March feature story: Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership

Heathcare ClassicNorthwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership promotes healthy lifestyle awareness

Ever since the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership (NGHP) was formed more than two decades ago, promoting fitness and healthy lifestyle awareness has long been among its most important goals.

Whether that awareness comes through programs offered “on site,” via healthcare providers, or “out in the field,” so to speak, the NGHP is making a difference in the lives of thousands of area residents.

With temperatures beginning to warm and days beginning to lengthen, participants in at least two of the NGHP’s annually-sponsored events should soon be able to begin training for fitness events that are not only competitively challenging but can also be fun for the whole family.

The first event, the Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic, is a road race that takes place on Saturday, May 9, beginning and ending at the Bradley Wellness Center. A long-standing tradition in the region, the Healthcare Classic draws thousands of walkers and runners to compete in 2K/5K/ or 10K runs. The race is named in memory of Dr. Bill Gregory, a Dalton physician whose passion for living a healthy lifestyle was legendary.

For the second time in its history, the NGHP will sponsor Bike Around Murray, a bike race set for Saturday, September 5. This event is aimed toward Type II diabetes awareness. The race features several possible routes, all beginning along the beautiful foothills of Ft. Mountain, with one challenging route that includes the steep climb up the mountain.

And in the fall, residents are invited to attend the Erwin Mitchell Community Health Fair where they can gather information on various health issues and can make contact with area health professionals who are on hand to answer frequently asked questions concerning healthcare issues and to provide free health screenings. This year, the Health Fair is scheduled for Saturday, October 10.

The NGHP hosts these fitness and health awareness events as part of its larger mission to improve community health by identifying sustainable solutions to significant health issues via innovation, benchmarking and application of best practices.

Through its support of programs and events that promote a healthy lifestyle, the NGHP is making a difference in the lives of thousands of area residents.

For more information about the programs and work of the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership, feel free to contact Executive Director Greg Dent at (706) 272-6663.


Congrats Diplomat of the month: Zac Callahan

I took my first real job in the fall of 2008 as stockman/cashier at Kmart. My job was simple and paid well for a 16 year old with no bills. My job consisted of stocking shelves, retrieving buggies and occasionally running a cash register which was by far my favorite part of the job. I was only at Kmart for about 6 months; after that I started my own business with a friend as a project for school which turned into a good job for about a year. We ran a small scale landscaping company here in Dalton, mowing residential yards mainly. Working this job at 17 is when I figured out that I wanted to have a business of my own for the rest of my career…..just not in landscaping.

Zac Head Shot

Zac Callahan

Boost Advertising was a blessing in disguise to me. I give credit to Michael Williams, the owner of this company as well as a local realtor at Kinard Reality here in Dalton. Back in 2013, I had left my job at UPS to finish college and search for a better job. Unfortunately the only “better” job I got was hanging insulation in newly built homes…..not what I had in mind. This job was dreadful to say the least, but for the time being, it was a flexible schedule which worked well for school. In the fall of 2013 I began searching for an office job, something that would allow me to dress nice and make a difference using the tools I have studied in College. On December 1st 2013 I started my job at Liberty Tax as a Lead Marketer in Dalton. This was only a seasonal job through tax season; however this was merely for the good reference on my resume to further my career in business.  After tax season I acquired a job with a local production company that I am now part owner in, Loud Media Group, we offer installed sound, lighting, and video to local Churches here in Dalton. In August of 2014, my fiancée, Megan Bramblett, actually saw Michael’s post on Facebook, I believe the post read something similar to: “looking for a part time assistant, someone that is computer savvy and that can help run a business.”  I quickly responded which led to an interview where Michael and I shared our thoughts and views on life and decisions on how a business should run. A conversation I will never forget when a man that is so successful agreed with my thoughts on business, this really made a difference in my self-assurance….thank you Michael! After a few phone calls and a couple of weeks, this altogether led towards me taking the position as president at Boost Advertising.

Someone passed advice to me a long time ago that has always stuck “If you want to be a professional fisherman, then take advice and listen to a professional fisherman, not the man selling bait…” This made so much sense to me. If you want to be successful, listen to successful people. So I have done exactly that. Last year I started listening to man named Dave Ramsey, if you have not listen to him, I strongly suggest you do. This man primarily teaches people to be debt free, but he does so much more. One of the main quotes of his I live by is this “There is ultimately only one way to financial peace, and that is to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ”. This has proven to be true to me for a long time now and I would not have it any other way.

I enjoy not being trapped in an office all day. This job has allowed me to be out and about most every day. I probably walk into about 10 different businesses a day and I absolutely love it! The Chamber has also been a very resourceful tool. My target market is small and/or local business owners in Dalton, and the Chamber stays full of them. With all of the luncheons, ribbon cuttings, and connections, they help generate a lot of business and I am very appreciative of them.

If I had been asked a couple of years ago, where did I see myself in 2 years, I would have never imagined it would be this. I am happily engaged and looking forward to being married in May, run two great businesses that support our local community, and I play guitar in the worship band at my home church in Chatsworth, Total Praise Baptist Church.  I am less than 2 years from having a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and I cannot wait until I am finished. I absolutely could not ask for a better life. God has truly blessed me, and have truly been a faithful servant of Him.


March Green Article: North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation

logo image formatWhat only costs $4 a month and promotes cleaner, greener energy — Green Power Switch!

The Green Power Switch program is a partnership between North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (NGEMC) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Its purpose is simple: to support renewable energy through resources such as the wind, solar, and biomass.

A typical solar panel provides an average output of 150 kWh per month, per year. The average home in northwest Georgia uses about 1500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.

North Georgia EMC residential customers can buy Green Power in 150 kWh blocks. Each block adds $4 to the customer’s monthly power bill.  Customers may purchase as many blocks as they like. Keep in mind, this cost won’t change your monthly usage, it will be an addition to support green generation. Commercial and industrial customers can purchase Green Power as well. The only difference for these customers is the amount purchased is based on the total amount of electricity they use.

So, just why does Green Power cost a little more? Because while renewable resources like sunlight and wind are free, the technology used to capture the energy these resources produce is still more expensive than traditional power generation methods. By choosing to pay a little more for Green Power Switch, you help advance the technology and increase the amount of electricity generated from cleaner sources.

Joining the Green Power Switch is easy – as easy as flipping a light switch! Simply log on to or call your local North Georgia EMC at 706-259-9441.

Going green with Green Power Switch fosters positive relationships between the electricity we need to run our households and businesses with the environment we want to nurture.

Energy Savings Tips

  1. Be a good steward of your energy dollars – turn off lights, televisions and other appliances when they are not in use.
  1. It’s important to fill your clothes washer and dishwasher for each use. Full loads are most efficient.
  1. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED and CFLs throughout your home – they use 80% less energy and last 10 times longer.
  1. In the winter, lower temperatures in your home to around 68 degrees. In the summer, keep air conditioning set at 78 degrees or above.
  1. Replacing your heat pump filter regularly will not only improve the efficiency of your unit but it can even prolong its life. As a reminder, use your electric bill as a cue to change your filter each month.
  1. Do you have a room that stays colder because it is unprotected from cold winds? Try using caulk or weather-stripping to seal possible leaks around doors, windows and plumbing and wiring penetrations. To further slow bitter breezes, consider planting a windbreak of evergreen trees.
  1. If you have an electric water heater, you can save on water heating costs by installing aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads, taking shorter showers, washing clothes in cold water and lowering the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or lower.New, Awesome  Logo
  1. Cleaning time! Be sure to dust your fridge the next time you dust your house. Check the coils behind the refrigerator — and use a vacuum or duster to clean it off and keep costs down.
  1. Always clean your home’s dryer lint filter before every load to keep your dryer running efficiently.
  1. It’s best to keep your freezer full at all times. The fuller the freezer, the less cold air you lose when opening the door. Thus, you will save energy dollars!
  1. Remember to unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger.
  1. Make sure to insulate! Add insulation to your attic, crawl space and any accessible exterior walls.