The Pulse

Commentary: A threat to men’s lives

For men over the age of 50, prostate cancer is a real danger.


Dr. Vahan Kassabian

Yet it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves, according to a new GHN Commentary.

Atlanta physicians Vahan Kassabian, Bradley Carthon  and Peter Rossi write that “except for skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most prevalent malignancy among men.”

They give guidance on what men should know about the disease – the risk factors and early detection.

Here’s a link to their Commentary.

Georgia Health News welcomes Commentary submissions. If you would like to propose a Commentary piece for Georgia Health News, please email Andy Miller, editor of GHN, at

Grady jumps into bidding for Southern Regional

Acting just before a looming deadline, Grady Memorial Hospital Corp. has launched a surprise bid to acquire financially ailing Southern Regional Medical Center, Clayton County’s sole hospital.

Southern Regional Medical Center

Southern Regional Medical Center

The Grady proposal, valued at more than $20 million, sets up a bidding war between Grady and Prime Healthcare Foundation for the 331-bed Riverdale hospital and related assets.

California-based Prime signed a letter of intent in July to purchase the hospital, and that agreement was followed by the owner of Southern Regional filing for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Grady submitted its bid for Southern Regional on Friday, the last possible day for additional offers to be made. A bankruptcy court Wednesday moved the date of an auction for Southern Regional to next Wednesday, allowing the Grady bid to move forward.

Grady still needs approval of its corporate board in a vote that will take place Tuesday, in order for its bid to go to auction. full story

Suwanee medical school starting PA program

The Georgia campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has been approved to launch a physician assistant program.

GAPCOM-logo (2)The two-year master’s degree program will begin next June, with 20 students in the first class. The Georgia campus of PCOM is in Suwanee, a northeastern suburb of Atlanta.

Physician assistants practice medicine with supervision by licensed physicians, delivering a range of medical services in a variety of settings.

The number of PAs in Georgia has increased by 67 percent over the past 10 years, now surpassing 3,000. Still, experts say there’s a shortage of them in the state. full story

State: Can’t confirm cancer cluster in Waycross area

State public health officials said Monday that based on their initial analysis, unusual childhood cancer cases in the Waycross area do not constitute a cancer cluster.

Ware County

Ware County

Relatives and community members in the southeast corner of Georgia have reported three childhood sarcoma cases in Ware County and one in a neighboring county that were diagnosed within two months of one another this summer.

The cancers revived fears in the community that there is a connection to where they live, and raised fears of a link to industrial contamination in the Waycross area.  (Here’s a link to a recent GHN story on the cancers.)

Cherie Drenzek, the state epidemiologist, said in a conference call with community members Monday that the four cases were confirmed as cancers, but that because they were in different counties, they were not geographically clustered together.

“None of the four cancers have known environmental causes,’’ Drenzek said, adding that not all four were the same type of cancer. One of them, Drenzek added, was diagnosed a year ago. full story

Kaiser scores another annual top rating in Georgia

Kaiser Permanente is again Georgia’s top-rated health plan in commercial insurance, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

photo.jpgIt’s the 11th straight year that Kaiser, a nonprofit, got NCQA’s No. 1 rating among commercial health plans in the state.

The NCQA rankings use a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 being the highest.

The 2015-2016 ratings also put Kaiser as the leader among Medicare insurers in Georgia – the only one operating in the state to achieve a 5 score. full story

Consumer Corner

‘Drugged driving’ on the rise

More Americans are under the influence of drugs while they drive, even as drunk driving rates decline.

Around the State

St. Francis, LifePoint OK deal

St. Francis Hospital officials announce its board has reached an agreement in principle to sell the hospital to a subsidiary of LifePoint Health.

Read the full article:
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Air freshener incident

The CEO of a local child care franchise has asked the state to open an investigation after an employee was caught on camera spraying air freshener in the faces of two children.

Read the full article:

$3 million fraud case

Atlanta companies will pay $3 million to resolve allegations they submitted false claims to the Medicare program for hospice patients who were not terminally ill.

Read the full article:
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coke to tweak drink labels

Coca-Cola will tweak the labeling for Vitaminwater to settle a lawsuit that it was making misleading health claims about the drinks.

Read the full article:
Associated Press

Athens nurse not indicted

A Clarke County grand jury declined to indict a nurse who was accused of sexually assaulting a patient who was under anesthesia at an Athens hospital.

Read the full article:
Athens Banner-Herald


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