Keeping Members Informed

Through long-standing relationships with the community and media, GHA works to tell the story of hospitals and the important role they play in their communities. Our staff also works to keep our members informed of current events in health care at the state and federal level. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

GHA Monitoring Flu Activity

Jan. 17, 2019 ATLANTA -The Georgia Hospital Association is working closely with hospitals to monitor flu activity. Although Georgia has been classified as a high-risk state by the CDC, at this time last year, the number of patients requiring flu treatment was higher, according to GHA members. Overall, the flu has had minimal impact on hospitals’ day-to-day activity, and aside from changes in visitation policies, hospital activity overall remains normal. With last year’s flu season being the worst in a decade, hospitals are well-prepared for a busy flu season.

Flu shots are available, and the CDC recommends getting vaccinated early. This helps stop the spread of the virus and protects seniors and infants who are highly vulnerable to the flu. Precautionary measures such as frequent hand-washing and covering coughs can help stop the spread of flu.

GHA encourages patients to call their health care providers if they are concerned about an illness and to carefully assess symptoms. Individuals who think they may have the flu should follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for when to go to the hospital. As stated on the CDC website, symptoms in adults that warrant an emergency room visit include trouble breathing, chest pain, and persistent vomiting. Those who do not have the flu, but go to the ER, risk catching it from those who do. However, anyone who is concerned about a serious or life-threatening illness should go to the ER.

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Keeping Georgia's Motorists Safe: Georgia Hands-Free Act

June 28, 2018 ATLANTA - On July 1, drivers in Georgia will see a new law enacted that was passed by the Georgia General Assembly in the hope of saving lives and eliminating senseless vehicle accidents.

House Bill 673, signed into law by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal in May, requires the use of hands-free technology and prohibits motorists from handling their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. Additionally, headsets and earpieces will be allowed for communication purposes only and cannot be used for listening to music. Reading and sending text messages is also prohibited. The complete law can be found on the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website and highlights of the bill can be found on the Heads UP Georgia website.

“We are especially pleased with this legislation and anticipate that this law will prevent tragic vehicle accidents, saving many lives,” said Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) President Earl Rogers. “GHA testified in support of this bill during Georgia’s 2018 legislative session because distracted driving is the cause of hundreds of avoidable motor vehicle accidents and the loss of precious lives. Our hospitals have treated thousands of patients from vehicle accidents that could have been prevented. We sincerely thank Rep. John Carson and salute all the legislative sponsors and supporters of this bill for their efforts in protecting Georgia’s motorists.”

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, 674 fatalities have already occurred this year on Georgia roadways. Last year, 1,549 fatalities were reported.

Vehicle accidents have put a severe strain on hospitals and are the second leading cause for emergency room visits.

“As a Level I trauma center in Georgia, we see an extremely high amount of vehicle crash victims. Our emergency room personnel have treated far too many injuries caused by distracted drivers,” said Grady Memorial Hospital CEO and GHA Chair-Elect John Haupert. “I applaud our state lawmakers for their efforts in making our roadways safer and protecting families from losing their loved ones.”


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