Serious illness is not the only worry
you can have when sick
a family who went through all of this
Special to GwinnettForum
(Editor's Note: A two-year-long illness
in one Gwinnett family was not the only problem. The family had
numerous problems with medical facilities, including arguments
with nursing staff members and some poor care. Here is what this
family learned during this serious sickness. The name of this
family is kept anonymous, but what they learned needs to be known
by all. -eeb)
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga., Dec. 12, 2008 -- It is devastating when one
finds that they or a loved one has a serious illness, such as breast
cancer or a brain tumor. But what many of us don't realize until
perhaps much later is that the management of that illness from the
insurance and health care provider standpoint can be just as important
as the physician treatments for the illness itself.
Our family is fortunate in that my wife is successfully now in
recovery from a serious illness. After the course of this illness
over the past year or so, I would like to pass along some suggestions
which can make all the difference if you have a similar experience.
1. Never go to a hospital unless the doctor who is treating you
has privileges there. While this sounds simple and obvious since
your physician would not admit you to a place he (or she) does
not practice, realize that you might go to an emergency room your
doctor does not use. Or you might be transferred from one facility
to another where one or more of your doctors do not practice.
We have found that it is always best to drive a little farther,
and not let convenience of location play any role at all in hospital
2. Trust no one at the facility to always follow written or verbal
advice or instructions, even if it's posted on the patient's bedside
or their armband.
3. Be aware that quality of care relates to time of day. Although
not always true, shifts later in the day and on holidays may not
be as competently staffed as daytime hours. Avoid checking in
after 5 p.m. or on weekends or holidays, if you have that choice.
4. Always have someone stay with the patient, 24 hours a day,
regardless of what the staff says. Otherwise, no one knows what
may happen between midnight and 6 a.m. It is well worth it to
pay someone $15 an hour to cover at least one shift.
5. Anytime a nurse or technician comes in to give medicine to
the patient, not only ask what the medicine is, but look at the
pill to see if it is the proper one for that time frame.
6. Pay attention to left and right (arms, legs, etc.) Sometimes
a staffer may not know which one is which, or get mixed up and
think it does not apply. For instance, if the instruction says
'No sticks in right arm," some people do not recognize that
also means "No sticks in right hand."
7. Be aware that there are many friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable
people who truly care, at most facilities. You just have to find
out which ones they are.
8. Be aware that the 'On-call' doctors do not have you medical
history. It is your responsibility to repeat it each time, regardless
of how many times you've repeated it.
9. Remember the staff is there to serve you, not the other way
10. Be nice to everyone, regardless of what happens. It will
make everything go better. Treat all with courtesy and respect.
Oh, and one more thing. Check your facility, physician and hospital
bills for at least a year after you are discharged. The lack of
communication in this area is astounding.
State should address segregation at three
Editor and Publisher
DEC. 12, 2008 --- Ever since the 1960s, Georgia has made progress
at tearing down the walls of segregation.
It was January, 1961, when the University of Georgia enrolled two
African American students, Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes,
amid much fanfare. There was little national publicity seven months
later, when Georgia Tech admitted three African American students.
While this progress at the state level was going on, nearly all
local public schools were still segregated. It wasn't until 1973
that the Atlanta schools were desegregated. Dr. Alonzo Crim became
Atlanta school superintendent, the first black person to head a
major city in the south. He remained in the job for 15 years, and
was a forceful figure in that position. Over the next few years,
segregation was slowly eliminated at public schools, and at state
universities. Today segregation is no longer practiced in our public
One small corner of segregation still exists in the state. It is
in the operation by the Georgia Board of Regents of three primarily
black state universities: Savannah State, Albany State and Fort
Today total enrollment is 282,978 in our state colleges, of which
69,700 is black. But some 10,051 black students attend three primarily
black universities. (See table.)
While Georgia schools universally accept students from all races
who qualify, enrollment at these three former black universities
has a limited number of white students. Though technically not segregated,
primarily these universities have black students, black instructors
and black administrators. This practice, in effect, of segregation
in reverse. And as such, these universities are both a throwback
to another era, and an embarrassment to the state, since the state
basically condones this segregation.
Recently, coming to question this practice is Sen. Seth Harp, chairman
of the Senate Higher Education Committee, who wants to merge these
schools with other nearby universities. Senator Harp wants them
to merge, however, for the wrong reason: money. Instead, the state
ought to move to re-structure these schools in order to remove the
old practice of segregation.
Harp suggests the merger of Savannah State with nearby Armstrong
Atlantic State. He suggests merging four-year Albany State with
Darton College, a two year institution. While some have said that
Fort Valley State is not located geographically close to another
college for merger, it is relatively close to two-year Macon College.
What Senator Harp should concentrate on is not the economic side
of a merger. He should note that since these colleges are virtually
all-black, state support for such a segregated institution should
be halted. Segregation, we all agree, is against the law. The fact
that these colleges operate as de facto segregated institutions
should have sent up signals years ago.
Historically black Georgia colleges such as Morehouse, Spellman,
Clark and Morris Brown are also mostly segregated. But there is
a difference. These schools are private, not state-supported. Continuing
to funnel state monies to segregated public schools primarily black
is not in keeping with today's times, nor in tune with its laws.
We applaud the many years that state-supported black colleges provided
a path to higher education for many black Georgians. Their heritage
is secure. But now is the time to move away from sanctioned segregated
practices. Complete merging of these schools with other institutions
is in the best interest for the people of Georgia.
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Editor's Note: Cartoonist Bill McLemore remains hospitalized,
though he is expected to be transported soon (if not by now) to
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Please continue to pray
for his recovery.
of Lilburn seeking applicants for "Lilburn 101" program
The City of Lilburn is seeking applications for its new program,
Lilburn 101. The program will give an inside view of the City of
Lilburn and each city department. Included in the program will be
tours and activities, which will ensure an interactive experience
Deadline for applications is February 6, 2009; however, the program
is limited to the first 15 applicants. Applications can be found
online at www.CityofLilburn.com
or may be picked up in-person at Lilburn City Hall. There is no
charge for participation in Lilburn 101. Applicants must be 18 years
of age or older.
Each session will be approximately two hours long and will begin
at 6:30 PM. Dates for the sessions will be February 10, March 3,
and 17, April 7 and 21.
Ticket cost is $80
to hear Bannister's State of County address
With the start of the New Year come new beginnings, new predictions,
and new outlooks for 2009. On January 15, Gwinnett County Board
of Commissioners Chairman Charles Bannister will give the 2009 "State
of the County" address, hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
and the Council for Quality Growth.
Chairman Bannister will review the County's 2008 achievements and
lay out his vision for 2009 and beyond. Those in attendance will
get an overview on the County's efforts in economic development,
revitalization, public safety, and transportation, and find out
how the County is working to improve the overall quality of life
for Gwinnett citizens.
Cost of the meeting is $80 per person for members of the Chamber
or Council, and $100 per person for non members. For more information,
click here, or contact Nicole Wright at email@example.com
Car Boot Sales for Dec. 13 downtown
Because of rain on November 29, the Car Boot Sale in Downtown Duluth
has been rescheduled for Saturday, December 13 from 9 a.m. until
noon. A car boot sale is a British tradition where people gather
to sell items from the boot (trunk) of their car. It's similar to
a garage sale, yard sale, flea market or swap meet.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be shopping for great bargains on holiday
decorations, tableware, china, crystal, table linens, toys, clothes
and home furnishings on Historic Main Street. Come with tote bags
and wear comfy shoes!
Those wanting to be a seller and turn your unwanted treasures into
cash bring a $5 donation to benefit Downtown Duluth and a trunk
full of treasures. Items not sold may be donated to a charity or
consigned at one of the local shops. There's no need to take anything
The location of the sale is the paved lot on Main Street directly
across from the Festival Center and Amphitheater. For more information
contact Elizabeth Rudin at 678-475-3512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMC offers 3 scholarships for $1,000 each
Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is currently taking
applications for three scholarship awards based on academic ability,
faculty recommendations and financial need. Winners will be chosen
by a scholarship committee, which will carefully review each application
for the most qualified candidates.
The Walter Harrison Scholarship is named for a leader in the state
and national electric cooperative movements. Several of these $1,000
scholarships are awarded statewide to undergraduate students enrolled
in or accepted by a Georgia college, university or technical school.
Jackson EMC also offers two additional $1,000 awards through the
A.T. Sharpton Scholarship program, named in honor of a late chairman
of the Jackson EMC Board of Directors. The A.T. Sharpton-Gainesville
State College Award is available exclusively to students planning
to attend Gainesville State College. Financial need is a primary
consideration, but judges will also consider academic average, standardized
test scores and/or faculty recommendations.
The A.T. Sharpton Unrestricted Scholarship Award is funded through
the same trust and is available to high school seniors who have
already been accepted to college, or students who are currently
enrolled in an accredited college, university or technical college.
Applicants may be full or part-time students at the undergraduate
or graduate level in any accredited two or four-year college or
university in the nation. Financial need, academic average, standardized
test scores and/or faculty recommendations are all considered by
Scholarship recipients must be a customer of Jackson EMC or the
son or daughter of a customer, and they must also be a resident
of the home served by Jackson EMC. Students interested in applying
for any or all of these scholarships should contact their area high-school
guidance counselors or complete the application online at the Jackson
EMC Web site. The deadline for applications is January 28, 2009.
For more information about Jackson EMC's scholarship programs or
to learn more about the company's commitment to the community, please
contact Kay Parks, public/community relations representative at
Duluth City Hall to
get former mayors' photographs
Photographer Wallace Reid of Wallace Reid Portraiture and Judy
Wilson (right) of the Duluth Historical Society have presented photographs
of four former mayors to the city, shown with current Mayor Nancy
Harris. The photos, which were obtained through a recent photo contest
and from families, include a photo of the first female mayor in
Georgia, Alice Strickland who served from 1922 to 1923, top center.
Others include Mack Pittard, who served from 1911-1914, H.G. Herron,
from 1930 to 1931; and Marlon Corley, who served from the late 60's
to early 70's. The prints will be hung on the "Wall of Mayors"
in City Hall.
- An invitation: What
Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your
best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have
read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus
what book you plan to read next. --eeb
Georgia Women of
Achievement honors 59 by 2007
Women of Achievement, a statewide organization, is dedicated
to publicizing, researching, and providing educational materials
about the accomplishments of outstanding women in Georgia history.
The need for such an organization was first suggested in 1988 by
former first lady Rosalynn Carter, and two years later a group of
Wesleyan College alumnae and other influential Georgians founded
Georgia Women of Achievement. Inductees at the first ceremony in
March 1992 were Martha Berry, Lucy Craft Laney, Juliette Gordon
Low, Sara Branham Matthews, and Flannery O'Connor. A total of 59
women had been honored by 2007.
Nominees for Georgia Women of Achievement must meet the criteria
established by a board of selections that includes historians, teachers,
and leaders in the field of Georgia history. Nominees must have
been deceased for at least ten years, and they must also be native
to or clearly identified with Georgia, have made exceptional contributions,
and possess a life story that inspires others to make use of their
own talents. Nominations from organizations and individuals are
accepted before the first of October each year; the board of selections
reviews all nominations a year in advance.
The organization's projects include a Web site, a traveling exhibit
featuring many of the honorees, a speakers' bureau, resource guides
for middle and high school teachers (approximately 1,000 were distributed
in 2006), and an annual induction ceremony. In March, which is women's
history month, the organization holds a ceremony, usually at Wesleyan
College in Macon, to formally induct the outstanding women selected
for that year. Beginning in 2002, videos featuring honorees' biographies,
photos, and artifacts were added to the program. Middle and high
school students attend the ceremony; they are sponsored by local
companies at no cost to the students.
At the core of Georgia Women of Achievement's mission is its Web
site, an online museum devoted to the honorees; the museum "space"
is where visitors can discover the remarkable life stories of outstanding
When you get there,
ah, the view!
"It is easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is from
-- British Author Arnold Bennett (1867-1931).
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