Monday, February 29, 2016

Fulton County Citizens Have a Cup of “Coffee with a Cop”

The Fulton County Police Department Special Services Unit hosted their second “Coffee with a Cop” meet and greet at the Krystal on Old National Highway in South Fulton Wednesday, February 24, 2016.   Citizens were able to enjoy a free cup of coffee while speaking with police officers and their Supervisor Captain Hattie Cotton-Tukes (top photo – left) from the Special Services Unit of the Fulton County Police Department.  

“Coffee with a Cop” is just one of the one of the community policing initiatives that we will be introducing to the South Fulton community this year,” said Chief Gary Stiles. 

The informal Coffee with a Cop gatherings offer opportunities for citizens to get to know the officers that serve them and to express their personal concerns about safety and crime in their neighborhoods.   The gathering at Krystal  was the second to be hosted by the Department.   

The first was held recently at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Old National Highway.   The final two gatherings will be held at the following locations.

March 14, 2016 – 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
5134 Old National Highway
College Park, GA 30349  

March 16, 2016 – 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
6055 Old National Highway
College Park, GA 30349

Coffee with A Cop was launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011, following a brainstorming session. Members of the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day. In less than three years, Coffee with a Cop events have been hosted in more than 2,000 communities, in 49 states and is one of the most successful Community Oriented Policing Programs across the country.

For more information about Coffee with a Cop contact Captain Hattie Cotton-Tukes at 404-612-5310 or Officer Roderick Pittman Delancey at 404-613-4753.

Citizens in need of reasonable accommodations due to a disability, including communications in an alternative format, should contact the Disability Liaison in the Fulton County Police Department at 404-613-0754. To obtain Georgia Relay Access, citizens should dial 711.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Registration Now Open for Fulton County Citizens' University 2016

Registration is now underway for Fulton County’s Citizens University 2016. This program in its twelfth year, offers residents the opportunity to try their hand as government finance managers, tax commissioners, police officers and other officials. The registration deadline is March 18, 2016.

For the past decade, Fulton County Citizens’ University has provided residents with a first-hand look at how their county government operates and how decisions are made. The 2016 theme is “All People…One Fulton.”

The 12-week program offers interactive “real world” classes that acquaint participants with the inner workings of Fulton County government.   Students receive the opportunity to set a budget, tour County facilities, go behind the scenes with police officers, experience the challenges encountered by firefighters as they save lives, and more. During the course, students will meet with County department directors to learn how their departments serve citizens.

The classes take place on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from April 7 through June 23, 2016. During the final class session, students will participate in a graduation ceremony.

Citizens’ University began in April 2004 to help citizens understand County government operations in areas such as taxes, spending and finance, police and fire training and community zoning policies.  

There is a $40 registration fee that helps offset expenses, course materials and a class shirt.   The class is limited to 30 participants, with priority given to Fulton County residents.   Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the 2017 program.

The program is managed by the Fulton County Department of External Affairs. For more information, call 404-612-8300 or email Interested citizens can also visit for details.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Minds Expand And Muscles Flex at 2016 Active Living Summit

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program’s Active Living Summit, held on February 5, 2016, attracted more than 80 research, policy, education, health and urban planning professionals and community organization members who learned about new tools and winning strategies for combatting chronic health problems and encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.

The half-day event also featured a preview of the Environment, Health and Livability Dashboard for County municipalities, as well as an informative panel discussion on “Strategies for Implementing Effective Policy, Systems and Environmental Change.” A dozen exhibitors also provided demonstrations and dispensed product samples and information that promoted healthy lifestyles.

 Interim County Health Director Dr. David Sarnow, along with PICH Program Administrator Lisa Goodin and Monique Eppinger, Senior Management Policy Analyst for County Commissioner Joan Garner, welcomed the audience and discussed their mission not only to address public health problems but also to help prevent them. They applauded the PICH Program for producing the Summit, calling it an effective vehicle for disseminating prevention advice to practitioners and residents. 
Following opening remarks, Robin Parson, a fitness and recreation specialist with the Health and Wellness Department bounded onto the stage at the Georgia Institute of Technology Student Center Ballroom and led a rousing interactive exercise demonstration.

The Dashboard preview was presented by Dr. Nisha Botchwey, Associate Professor in the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Institute of Technology, who leads the team developing the database in partnership with the Fulton County PICH Program. Before offering a glimpse of the dashboard contents and its functions, Dr. Botchwey engaged the audience in a discussion of the role built and outdoor environmental conditions play in maintaining overall good health. She also stressed that access to current health data and trends is essential to developing sensible and effective health policy and systems-change strategies.

Here are some key takeaways of the panel discussion, moderated by Renee Autumn Ray of the Atlanta Regional Commission. 

Rob Brawner of the Atlanta Beltline Partnership showcased the progress to date and future goals for the multi-use urban development, including a plan for transforming many thoroughfares into Complete Streets that will allow pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities to access, use and share the roadways safely. Brawner told the audience that the Partnership values input from neighborhood and community groups as well as experts to understand what’s relevant and effective when planning new projects, in order to achieve desirable cultural, environmental and behavioral changes and to improve quality of life.

Melinda Pruitt of the Fulton County Department of Aging and Youth Services described several successful strategies the agency has deployed to change attitudes and build enthusiasm for adopting healthier behaviors. They include the active involvement of youngsters serving as influencers among their peers and within their families. The Department also conducts healthy cooking demonstrations for faith-based groups, creates healthy-recipe cookbooks for families and distributes healthy-eating coloring books for kids to encourage lifestyle changes.

Debra Kibbe from Georgia State University’s Georgia Health Policy Center described a childhood obesity model that helps inform the complex effort involved in successfully informing legislators about how their funding decisions may impact childhood obesity prevalence in the long-term. 

She also discussed how Fulton County Schools are implementing professional development and innovative physical education curricula to improve moderate to vigorous physical activity. “Schools vary in their readiness to adopt the instruction strategies and resources,” she said. “When starting, we had to make our case on a classroom-by-classroom basis.” Her advice to others embarking on broad policy and program changes: Don't start from scratch, find existing policies and programs, and adopt them so they are replicable in your community.

Dr. Emily Anne Vall, who manages Georgia Shape, the Governor’s childhood obesity program facilitated by the Georgia Department of Public Health, discussed initiatives that will move the needle on child obesity. The dialogue touched on various projects, some implemented through the Georgia Women Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program to help mothers develop healthy eating habits for their families, as well as the Power Up for 30 physical activity program currently available for every elementary school in the state.

Dr. Vall and Ms. Kibbe recommended that the audience become involved with Georgia Shape, the statewide, initiative in which governmental, philanthropic, academic and business communities work collaboratively to address childhood obesity through diverse strategies. The Georgia S.H.A.P.E. Act, passed in 2009, supports annual fitness assessment of Georgia's public school students in grades 1-12.  Attendees were encouraged to educate themselves about renewal of the S.H.A.P.E. Act in 2018 to ensure that the state can continue to increase and track the number of students in the Healthy Fitness Zone for Body Mass Index and Aerobic Capacity. 

Dr. Glenda Knight of the Diabetes Community Action Coalition said community groups can provide a valuable service to constituents by providing health literacy education that’s often overlooked by healthcare providers while diagnosing and treating chronic disease. Her group helps patients learn to self-manage their diseases and guides them to resources to navigate the healthcare system and access needed services.

Dr. Shalonda Freeman of the Georgia Department of Public Health echoed those comments and described a program developed by the agency in partnership with the Georgia Pharmacy Association that trains community pharmacists to assist patients with medication therapy management and to provide counseling about medication.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Saturday and Sunday Early Voting Available in Fulton County for the Presidential Preference Primary and City of Atlanta Special Election

Final weekend for residents to vote early

Fulton County registered voters will have the opportunity to vote Saturday, February 20 & Sunday, February 21 at 24 polling locations  throughout the county for the Presidential Preference Primary and City of Atlanta Special Election. Election Day is Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

SATURDAY – February 20, 2016 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

SUNDAY – February 21, 2016 – 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm

Early Voting Locations by Commission Districts

District 1:
*Robert F. Fulton Ocee Library, 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA 30005
*Johns Creek Environmental, Campus 8100 Holcomb Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022
*Northeast/Spruill Oaks Library, 9560 Spruill Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022
*East Roswell Branch, 2301 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30076

District 2:
*North Fulton Service Annex, Room 128, 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
*Milton Library, 855 Mayfield Rd., Milton, GA 30009
*Roswell Branch Library, 115 Norcross Street, Roswell, GA 30075
* Alpharetta Branch Library, 10 Park Plaza, Alpharetta, GA 30009  

District 3:
*Sandy Springs Library, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
*Chastain Park Recreation Center, 140W. Wieuca Rd., NW, Atlanta, GA 30342
*Buckhead Library, 269 Buckhead Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
*Northside Library, 3295 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

District 4:
*Adamsville Recreation Center, 3201 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., SW, Atlanta, GA 30311
*Fulton County Government Center, 130 Peachtree Street, SW, Suite 2186, Atlanta, GA 30303
*Northwest Branch at Scotts Crossing, 2489 Perry Boulevard, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
*Adamsville-Collier Heights Branch, 3424 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Atlanta, GA 30331

District 5:
*East Point Library, 2757 Main Street, East Point, GA 30344
*South Fulton Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, College Park, GA 30349
*Welcome All Recreation Center, 4255 Will Lee Road, College Park, GA 30349
*Georgia Hill Neighborhood Facility, 250 Georgia Avenue, SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

District 6:
*Fairburn Library, 60 Valley View Drive, Fairburn, GA 30213
*College Park Historical Building, 3675 Auditorium Way, College Park, GA 30337
*Southwest Art Center, 915 New Hope Road, SW, Atlanta, GA 30331
*Palmetto Library, 9111 Cascade Palmetto Hwy., Palmetto, GA 30268

For more information regarding Fulton County Registration and Elections, call 404-612-7020 or visit

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tips and Facts to Improve Heart Health from the Fulton County PICH Program

February is American Heart Month and it’s an excellent time for the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program to share data about heart health among Fulton County residents and to teach people that heart disease can often be prevented by making healthy choices and managing health conditions.  

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 370,000 deaths each year. While the death rate from heart disease fell by about 38% from 2003 to 2013, the burden and risk factors remain alarmingly high. Survey data provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 2014 and 2015, nearly a quarter of all Fulton County adults bought medication to treat high blood pressure and almost one in five bought medications to control cholesterol. The good news is that the same survey found that between 18% and 38% of Fulton County residents already are jogging, swimming, biking, bowling or hiking their way to healthier hearts.

The Department of Health and Wellness promotes healthy living, prevent chronic disease and reduce health disparities through the PICH Program by: helping to protect Fulton County residents from tobacco smoke through smoke-free environment initiatives; increasing access to physical activity opportunities in schools and communities; increasing access to healthy food or beverage options where people live, learn, work, and play; and promoting the creation of walkable and livable communities. As part of these efforts, during American Heart Month the PICH Program is working to raise awareness about heart disease and to increase knowledge about prevention. Sharing this information is important because about 80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented through everyday healthy living steps, including:

· not smoking;
· engaging in at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week;
· developing healthy nutrition habits, such as adding fruits, vegetables and healthy grains to       meals;
· maintaining healthy weight; and
· controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels

For more information about the PICH Program and to stay on top of all the heart healthy news, visit, follow @FultonHealth on Twitter, and Like /FultonInfo on Facebook.

Monday, February 8, 2016

“Nest of Eagles” Tuskegee Airmen Exhibition Closing Concert and Celebration

The Aviation Community Cultural Center celebrates the legacy of the illustrious Tuskegee Airmen with weekend events to celebrate their historical significance and the closing reception of Nest of Eagles. The weekend begins with a screening of the  HBO film, Tuskegee Airmen; following the film audiences will enjoy a screening and panel discussion moderated by historian Zellie Rainy Orr.

The celebration continues with the closing reception for the Nest of Eagles exhibition and the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Atlanta Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen. Conductor John Peek will set the mood with his vintage Big Band, as we honor the Atlanta area Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen and swing the night away!  This is a free public event. Seating is limited. For more information, visit or call 404.612.8600.

On Friday, February 26, 2016 the film screening "HBO Tuskegee Airmen" will be show from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., located at the Aviation Community Cultural Center, 3900 Aviation Circle, NW, Atlanta, GA 30336. The following day on  Saturday, February 27, 2016 the movie "Concert & Closing Celebration for Nest of Eagles" will be show from  6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the same location. 

The arts are essential to the quality of life of our citizens and to the economic and social health of our communities.  The mission of the Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture is to insure all citizens’ access to the arts.  Fulton County Arts & Culture operates four arts centers whose collective goals are to encourage creativity in communities, make the arts accessible, and provide arts opportunities for traditionally underserved populations. 

For additional questions, please call (404) 612-8600.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fulton County PICH Program Hosts the 2016 Active Living Summit

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program will convene researchers, policymakers, health care professionals, school officials, community leaders, County residents and non-profit organization members to discuss fresh ideas for creating healthy living environments through physical activity at the 2016 Active Living Summit. 

The Summit, titled “Champions for Healthy Living: Making Collective Strides Toward Implementing Effective Policy, Systems and Environmental Change,” will be held on February 5, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Peachtree Room of the Student Center on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus, 350 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta, 30332. It is one of several projects the PICH Program is undertaking with its community partners to develop strategies incorporating physical activity, healthy nutrition and tobacco- and smoke-free environments to reduce chronic disease and health disparities among County residents. 

The Summit agenda will focus on physical activity as a way of combatting obesity. A March 2015 study estimated that 33% of 2- to 17-year-olds in Fulton County are obese. Among adults, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the obesity rate is 31% statewide and 66% in Fulton County. Additionally, the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that just 43% of Georgia high school students were physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.

Summit participants will have opportunities to: 

learn about the research-proven benefits of greater physical activity
gain tools and resources that facilitate community-centered physical activity initiatives
interact with others to collaborate and exchange ideas
participate in interactive demonstrations to use in their own settings 

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is working with community partners to develop strategies and implement programs to promote healthier lifestyles and to reduce both health disparities and the incidence of chronic disease among County residents. The PICH Program is
made possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement #IU58DP005568-01. For more information, please visit learn more about Fulton County Health and Wellness, please visit

Fulton County Parks and Recreation Department Partners with Sheliah Gray and the AAInventors Exhibit in Celebration of Black History Month

The African-Americans Inventor’s Exhibit Increases awareness, Inspires others
and Promotes Positive images

On Thursday, February 4, 2016 Fulton County residents can visit Welcome All Park to see a One-of-a-kind exhibit.  The African Americans Inventor’s Exhibit is a 26 item exhibit which showcases inventions by several African-Americans.

Displayed in alphabetical order from A to Z each invention is on display to increase awareness and an appreciation for African-American Inventors and their contributions to the United States.

Additionally, the exhibit was developed to inspire others to invent and to improve on their designs as well as to promote positive images and role models for youth within the African-American Community.

“We are truly excited about the opportunity to host the African-American Inventors Exhibit at Welcome All Park.  This is part of our continuing efforts to bring new and positive opportunities to our community. Families and children throughout South Fulton will benefit from this one-of-a-kind exhibit,” said Tony Phillips, Director of Fulton County Parks and Recreation.  

The one-day exhibit is is FREE and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For additional information contact (404) 612-4058 and visit Fulton County’s website at or connect with Fulton County Government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @fultoninfo.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fulton County PICH Program Funds Creative Phys Ed in County Schools

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is collaborating with Fulton County Schools to create and implement new, innovative physical education (P.E) curriculum ideas to be launched this month that will give all students greater opportunities for exercise throughout the school day.

The PICH Program, created and funded through an annually renewable cooperative agreement between Fulton County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014, is also providing financial support for the implementation of the Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) in all Fulton County elementary schools and the SPARK Curriculum in middle schools. Both programs are research-based and promote healthy habits in all aspects of students’ lives. On January 5, 2016, the PICH Program sponsored a daylong workshop on creative P.E. instruction techniques at Hembree Springs Elementary and Elkins Pointe Middle Schools in Roswell that attracted nearly 300 elementary, middle and high school teachers. It was the second of four such trainings PICH has agreed to sponsor in partnership with the County Schools system, the Georgia Department of Education, Atlanta Regional Commission, HealthMPowers and Georgia Health Policy Center. Following positive feedback from the first workshop in August 2015, Fulton Schools agreed to utilize the instructional resources.

Despite declines among some age and demographic groups, childhood obesity remains a serious problem in Georgia and Fulton County. According to a 2013 report from the CDC, the statewide obesity rate was 13.2% for 2- to 4- year olds from low-income families; 16.5% for 10- to 17- year olds; and 12.7% among high school students.  A 2015 independent research study estimated that 33.4% of children aged 2 to17 in Fulton County were obese or overweight. Studies from researchers at the CDC and elsewhere show that in addition to preventing obesity and obesity-related health problems, physical activity enhances important components of academic performance, including concentration, cognition and classroom behavior. But the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of Georgia high school students found that just 43% of them were physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. 

Combatting obesity by developing creative ways to provide enhanced physical activity opportunities for Fulton County students is a topline goal of the PICH Program.  Based on the EPEC program’s evidence-based approach and track record of success in other school districts across the country that have adopted it, Fulton County school and health officials are confident that the new curriculum will ensure that the students will have more opportunities not only to become less obese and more physically fit, but also stronger academically. 

Watch FGTV coverage of the workshop here.
Read Neighborhood Newspapers coverage of the news here.
Read Atlanta Journal-Constitution coverage of the news here