful advice to promote water, travel & play, sun & skin, heat and fireworks safety.

“Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children age 14 and under,” said James Fortenberry, M.D., Pediatrician-in-Chief, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “Summer is an exciting time for kids. With that excitement comes an added responsibility for parents and children to educate themselves on what they can do to ensure a safe and healthy summer.”

Children’s has created a special section of their website dedicated to summer safety awareness. Parents can visit to educate themselves and their children on ways to have a safe and healthy summer. The tips include:

  • Water Safety – Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death of children age 14 and under. Practicing water safety including boat, pool, swimming, life jacket and general water safety can help prevent this.
  • Play & Travel Safety – The summer season brings more time outside and on the road. Keep your family safe by practicing safe play and travel tips like following road rules on a bike or properly buckling your children while in the car.
  • Sun & Skin Safety – Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that can spread rapidly to different parts of the body, accounts for up to three percent of pediatric cancer. Protect your kids by taking measures to prevent sunburn, and by understanding the potentially permanent effects of excessive sun exposure.
  • Heat Safety – Each year, young athletes and children die from heat-related illness, which is completely preventable. Know the signs of heat illness, keep kids hydrated while playing outside, and understand how to protect babies and young children from the heat.
  • Fireworks Safety – When it comes to fireworks safety, stick to the professionals and keep kids away. Doing so can prevent burns, the most common fireworks injury.

“We see an increase in emergency department visits during the summer months due to unintentional injuries that can be prevented by taking a few extra safety precautions,” said Dr. Fortenberry. “Summer should be a fun and active time for families, not spent in the hospital.”

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Community rallies for ill cheerleader with #SeckmanStrong

Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Normally healthy and active, Walton High School senior Cara Seckman fell ill earlier this month.

“I actually was in a meeting with her mom […] when Cara called her at the meeting and said she was feeling so much worse and Lauren [Seckman] left to take her to the doctor and they rushed her to the hospital.” said Walton cheerleading coach Roberta Manheim.

Seckman’s best friend, Rachel Friday, said they originally thought it was just mononucleosis.

“They found out it was something more serious,” said Friday, who cheered with Seckman. “So, obviously that was really hard to hear.”

Doctors diagnosed Seckman with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH.  The rare disease affects a patient’s immune system and causes some white blood cells to attack red blood cells.

Jeter Weiss, who knows Seckman through Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, said he was shocked when he learned of her diagnosis.

“My jaw dropped and I just didn’t really know what to think,” recalled Weiss.

He said he was inspired to do something for Seckman after attending a prayer vigil for her at church.  So, he went to a website called and designed t-shirts using #SeckmanStrong to raise money for the family.

The Seckmans, Weiss said, were thankful for the support and have decided to donate the money to research.

“They are so selfless that they don’t want to take this money and just keep it for themselves.  They want to spread it so other people don’t have to go through this and other parents don’t have to see their kids suffer the way Cara has,” said Weiss.

Seckman is improving with the help of chemotherapy and a community full of cheerleaders.

“She is getting better and that’s a positive sign and I think that’s the power of positive thinking and prayer and it comes from these people, these students who were willing to give of themselves and do everything they could to make that happen,” said Manheim.



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Discover The Chakra Connection


When’s the last time you tried to control how your heart pumps or your lungs breathe? How often to you think about that? We don’t give it a second thought.

Isn’t it ironic…. that the things that sustain us and give us life we have no problem letting go of? What we really want is to be free. To be liberated from the pain.

On Tuesday May 19th, attend The Chakra Connection from 7-8:30pm and open up your life to the infinite and abundant possibilities that exist when you surrender and let go. Cost to attend is $20. Class held in East Cobb at Women’s Premier Fitness, 4961 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, Ga. 30068.

After the talk, the class will continue with gentle yoga poses for all levels of experience and a meditation bringing awareness to the energy of The Crown Chakra and how it impacts your overall health and well-being. To register contact Mindy Strich at (678) 642-7771 or e-mail or visit


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WellStar offers No-Fee Cancer Support Group


WellStar invites all breast cancer survivors at any stage to participate in a monthly support group. The group will provide an opportunity to share experiences with other survivors, tips and resources to manage your health, relationships, emotional and social well-being.

For more no-fee cancer support programs at WellStar, download their May/June schedule of events.


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New infusion center at WellStar provides nurturing environment for cancer care



WellStar Health System opened a new state-of-the-art Outpatient Infusion Center at Kennestone Hospital this May, providing patients undergoing chemotherapy with a higher level of comfort, amenities and emotional support during their cancer treatments.

Located on the WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center campus, the infusion center capacity expanded by 25 percent. Twenty motorized, reclining chairs better accommodate patients and help minimize wait times. In the future, the space can expand to accommodate up to 25 patients at a time.

The 6,600 square-foot area is divided into semi-private nursing bays, each with a nurse dedicated to four patients. Each patient area includes a media cabinet, adjustable lighting and a closet for personal belongings. Also, with the new expanded space, there is room for visitors to accompany patients during their treatment, providing patients with comfort and support.

“The new Outpatient Infusion Center at Kennestone Hospital was designed with the patient in mind,” said Joel Helmke, vice president of oncology services. “We made sure that our patients not only have access to the most advanced treatments and technology, but there is enough room for family and visitors. Having someone there to hold your hand can provide healing and assures patients they are not alone in their fight against cancer.”

Patients have benefitted from changes, large and small in the new space.

“They have put so much thought into the new center,” said Sherry Reid, a patient undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer who only has two infusion treatments remaining. “I won’t be here much longer, but the improvements have made it so much nicer. There’s a light over the chair with a dimmer and a flat screen TV. The volume comes out of a speaker in the handheld remote instead of the TV which makes for a more peaceful environment.

“I would have really benefitted from some of the updates when I first started infusion treatments,” she continued. “There are automatic doors, so you don’t have to pull the door open. You don’t have to manually adjust the chairs now because they’re motorized. They really thought of everything when they planned this space for people with cancer.”

The new infusion center is conveniently located in building 340, just steps from the Cancer Center parking deck.


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Kaiser Permanente Offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings


If the warm weather has you spending more time outdoors, don’t forget to protect your skin.  Sun exposure remains the leading cause of skin cancer. If found and treated early, skin cancer can often be cured.

In recognition of National Skin Cancer Screening Month, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is offering free screenings to help detect skin cancer at the earliest stage. The screenings are open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 from 8am-3pm in two locations:

  • Kaiser Permanente TownPark Comprehensive Medical Center 750 TownPark Lane, Kennesaw
  • Kaiser Permanente Sandy Springs Medical Center 1100 Lake Hearn Drive NE, Suite 500, Sandy Springs

Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis. Appointments are not required. For directions, visit and click on the “Locate our Services” tab.


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May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health America (MHA) kicks off its annual observance of May is Mental Health Month and marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of MHA’s online screening tools. In just one year, almost 350,000 screens have been taken for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—an average of almost 1,000 screens per day. In the coming month, MHA will launch three additional screens for alcohol and substance use, youth (ages 11-17), and parents who are concerned about their children’s mental health.

For over 65 years, MHA and their affiliates across the country have led the observance of May is Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental health and mental illness. Addressing mental health before Stage 4—this year’s theme for the month—calls attention to the importance addressing mental health symptoms early, identifying potential underlying diseases, and planning an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.

“When we think about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them,” says Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA. “We start before Stage 4—we begin with prevention. So why don’t we do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness? Like other diseases, mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process—before Stage 4.”

Research shows that not recognizing symptoms of mental health conditions causes people to wait an average of ten years to seek treatment, during which time symptoms often worsen. Intervening effectively during early stages of mental illness can save lives and change the trajectories of people living with mental illnesses. MHA launched last May its online screening tools at and the results are staggering:

• Almost 350,000 individuals have taken screens for depression, anxiety, bipolar and PTSD
• 75 percent of the screeners are women
• 71 percent are between the ages of 18-34
• 71 percent of those who took the anxiety screen tested moderate to severe
• 58 percent of those who took the depression screen tested moderate/severe or severe

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, visit MHA’s website at

Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based non-profit dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. MHA is driven by their commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care and treatment for those who need it, with recovery as the goal.


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Register for summer fitness classes at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church


Registration is LIVE for Summer JF Fitness that starts May 18! They are offering a lot of new and great options. Choose from 58 classes with superb instructors, childcare and more. All for just $3.75 a class!

For class offerings, more information and registration, visit


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