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August 2019


West Georgia TM

Dr. Denis Morin Reflects on His 36-year Legacy





David Edwards Dr. Denis Morin Gary Tallent


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What’s inside... 10


24 28 4


A Legacy of Love




Local Happenings

Daily Fare


This Old Bridge


Kidz Korner

Banking on Communities

Celebrate His Success

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West Georgia TM



All About Men Another year has come and gone, and I can't believe it's already time to publish our annual "Man Issue." August is the one time of year we are able to celebrate some of the fabulous men who live and work in West Georgia, and it's also the time of year that we include editorial contributions from some of the men in our communities. It's always refreshing to get a different perspective from these valued members of our community, and we are excited to feature some of our male friends in West Georgia. In This Issue Dr. Denis Morin has been my family physician since I was 10 years old! I grew up with him as my doctor and then, when I was married with young children, I trusted him and his physician's assistant, Tim Pardoe, who is also a wonderful person, to help my children with their healthcare needs as they were growing up. Dr. Morin is such a kind, caring and compassionate man with a great sense of humor. He has truly been a blessing in my life and the lives of many others. Read more about Dr. Morin and his 36-year legacy of caring for Haralson County residents' health on page 10. During my career in banking many years ago, I had the opportunity to work with David Edwards. He was the chief credit officer of a local bank at the time, and I always found him to be extremely intelligent, helpful and encouraging. David has since moved on to much bigger and better things. He is now the Regional Director of Community Banking for Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina at Bank OZK. He oversees this region with 96 retail branch locations and 51 commercial lending officers that are managed by nine division presidents. Read more about David and how he's banking on communities in West Georgia and beyond on page 18. Gary Tallent is one of the few people who believed in and supported my vision to create a magazine for the women of West Georgia four years ago. Not only is Gary a very intelligent and successful businessman, he is also compassionate, caring and kind. Read more about Gary and how he is giving senior citizens a place to call home on page 31. For our readers who live in Haralson County, you are very familiar with the old Van Wert Street Bridge in Buchanan, Ga. Sadly, and in spite of local protests, the bridge will be torn down very soon by the railroad. Besides the fact that the bridge has been an important part of what once was my hometown, I have some additional sadness about the destruction of this beloved landmark. My nephew, Tristan, who passed away almost four years ago, had some of his senior pictures taken on and underneath that bridge. Haralson County native, R. Milton Blue, shares his memories of the old Van Wert Street Bridge on page 28. On page 41, our friend Tony Montcalm with Tanner Health System shares the exciting news that Tanner has been named one of three finalists for a national community health prize. Tanner Health System is an important part of our communities in West Georgia, and we congratulate them on their continued success. I want to thank the men who have helped make our publication a success: Gary Burton and Kin Brooks, magazine distributors; Mark Steffey, photographer; Gil Royal, editorial contributor; Dr. Fred Richards, friend, advocate and editorial contributor; Jason Studdards, our printer's sales executive; and last but not least, my amazing son, Zachary Dailey, photographer and advertising sales executive. I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to all of our valued advertising partners – men and women. Without you, West Georgia Woman magazine would not be possible. Through your partnership with this publication, you have impacted the lives of so many women throughout West Georgia. Thank you. See you next month!



Photo by Zachary Dailey

Finding our voice. Knowing our value. Making a difference. TM

West Georgia Woman is a voice for and about the women who live and work in West Georgia. Our mission is to engage, inspire, and cultivate a cohesive community for all women in West Georgia by sharing our hopes, our dreams and our lives. This magazine would not be possible without the inclusion of our advertising partners. Please be sure to show your support by doing business with these VIP’s (very important partners) so we will be able to continue to share with you our stories about amazing West Georgia women! Please be sure to tell them we sent you! Inspiring women wanted.

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Volume 4 • Issue 10 August 2019

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West Georgia

This publication is dedicated in loving memory of Tristan Alexander Brooks May 15, 1993 – September 17, 2015

Angela Dailey angela@westgeorgiawoman.com

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Shala Hainer shala@westgeorgiawoman.com

Photographer for cover Mark Steffey

Editorial Contributors

R. Milton Blue, Charlene Brooks, Zachary Dailey, Rose Isaacs and Tony Montcalm

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Zachary@westgeorgiawoman.com Angela Brooks Dailey, owner and publisher of West Georgia Woman magazine, has lived in West Georgia most of her life and has a deep love and appreciation for the area. She received her B.B.A in management from The University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga., and is a Civil and Domestic Relations mediator and arbitrator registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. She lives in Carrollton, and has two wonderful children, Zachary and Sydney Dailey. Angela enjoys reading, spending time with her children and extended family and loves to watch Sydney play soccer.


A Legacy of Love

Photos by Mark Steffey


Three of Dr. and Mrs. Morin's granddaughters admire the plaque commemorating their grandfather’s 36 years of dedicated service as a physician in Haralson County. The plaque was unveiled at the May 31 dedication of the Dr. and Mrs. Morin Family Park at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen. Photo by Tanner Health System.

Dr. Denis Morin Dedicates 36 “ Years to Haralson County Residents


he legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example," said Benjamin Disraeli. Family physician, Dr. Denis Morin is most certainly a man whose name and legacy will remain in the hearts of West Georgia residents for many years to come. French Canadians by birth, Dr. Morin and his wife, Louise, along with their four boys, Alexandre, Guillaume, Charles and Marc moved from Quebec, Canada to the tiny town of Buchanan, Ga., in 1983. From the moment he arrived, Dr. Morin has been a valued member of the Haralson County community and has undoubtedly changed countless lives for the better.

Ô Canada

mayor for a time and a councilman. "My father did not talk much," he shares. "My mother was more gregarious. She would talk more. She would not spank, because we did not spank much, but she would raise her voice. Instead of spanking she would always raise her voice more than my father – my father would not do that – but my mother was the disciplinarian. I take more after my mother from that because I was the disciplinarian with our boys. Louise is very patient, so she never argued or raised her voice, but me, I had to with the four boys." Deeply religious in the Roman Catholic faith, Dr. Morin's family attended Mass each Sunday at their church. His mother's brother was a friar who lived in the Vatican and was very close to the Pope, and his mother's sister was a Catholic nun who was very involved in the Canadian nun community. On his father's side of the family, having a son go into the priesthood was held in the highest regard. One going into medicine was valued next in the family. "Most of the family at that time had a priest," he explains. "If not a priest, then a doctor was the second best. Also, a notary was good. It’s a little different from here – it’s like a lawyer but not being a lawyer – just to be somebody who would do deeds and contracts and help people understand each other. For the girls, it was becoming a nun and things like that."

Born in Quebec, Dr. Morin was the fifth of six children that included one older brother, three older sisters and one younger sister. He was an extroverted child who loved to play, tease and aggravate his siblings. He participated in all of the normal activities that many young boys enjoy, such as bicycling, skiing, playing hockey, tennis and other sports. His five siblings are all married with children and still live in Quebec, but he maintains a very close relationship with them. They stay in touch through frequent phone calls and visits when they are able. "I was very active when I was a child," he says. "I liked to move around. I did not like to read, really Pursuing Medicine and I did not really like school – but I knew I needed There were three types of courses in the it. I wanted to be a physician because my brother was a physician, many of my cousins were physicians secondary schools in Quebec: general, scientific and classical. Students could not go into medicine and they liked it. So, I wanted to be like them but or become a lawyer if I never really wanted they did not attend the to pay too much classical course, and attention to studying." a test was required to His father worked get into the program. very hard to support Young Denis knew their family of eight. what his career path The owner of a general would be at the age store, he would begin of 13 or 14 and made work at 6 a.m. and plans with those goals would usually come in mind. home at 9 or 10 in the "If you did the evenings. He was also classical, you could a postmaster and was Dr. Denis Morin, right, is a charming, mischievious and playful extrovert choose pretty much involved in municipal who is loved by his staff and patients alike. Foreground: Tina Tucker. everything, so this is politics, serving as Background: Addie Atcheson.



why we did that – so we could choose at the end," he explains. "When I see a teenager in my office when they are 13 or 14, I always ask them if they know what they want to do. Because when you know early, for example, if you know that you would like to be a doctor, you work harder to take the hard courses so you can be one. But, if you don't know and five years later you want to be a doctor and you have nothing done, then it’s harder, right? So it’s good to choose early, and me, seeing my brother go through his course of study, I knew early on that I wanted to be like that so I tried to model my studying with that in mind." After his classical course of study, Dr. Morin attended medical school at the University of Laval in Quebec and completed his internship at the Hospital of the Blessed Sacrement. He and Louise were married, became parents to their four boys within a span of four years and he happily practiced medicine in Canada for eight years with a group of eight physicians. "I was very happy there," he says. "My partners and I got along very well and we played sports together, but the winter is tough, you know? With four boys and bringing them in and out during the winter with the boots and the coats and all of that. A lot of unnecessary work because of the winter – it's


very cold and lasts for six months each year. So that’s why we decided to move to the South. We knew that the U.S. was pretty much the same as Canada; same type of personalities and the same language except French/English, same education, same ways of life."

Coming to America Recruiters initially introduced Dr. Morin and his partners to a location in Iowa, but some of the doctors were really more interested in moving further south of Quebec than just the northern U.S. "It was too cold," he relates. "So we said, 'We’ll stay in Quebec instead.' Then, they called us back and said, 'We have a nice place in the South,' so we came here." Dr. Morin and his partners liked West Georgia because it was near a major airport and they were able to live close to the hospital. Five doctors from the Canadian practice moved to the United States. Drs. Morin, Pomerleau and Dionne moved to Haralson County and the other two doctors moved to Iowa. Drs. Pomerleau and Dionne opened a practice in Tallapoosa, and Dr. Morin opened his practice in Buchanan. Of the three doctors, Dr. Morin is the only one who stayed in West Georgia long-term. He and his family became

Photos by Mark Steffey

U.S. citizens in 1993 after the required 10-year waiting period with their permanent green cards. "We still have two citizenships. Canadian, and the U.S., which can always be nice to have," he explains. "But when we travel, we use the U.S. citizenship because we live here, we are residents. There is the residence and the citizenship. The residence is where you assume that you will stay and pay taxes and all of that. Citizenship is more of a privilege, either being born or naturalized." When he and his family moved to Georgia, he knew very little English, only what he had learned from textbooks. He could read English, but did not know how to speak the language. His boys, who were 8, 7, 6 and almost 5 years Dr. Morin opened his medical practice for Haralson County residents in Buchanan, Ga., in 1983. old, knew no English at all, but quickly learned while attending Buchanan Elementary School. After that, they went to Bremen because I was going "As usual, boys being boys, they learned the bad to Bremen every morning to do my rounds at the words first," he laughs. "It was the way of life that hospital, so it was easy for me to bring them, and we chose. I cannot say that it was hard for them, but Louise would pick them up. Louise worked very hard I knew that they would pick it up. It took them a few at home raising the children, picking them up from months, it was easier for them to learn than it was for school every day, keeping the house spotless and me." He says Marc, or Marc-Antoine as he calls him, preparing all of our meals." his youngest son, is the one who has the strongest Eventually, the children grew up, married and had southern accent. families of their own. Marc has an MBA and is the The Morins lived in Buchanan for 17 years before practice administrator for West Georgia Urology in moving to Carrollton in 2000. The boys attended Carrollton. Charles also has an MBA and is a chemist school in Buchanan, but eventually transitioned to who works in administration for Georgia Power. Bremen High School. "I felt in the beginning that Alexandre followed in his father's footsteps and I needed to incorporate myself into the society, became a medical doctor specializing in radiology. understand and see the people and have my kids He has been a partner at Georgia West Imaging go to their school," he relates. "So, they all went since 2008. Guillaume has an MBA and is an account to Buchanan when they were in elementary school. manager at BID Group, one of the largest integrated suppliers to the wood processing industry. Guillaume lives in Augusta and his three brothers live in Carrollton. Dr. Morin is very active with his sons, and they often play golf and tennis together. "I do a lot with them, my boys," he smiles. "We enjoy each other and tease each other – them trying to beat me in sports and me trying to beat them."

The Doctor is In

Dr. Morin, with Buchanan Medical Clinic's office coordinator, Jennifer Taylor.

While he was a student in Canada, Dr. Morin had the foresight to take three national board exams. He never thought he would need the additional certifications that would allow him to practice anywhere, but he decided to take the exams anyway. This would prove to be a fortuitous decision, as he was already licensed to practice in the U.S. when he made the decision to move in 1983.


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Dr Morin and his wife, Mrs. Louise Morin, center, with their children and grandchildren for the dedication of the Dr. and Mrs. Morin Family Park at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen. The park features a paved walking area and covered pavilion suitable for patient rehabilitation, a water feature, outdoor seating areas for relaxation and an inviting green space for visitors to enjoy. The park was made possible by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Morin. Photo by Tanner Health System.

After moving to Georgia, he began building relationships with his patients immediately. There were very nice people in the community, and he enjoyed meeting everyone. Having kids in the local school system, making friends and living where his patients lived also helped ease the family's transition into the community. Although he felt there were many similarities between living in the U.S. and Canada, he noticed a difference in the prevalence of fast food and the eating customs of the locals. "The only thing that struck me is some people here don’t eat or cook as much as they should at home," he relates. "This was really different because we have 30 minutes for breakfast, 45 minutes for lunch and an hour dinner all together as a family at home. Here, often, some people don’t have breakfast and, often, they don’t have lunch either. They just have a fast dinner, and I’ve found that some don’t really sit together – even 36 years ago, and it’s still true today. I often tell my patients to eat together at home. It's the most important thing for the kids because it gives parents and children time to connect with one another by sharing a meal together and sharing stories about their day." Although he's always been interested in learning and keeping up-to-date on current trends and breakthroughs in family medicine, he says the most important thing a family doctor should do is read the consultation his patients' specialists send to him. He reads every one and learns much about medicine just by reading those on a daily basis.

A very important part of his mission as a family practice physician is listening to his patients and asking them questions to better understand who they are as individuals so he can discover the best ways to help them with their healthcare needs. "Medicine is not complicated," he shares. "It’s an art and it’s a science. The art is to understand the patients and communicate with them so they can tell me what they need to tell me. Sometimes the answer is clear, but it can sometimes be vague. For example, the patient may only say, 'I'm hurting.' So, I have to delve deeper into the situation and ask more questions so I can understand what they are trying to tell me. Everyone is different, and we must listen to them to really understand what they need. The science is the diploma that you have, the medical courses that you take every year, the consultations that you read from other doctors and the general knowledge of what medicine is all about. This is the science, but if you just have the science and you don’t communicate well and you don’t have the art of calling patients back or listening to them, then I think that medicine does not fulfill its potential – that's not a real medical doctor. "They used to call it a family practice or a family doctor for one reason – because the doctor is an extension of the family. I call my patients and they are like my brother, sister or mother. Now – since I don't take any new patients – many of my patients are closer to my father's age, but I do enjoy them. I love communicating with my patients."


A New Partnership

"They used to call it a family practice or a family doctor for one reason – because the doctor is an extension of the family."

Five years ago, Dr. Morin's clinic became a valued part of Tanner Medical Group, which allows the clinic to offer patients access to all of the resources Tanner Health System can provide, including over 300 physicians representing 34 medical specialties, as well as all of the services that are available at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen. "Tanner has been great for me," he says. "The CEO, Loy Howard, is a great person. All of the physicians there have been good to me, and they are all very pleasant to work with. I feel like the Tanner organization values the work we do and they value our patients. All of the people I meet are nice, so the environment is good and even if I am not working for myself, I’m working with Tanner for the last five years. I feel like they value Buchanan and are proud of our area so it’s good to work for somebody like that." He is also excited to share that Tanner is building a new, 8,900-square-foot facility for his practice to implement more space for their existing staff and patients, as well as create opportunities to recruit more high-quality medical staff and build for the future of Haralson County. "Medicine in a community is important," he relates. "I think it’s the most important service that you can give to a community. Lawyers are important too, but you may spend your entire life without needing a lawyer. You rarely go through your whole life without needing a doctor to guide you through the labyrinths of medicine, such as going to the hospital and working with different doctors. For a patient, it is tremendous to go to a hospital and not know what to do. So this is the way I see it – a doctor kind of guides them. With the big clinic that Tanner will build, it will help with the recruitment of other quality physicians and we will be able to help more patients."

has one other physician, a physician's assistant and a nurse practioner. Tim Pardoe, PA-C, has been a beloved part of the clinic for 18 years – he began working with Dr. Morin in January, 2001. "Tim is an extremely nice guy," he says. "He’s pals with me and he is very good with the patients. Then, we brought in Dr. Engelbrecht. Extremely, extremely nice, too. He came here with an open mind, nice guy, not a know-it-all person. There are some people who come to a new place and think they know it all and are better than the people already there. You don’t want to bring somebody in that is arrogant, a knowit-all, is condescending with the staff or impolite. He understood Tim very well and works with him, myself and Marni very well. Marni is extremely nice, too." J.D. Engelbrecht, M.D., is originally from South Africa and joined the practice in 2014. Marni Federer, NP-C, joined in 2018. "They all have the art and the science of medicine," he shares. "Tim, he came and mentored with me for a few months, but he had that in his blood from his family. Same thing with Dr. Engelbrecht the way he was raised, and also Marni. Humble people who love to help others, who love to understand what our patients' needs are. I think they are great people, great assets for the clinic and they will stay here hopefully, forever." He says the entire staff of Buchanan Medical Clinic is pleasant, funny, always smiling and they truly enjoy interacting with the patients A Dedicated Staff on a personal level, while Dr. Morin works three days Dr. Morin and Physician's Assistant, Tim Pardoe, right, giving them the best care a week at the clinic now and have worked together for 18 years. possible.


"We have a great staff," he says. "You can always tell when you go somewhere if someone really enjoys meeting people or if they are just doing their work. The patients can feel that when it's superficial. You can be business-like, but you can also communicate well and be personal at the same time. I think here, that’s our strength. The staff loves people, they incorporate their lives with the patients' lives. They exchange jokes or seriousness or whatever may be appropriate at the time and the patient feels that. They enjoy coming here, for the staff and everyone who works here." "You can be business-like, but you can also communicate well and be Dr. Morin is truly a role model for his personal at the same time. I think here, that’s our strength. The staff staff by showing a sincere and heartfelt loves people and they incorporate their lives with the patients' lives. commitment to his patients every day. They exchange jokes or seriousness or whatever may be appropriate When he tells his patients he will do at the time and the patient feels that. They enjoy coming here, for the something, he always tries his best to do staff and everyone who works here." it. When he tells them he will call them back with test results, he will call them. Some of the staff of Buchanan Medical Clinic. Front row, left to right: Dr. J.D. Or, if they call him and ask to speak with Engelbrecht, Dr. Denis Morin, Tim Pardoe, PA-C, and Marni him personally, he will return the call. Federer, NP-C. Back row, left to right: Christy Buis, Jennifer Taylor, Julie "So, I think at night when I go home Saxon and Chastity Reynolds. I have done what the patient wanted thought about it," he says. "I enjoy working with me to do if it makes sense," he relates. "The my patients. They are like family, like friends. I tease commitment from me is to give them what I say I them, I aggravate them, I sometimes call them at 6 will." o’clock in the morning if there’s something I need to

A Lasting Legacy At 69 years old, Dr. Morin has no plans for retiring. He feels as if his patients are a part of his family and enjoys communicating with them and being an important part of their lives. "I haven’t

Nurse Practioner, Marni Federer, left, and Dr. J. D. Engelbrecht, right, with Dr. Morin.

tell them and I want to catch them. I may eventually go to working two days a week, but they would know that I’m around. If they have a bigger problem, they can talk to me and I can guide them. I don’t take care of everything because I'm not God, but I can guide them to the person who I think may help them. So no, I don’t have any plan of retirement but I guess I will eventually." There is no doubt people will always remember Dr. Morin, what he has done for their health and even more important, that he holds a special place in their hearts. "I think what I would like them to remember is the legacy that I will have left and my commitment to the people," he shares. "When I came here, there was nobody. And doctors who were coming here were staying maybe a year, a year and a half, and they were leaving for whatever the reason. So they had nobody. "So me, I came here, and I stayed here 36 years or even more. But the most important thing is I built a confidence, I think, with the patients. I didn't want to leave here with them having no one – with no doctor. Now, the patients will feel like it's built forever. Even if I leave, the legacy will be here." WGW


Photos by Mark Steffey.

Banking on Communities


Local Banker David Edwards is Dedicated to Serving West Georgia


hen young David Edwards was in high school in his hometown of Savannah, Ga., he worked three nights a week at a small, locally owned convenience store. Of the three brothers who owned the store, one was always on duty. No job was too menial, and everyone did what they had to do to make the small business successful. His parents and maternal grandparents were exceptional role models for David. His father with his strong, get-it-done work ethic, his mother offered David her unconditional love and support, his grandfather had a deep love for learning and his grandmother had an admirable, unwavering elegance. David learned some very valuable lessons during his formative years about life and business from these strong influencers, but, the largest influence that shaped his personal and professional life today began when he was in the Boy Scouts. "The guiding principles that I use in both my personal and professional life I learned when I was a youngster in the Boy Scouts – now Scouts BSA, and I am proud for girls to have the same scouting experience," he explains. "The Scout Oath and Scout Law have been very important 'fences' or 'guardrails' for me in every stage of my personal or professional life. While none of these ideals are absolutely achievable all of the time, because we all fail, they are ideals we should strive toward. "'On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.' – Scout Oath, and, 'A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.' – Scout Law." Those early guiding principles have served David well in his personal and professional endeavors.

A Promising Future David spent much of his time at his grandparents' house when he was a child and grew up around their neighbor, Mr. Archie Davis, who was the president of Citizens & Southern National Bank (C&S) in Savannah. Archie offered him a job as a bank teller at C&S while David was home for the summer during his freshman year in college. The job at the bank was the perfect fit for David, as he was pursuing his bachelor's degree in accounting from Georgia Southern University. He enjoyed working at C&S that first summer

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and began working there whenever he was home on break for the holidays and summer vacations. The summer before his senior year, he was offered a chance to move to Atlanta with C&S and join the “Summer Management Associate Program.” If the students excelled in this program, they were invited to join the full-time "Management Associate Program" after graduating college. Upon graduating in 1986, David was selected for the full-time program, moved to Atlanta and began his career in banking.

A Full Life The next few years were busy for David. He continued to excel at his career in banking, married his wife, Katherine, and moved to Carrollton in 1992. They had four children together; one daughter, who is the oldest, and three sons. But in June 1994, while Katherine was pregnant with their third child, she and David encountered a situation they never expected. "On June 22, 1994, I delivered our third born child myself – with the help of his mother, of course – at our home," he explains. "We had planned a home birth administered by a midwife, but things happened very quickly, and the midwife had not yet arrived. So, I was the only person available for the job. Everything turned out fine, thankfully!" The kids are all grown, and six grandchildren have been added to the family; four grandsons and two granddaughters. David says Katherine is a strong and loving woman who has had a significant impact on his life. "She is a well-grounded woman who understands and preserves the value of family unity," he shares."She loves our children and grandchildren and is the glue that holds our family together. I find she has great intuition about both personal and professional matters." In his free time, David enjoys spending time with his family and road cycling – especially on the Greenbelt David and Katherine with their six grandchildren. in Carrollton.


An Impressive Career David has achieved much success during his 34 years in the banking industry. As the Regional Director of Community Banking for Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina at Bank OZK, he oversees this region with 96 retail branch locations and 51 commercial lending officers that are managed by nine division presidents. There are six divisions for community banking in this region and three specialty divisions – Affordable Housing Finance, Charter School Finance and Homebuilder Finance – where the territory is a seven-state footprint. In 2017, he was awarded "Who’s Who in Finance," an annual list of 100 leaders and influencers in finance and banking, by Atlanta Business Chronicle. He is an active participant in various activities for the Georgia Southern University College of Business Administration, a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity’s National Housing Fund, a member of the board of directors of Atlanta Youth Academy and serves on the board of trustees for the University of West Georgia Foundation.

Bank OZK's Mission David isn't the only one receiving accolades. Bank OZK also has much to be proud of. On June 25th the bank was ranked number one in the state of Georgia on the Forbes list of "America’s Best Banks

in Each State" for 2019. Bank OZK also believes in the power of investing in their communities. In a show of strong support for the West Georgia market, Bank OZK contributed $250,000 in September 2018 to Higgins General Hospital as part of the Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) program to support rural hospitals. The bank made another $250,000 contribution last month. The Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit program, facilitated by Georgia HEART is a program that supports healthcare throughout the Left foreground: David Price, West Georgia Division President; Right foreground: Stephanie Jenkins, Commercial Lending Assistant. Background from left: Sheryl Williams, state by encouraging taxpayers to Business Banker; and David Edwards. learn about the many challenges projects; and residential homebuilding. All of these rural hospitals face and giving them an opportunity contribute positively to making West Georgia a to contribute, ensuring access to quality care for all place where people want to live, work and play." Georgians. David says the bank ensures that lending "Investing in the economy and supporting decisions are made by bankers who live and work entrepreneurship across West Georgia is also here, who have the local expertise and the ability important to Bank OZK," he says. "By making to devise a financial package that makes sense for loans to businesses who are building, buying and the borrower and the bank. A recent example of expanding; start-up businesses; affordable housing


a positive contribution to the West Georgia area was a loan made in late 2018 for the purpose of constructing a 100+ unit affordable housing apartment complex in Carrollton. "Georgia is important to Bank OZK," he exclaims. "We are pleased to provide our customers with advanced technology, personalized banking solutions and face-to-face service to meet their unique financial services needs." Bank OZK is 116 years old and is part of a 10-state footprint with over 250 offices – 67 of those offices are in Georgia. As of June 30, Bank OZK's Georgia offices have over 650 employees. They are in the top 60 banks in the U.S. in asset size, have been ranked the number one bank in the nation by leading industry publications – based on financial performance – 13 times in eight consecutive years and Georgia is home to Bank OZK’s successful Indirect RV & Marine Lending division, a nationwide business. The bank entered Georgia in 2010 with the acquisition of Unity National Bank and added additional Georgia offices through de novo branches (newly opened bank branches that are not acquired through purchase or acquisition) and the acquisition of seven additional banks – most notably Community & Southern Bank in 2016.

Empowering Women As a banker, David understands the importance of women and their significant contributions to the U.S. economy and in the workplace. One way the company helps empower women in the community is by teaching financial literacy to help them make sound financial decisions. They try to reach them early by sponsoring financial literacy programs for local elementary schools.

David, with Tabatha Sabb, FIU Investigations Sr. Analyst.


"As stated in the Bank OZK Credo: 'We believe that capitalizing on the unique insights, abilities and experiences of each team member is critical in achieving the bank’s full potential. We embrace teamwork, collaboration and diversity in all its forms, recognizing that our potential together far exceeds the sum of our potential individually.'" They also support many organizations who provide education, training and services to help individuals, families and small businesses prepare, repair and improve credit and provide access to housing, loans, investments and other services. "Statistics show that 90 percent of women will be solely responsible for their own or their family’s finances at some point in their lives and that women now control the majority of personal wealth in the United States," he explains. "But even more important, a fundamental part of our DNA at Bank OZK is to encourage, support and lift up everyone in our communities. We align our charitable giving, our volunteerism and our business practices with the goal of making our communities stronger by empowering individuals with knowledge, tools and guidance to be more financially secure." All team members in the workplace are valued and respected for their unique contributions. "As stated in the Bank OZK Credo: 'We believe that capitalizing on the unique insights, abilities and experiences of each team member is critical in achieving the bank’s full potential. We embrace teamwork, collaboration and diversity in all its forms, recognizing that our potential together far exceeds the sum of our potential individually.'" David is proud to have a daughter and two granddaughters. "They are blessed to be a part of this community," he shares. "I’m interested in them thriving and contributing to the continued success of West Georgia." WGW



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Daily Fare With

e s o R f e Ch

Chef photos by Keith May.

Rose Isaacs is a native of Carroll County and lives in Carrollton with her husband Shawn and their son, Sebastian. She graduated from West Georgia Technical College in 2013 with a degree in Culinary Arts. After graduation, she began her career as a chef at the Carrollton Kroger Marketplace where she works in the bistro.

24Recipe photos by Mark Steffey.

Grilled Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter Ingredients 4 lobster tails 1 stick salted butter at room temperature 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preparation Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, blend butter, garlic, parsley and paprika. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve. Using kitchen shears, cut 3 to 4 lengthwise


Cooking this lobster on the grill is fast and easy. Pair with steak for a delicious surf and turf meal.

slits in underside of tail to loosen shell slightly. Cut top of lobster shell lengthwise down the center with scissors, leaving tail fin intact. Cut shell at an angle away from the center of the tail at base of tail fin. Loosen meat from shell, keeping the fin end attached. Lift meat and lay over shell. Place tails, meat side down on the preheated grill for 5 minutes. Flip to shell side down and spoon a generous amount of the reserved butter over the butterflied tails. Close the lid of the grill and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the lobster shell is red and the meat turns opaque. Remove from grill and apply more butter to taste. Serves 4






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The Women's Choice Award® Financial Advisor program was created by WomenCertified Inc., the Voice of Women, in an effort to help women make smart financial choices. The Women's Choice Award Financial Program is based on 17 objective criteria associated with providing quality service to women clients, such as credentials, experience, and a favorable regulatory history, among other factors. Financial advisors do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Women's Choice Award Financial Advisors, though they may have paid a basic program fee to cover the cost of their client survey. The inclusion of a financial advisor within the Women's Choice Award Financial Advisor network should not be construed as an endorsement of the financial advisor by WomenCertified Inc. or its partners and affiliates and is no guarantee as to future investment success. Women's Choice Award® Financial Advisors and Firms represent less than 1% of financial advisors in the U.S. As of October 2018, of the 463 considered for the Women's Choice Award, 108 were named Women's Choice Award Financial Advisors/Firms The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which Financial Advisors/Firms received the award. The criteria used, the number of Financial Advisors/Firms considered for the award, and the number of those who receive the award, may vary from year to year. For more information, please visit http://www.womenschoiceaward.com/.

14 26

�Grilling fruit adds

a delicious layer of flavor that pairs perfectly with a summer barbecue. �


Grilled Fruit Salad

3 peaches 1/2 seedless watermelon 1/2 pineapple 3 kiwi 1/2 cup blueberries 1 cup strawberries, halved 1/2 cup raspberries or blackberries 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt for dipping, optional Fresh mint for garnish, optional.


Slice peaches in half and remove pits. Slice watermelon, pineapple and kiwi into 1-inch-thick slices. Working in batches, grill peaches, watermelon, pineapple and kiwi on high-heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove and place on large platter or in a bowl. Sprinkle blueberries, strawberries and raspberries over grilled fruit. Garnish with mint leaves. Serves 6 to 8. WGW 27

This Old Bridge By R. Milton Blue

Tristan Brooks standing on the old Van Wert Street Bridge in28 Buchanan, Ga., for his senior photos in Sept. 2010.


oday, I ventured from my home to Buchanan, Ga., to pay my final respects to a very old acquaintance. We are not family; I would not even venture to say that we are, or ever have been, friends of any measurable level. The acquaintance of which I speak is an old and failing wooden bridge from my very distant past. This old bridge, spanning the Van Wert Street gap over the railway below, has been on the job far longer than I have been alive, and I am now 63 years of age. This old bridge and I have more or less "acknowledged one another" since I was 9 years old and in the fourth grade at Buchanan Elementary. Our family moved from Rome to Buchanan in the fall of 1965, and I became acquainted with the old bridge the very first time I rode the bus to school. From that first introduction, this bridge would bully me, taunt me and put the fear of death into me. For every day that my school bus passed over it, I always had an uneasy feeling that this rickety old bridge was going to collapse onto the rail bed far below and that we would surely fall to our deaths. It did not appear safe to me as a young child, and it appears much the worse for wear today. Regardless of my earliest opinion of her fitness, the number of children that she has safely shuttled to and from the school she watches over is beyond measure. Year after year and decade after decade, we have lumbered over her in big yellow buses, and we have walked across her by the classroom to go caroling on the court square at Christmastime. Later in life, some would choose her as a setting for prom photos. She took her charge Women’s Auto Clinic. for our safety with gallant Women’s Concierge Service. resolve – we were never in any danger where she was concerned. Now generations 770.832.9465 strong, we have accompanied our 134 Bankhead Ave., Carrollton children, and our children's children, along www.lamberttirecompany.com this same familiar path of

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our long past youth. If – like me – you were fortunate enough to grow up in Buchanan, this old bridge has become entwined not only in your formative years, but also in your adolescence, and beyond. She is as much a part of our lives as are the strong core values we received growing up here. It has now been 54 years since we first met, and yet she still stands vigilant, still on duty, still spanning the gap she was given the charge to oversee, so many decades past. The better years of this old bridge are now unfortunately behind her – her health has been woefully neglected. She has been put out to pasture, so to speak, deemed too old and feeble and unworthy of the task for which she was given charge. I understand that the railroad intends to tear her down this year. Knowing that she is nearing the end of her life, I felt compelled to visit her one last time – while I still had the opportunity. Today, I viewed the old bridge with a much different perspective, as more than a mere acquaintance. I did not doubt her at all. I walked up to her with no fear, striding across her full length with unwavering faith that she would not let me down – and she did not disappoint. Halfway across, while pausing to gently place my hand on one of her weathered railings, I shed a tear as much for guilt as for compassion. Reflecting backward, I must acknowledge that I did not properly appreciate her in my youth, but I certainly do today, now, in this moment of time. I feel a great sadness within my soul that her end is so near, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to prolong her life. She is quite a marvel, this old bridge, for she was


brought to life in an era of very I cherish the opportunity that I shed a tear as much limited technology; yet valiantly I had today; to visit her one last for guilt as for compassion. endures the stresses of more time, to touch her, to know and I backward, Reflecting than a half-century of time, in respect her worth, to spend time spite of her aging and simplistic with her, to simply appreciate her must acknowledge that I design. while I still can. did not properly appreciate While others may view her One thing is for certain – her her in my youth, but I merely as a structure that has absence will forever change the certainly do today, now, outlived her usefulness, I see her landscape – and the character – of in this moment of time. as much, much more than that. the community as well as all of the The railroad below her is just lives that she has touched. another unfeeling entity with It saddens me that future no vested interest in the towns and villages that it generations will be cheated of the opportunity to traverses with cold steel ribbons of rail. know and appreciate her in the way that we have. For us, the former and current inhabitants of People and things share one foregone conclusion this one particular village, the old bridge is an – that we all shall eventually fall into decay, return affectionate part of our lives that has watched to the earth, and impact the renewal of life in other children being born, play and grow, reach adulthood forms. Nonetheless, that does absolutely nothing to and have children of their own – thus keeping the soothe the aching in my soul for this beautiful old village, and need for the bridge, alive. bridge. This old bridge has seen it all – a common thread The impending absence of this old bridge is that serves to bind so many generations together. just one more example of my personal history She is every bit as much a part of the character of shrinking almost daily, and that history is becoming our community as a whole, as she is a part of every uncomfortably empty. individual life she has faithfully watched over. I urge everyone that this bridge has impacted in Today, the old bridge and I did indeed become one way or another, to go visit her while you still friends, if only for a short while. can, acknowledge her worth and show her some much-deserved love. Thank you, my friend, for your dedicated service. As long as my own generation continues to live, so shall you – if only in loving memory. I hope you do not mind that I whittled a small piece of you as a keepsake, that I will keep among my cherished possessions until the end of my own time. WGW

Publisher's note: Norfolk Southern Railroad will be tearing down the old Van Wert Street Bridge in the near future.

R. Milton Blue is a native of northwest Georgia and a 1974 graduate of Haralson County High School. Milton draws much of the subject matter of his writing from real-life experiences growing up in rural Buchanan, Georgia, where he spent his formative and adolescent years. Sometimes funny and sometimes serious, he writes about situations and events that have profoundly affected his soul, and embeds within the lines a lesson relevant to present-day life. Milton currently resides in LaGrange, Ga.



Photos by Mark Steffey


A Place to Call Home Local Business Owner Gary Tallent Helps Senior Citizens Live Full and Active Lives



ary Tallent has always had a passion for helping people. When he was a young man, he was deeply involved in helping shape the youth of his church. He enjoyed helping young people and making a difference in their lives as he watched them grow into adulthood. As his career as a product manager for a large seating company became more demanding and required extensive travel over three countries, he was disappointed when he had to leave his role as a youth leader. But later in life he continued to feel called to help others, serving in various roles such as the finance director and a fire commissioner in the city he lived in, volunteering his time for utilities and school boards and he also served his country for six years in the Army National Guard. Upon retirement, Gary began to focus his efforts on helping another underserved population – senior citizens. He began working for a management group that worked to fix and repair failing properties. He had been working at a facility in Highlands, NC., for about a year and a half when his job was nearing completion. Then, he received a call in March 2010 asking him to inspect Ashbrook Village, an assisted living facility located in Villa Rica, Ga. After coming to Villa Rica, he made the decision to stay




623 DIXIE STREET – CARROLLTON, GA and he became an owner of the facility in October 2010. "The reason that I stayed and became an owner here was because of the great opportunity I was given and I had the support of the greatest partners in the world," he explains. "My partners have supported me so much in ways that you can’t imagine. Together, we have helped so many, always with the realization that the dollars are not always the most important thing." He and his wife, Judy, live in the Mirror Lake subdivision in Villa Rica. Together, they have five children; three boys and two girls who live in Singapore, California, Texas, Florida and Georgia. Gary and Judy have five granddaughters. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with the grandchildren and riding his golf cart in the evenings while enjoying the beautiful scenery around Mirror Lake.

A Strong Work Ethic

Gary with his wife, Judy.


Born and raised in Sweetwater, Tenn., Gary has never been one to shy away from hard work. He began hauling hay in the sixth grade and he was paid $100 for 100 hours of backbreaking work. "I was also allowed to eat all of the cheeseburgers and drink all of the A&W root beer that I wanted," he

"My goal has been to instill into each employee that the resident comes first above all. Next in importance is cleanliness and last, we want the resident’s family to leave the facility knowing their loved one is being cared for properly."

laughs. "That was a big perk!" He had two loving parents and recalls how hard his mother worked to ensure his needs were met. "I can remember how my mother worked so hard in a sewing factory and would come home and see that we had a homecooked meal," he shares. "She and my father saw that I had new clothes and school supplies every year. She was always right there if I was sick and needy. Mothers are very special people in our lives and should be always recognized as so. You don’t recognize things like that until you get older in life, I guess. I will always remember the sacrifices she made for me."

Caring for Senior Citizens Ashbrook Village, located on an 85-acre property, offers memory care, assisted and independent living. Currently, there are 56 residents who live in the memory care and assisted living sections of the facility, and 70 seniors who live in the independent

I can remember how my mother worked so hard in a sewing factory and would come home and see that we had a home-cooked meal. She and my father saw that I had new clothes and school supplies every year. She was always right there if I was sick or needy. I will always remember the sacrifices she made for me.

living segment. "My goal has been to instill into each employee that the resident comes first above all," he relates. "Next in importance is cleanliness and last, we want the resident’s family to leave the facility knowing their loved one is being cared for properly." Ashbrook Village has received many accolades with Gary at the helm over the last nine years, most notably when Senior Advisor, one of the nation's largest senior living review sites, rated Ashbrook in the top 1 percent of senior care giving in the United States. "Imagine getting an award like that," he says. "Awards are wonderful, but we must keep striving to do better and yes, we still make mistakes that we learn from." He says everyone at Ashbrook cares about the residents and loves them unconditionally, and that is why they have had a waiting list since October 2010. He is thankful for the residents' family members who spread the word of the tremendous care Ashbrook provides for their loved ones.

His Advice Operating an independent living facility is no small task. The rising costs of constructing a structure has increased exponentially, and the ever-rising cost of other expenses makes it almost impossible to meet an annual budget. He says operating a business like Ashbrook Village is a very specialized field that requires solid experience, but he believes anyone with passion and drive can accomplish anything. "Maintaining government regulations – for they are ever changing in this


"Ashbrook could not have been successful without the employees, my managers and partners. It is a true team effort." Standing, Lead Medical Technician, Barbara Henderson, seated, Health Service Director, Melissa Campbell, with Gary.

business, the economy, taxes and insurance are all challenging," he explains. "You must be very passionate, strong-willed and enjoy your business to survive." There are also advantages that come with being a private business owner. "Being the boss is nice sometimes," he exclaims. "I am able to make quick decisions on the spot without having to wait for approval, which is different from the corporate world." The downside of being the boss is meeting the budget with increasing expenses across the board and having to release an employee for their shortcomings in the workplace. "That is never easy," he relates. "Being a small business owner, you wear many hats so the day's direction may change many times." If he had the chance to do things over again he says he would have gotten involved in senior care much earlier, possibly owning his own management company managing multiple senior care facilities. He's very thankful to have a strong support system of friends and family. "My wife is a tremendous supporter of me and helps in so many different aspects," he shares. "An important point is to also recognize the employees of Ashbrook Village. I have five managers who are so supportive, along with

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great employees. Ashbrook could not have been successful without the employees, my managers and partners. It is a true team effort." He has also gained friendships with managers of other senior living facilities in the area. They often meet for lunch to discuss the issues they all face on a daily basis. Most of all, he looks to the heavens for guidance. "My main mentor is God, who has always been so instrumental in my life," he says.

Labor of Love Managing the unique needs of senior citizens is a huge responsibility, but can also be very rewarding. And, working in an assisted living facility can also have its lighter moments – even if those moments aren't funny until much later. One of Gary's partners had a relative who, although physically fit and got around very well for his age, had some dementia and became a resident of Ashbrook. "I was going outside to the back of the building to empty some trash, and he wanted to walk outside with me," he recalls. "After going out, he would not go back inside. I’m usually the master talker when it comes to asking the residents to do things, and I knew he liked the ladies that worked here. So, I asked two of the medical technicians to come outside and walk with him around the building for a nature walk. They walked around Ashbrook a couple of times, then he took off through the woods – so they called me. I jumped in the van and followed him into the woods. When I caught up with him, he turned and attempted to hit me. We tussled a bit with each other and fell into the edge of a marsh, and we tussled some more in the water. I asked him if he was ready to end this thing and he said, 'Yes, I’m ready for a shower!' We drove back to the building, he went back into the building to his room, showered and never made mention of the incident

again. We had gotten so wet, muddy and slimy – the things that we do." Heartwarming moments abound in this business, but Gary recalls one instance that was extremely impactful for him and for the resident. When he was working at the facility in Highlands, NC., there were three women from the local country club who paid Gary a visit. They asked him if he would come and speak to one of the residents who had a home at the country club about entering the assisted living facility. The man had no known family, so Gary went to meet with him. "He was 99 years old, but physically able to walk and get around," he says. "I found him to be very headstrong and he could be downright mean at times! After a time, I was able to get him to come to assisted living and he ended up staying. In talking with him, he reported he had no one in his family who was still living. However, in this internet world, I had him give me some names in his family. I was able to locate some of his family in Boston who came and paid him a visit … that was great."

Time and Tide Wait for No Man (or Woman) Everyone knows you can't stop the hands of time. That's why it's important to have your affairs in order

Gary and Ashbrook Village resident, Susie Burdett, take a walk together in the garden.


Ashbrook Village resident, Katie Clay (left), her daughter, Karen Brey (center) and Karen's dog, Winnie, enjoy some quality time on the front porch with Gary. Gary is an active owner who continues to be directly involved with the residents' care and social lives.

when the time comes to move forward into the next chapter in your life. "When we are younger, most of us never realize our roles will reverse and we will be helping with the care of our parents as they cared for us when we were children," he explains. "Many grown children are lost when this time comes and really don’t know what to do. It is important for parents to have appointed powers of attorney for medical and financials – no matter what age they are. This will help their children so much." He says the planning for the growth of seniors in housing and medical facilities has not been properly addressed in our country. Many seniors haven’t planned for this time in their lives and the cost of these services is rising every day. With advances in modern medicine, the number of people over 60 years old are expected to double by 2050 and will require extensive changes in society, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO says there are three specific areas that will need to be addressed in our society. The first is to make where we live more senior-friendly. The


solution to this could be improving senior citizens' sense of security by addressing loneliness and social isolation in the elderly population. Second, they suggest that society needs to reform its health systems – shifting from systems that are focused on critical and acute diseases to systems that will provide continuous care for chronic health conditions found in older people. The third key area is to create long-term care systems that will ensure the elderly will be able to live out their years with dignity, providing needed support to families and freeing up women, who are most often the primary caregivers for older family members, so they will be available for more expansive roles in society. Gary's advice for senior citizens is to not wait to enter a facility. "I find that 80 percent of seniors are ready to come, and after being here, wish they had done it sooner," he relates. "Of the 20 percent who don’t want to come here, after three to 10 days, they are all very glad that they came. It makes such a difference in the elderly with medicines given on

time, having proper meals and just being social in our community." Women are an important part of Ashbrook Village. There are usually more women than men who live in the facility, and Gary is an active owner who continues to be directly involved with the residents' care and social lives. "I think most women who have never visited Ashbrook before would be amazed at how clean our property is kept and at our detailed business operations," he says. "They would also be surprised that I chose all of the colors of paint and that I decorated the facility myself." Women also make up a large and important segment of the employees and management at Ashbrook. "The role of women has changed so much in my lifetime," he says. "I have worked with many more women than men in my career. I have learned women are more detailed and have many more new ideas in the workplace than men – and often do a better job!"

Building upon Excellence Gary has substantial expansion goals for the facility, which will include an additional assisted living building, more independent living cottages, a

new nursing home, a drug store and medical supply store, home health and hospice offices as well as retail space. He is excited for the future and is diligently working to make Ashbrook Village the best it can be for the residents. "Since I was a young man, I have always wanted to make things better," he shares. "First it was coaching children and now, I'm improving situations for seniors with my job. I hope to continue doing that!" WGW

To learn more about Gary Tallent and Ashbrook Village or to schedule a tour of the facility, call 770.456.4477 or visit the website at


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Inspiring Quotes By Extraordinary Men “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. “

”Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” – Denzel Washington

– Albert Einstein “Never let pride be your guiding principle. Let your accomplishments speak for you.” – Morgan Freeman

"A man’s ledger does not tell what he is, or what he is worth. Count what is in man, not what is on him, if you would know what he is worth – whether rich or poor."

– Henry Ward Beecher “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” 38 – Dalai Lama

Local Happenings

West Georgia Mental Health Professionals Wellness Meetup Group

This group meets the last Saturday of every month in Douglasville or Austell. For more information, contact Cheryl at theheartmatters@gmail.com or 678.754.5840. Learn more at www.heartmatterswellness.com.

Hope For The Journey This group meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Tracy Stallings Community Center at 118 South White St. in Carrollton. These events are free to breast cancer survivors or those currently battling breast cancer. Learn more at www.hopeforthejourneywestga.org, email execdirector@hopeforthejourneywestga.org or call 770.214.1491.

Rare Pearls Mentoring and Leadership Program

Rare Pearls mission is to enrich and empower the lives of young girls and women. This group meets the third Saturday of each month at Heritage Baptist Church in Douglasville, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. This program is open to all girls ages 7 to 17. For more information call 770.947.8210, email rarepearls2015@gmail.com or visit the website at www.rarepearlsmentoringandleadership.org.

Nursing From The Heart Breastfeeding Support Group This group meets the third Monday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 500 Old Bremen Road in Carrollton. These events are free to pregnant women and moms looking for breastfeeding support. Free


weight checks for your baby will be available. Come and share your breastfeeding journey with us. Please check our website for meeting and event updates at www.nursingfromtheheart.com.

Annual BIG Latch On August 2, 2019 at City Station

Nursing From The Heart in partnership with the West Georgia Breastfeeding Task Force invite friends, families and members of the community to come join them to help raise breastfeeding awareness and support in West Georgia. They will be hosting this event in collaboration with the Department of Public Health District 4 WIC to reach and support even more families this year. The Global BIG Latch On takes place around the world, and people gather together to breastfeed and offer peer support. This event will be held on Aug. 2 from 9 to 11 a.m. indoors at City Station, 2115 Maple St. in Carrollton. There will be music, kids’ activities and door prizes. They aim to raise breastfeeding awareness, provide local resources, education, support and to create a breastfeeding friendly community to ensure breastfeeding as a normal part of day-to-day life in West Georgia. For more information and to register visit: www.westgabreastfeeding.com/events or contact Anne Lussier at 470 270-9520

Gertrude's House Breast Cancer Support Group This group meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Lithia Springs Family Chiropractic at 1758 Lee Rd in Lithia Springs. This group is open to all survivors, caregivers, supporters, friends, family and those fighting breast cancer. Visit their Facebook page @GertrudesHouse or email them at GertrudesHouse@yahoo.com.


GriefShare at Tabernacle Baptist Church Utilizing a video seminar, support group and workbook, each of the 13 weekly GriefShare meetings center around a topic important to the grief recovery process. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., and the meetings run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. each evening. Meetings are held at 150 Tabernacle Drive, Room 256, Carrollton, Ga. Classes are free. Participation workbooks are $15. For more information on GriefShare, call or text John Pearson at 404.368.2746.

Cancer Support Group at Tabernacle Baptist Church Has your life been impacted by cancer – whether your own or someone you know? Tabernacle Baptist Church hosts a faith-based cancer support group providing spiritual and emotional support to those diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, those in remission and caregivers. Meetings run from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings are held at 150 Tabernacle Drive, Carrollton, Ga. For more information, call 770.832.7063 or visit the website at tabernacle.org.

Newnan Literary Dinner Theater Southern Crescent Literature and Libations meets quarterly on the first Friday of the month. The next dinner theater will be held on Friday, Aug. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Leaf and Bean, 2051 22 W. Ct. Square A in Newnan, Ga. Three metro Atlanta authors will entertain guests as they describe their books or their journeys in publishing. This event is free, but you may purchase dinner or light fare, beer, wine and soft drinks. Books by the authors will be available for sale and there will be free raffle give-aways. For more information, contact Lee St. John at 678.994.3558.

Tanner Among Foster G. McGaw Finalists Tanner one of three finalists for national community health prize

By Tony Montcalm


est Georgia is becoming a healthier place to live and organizations around the nation are taking notice. Tanner Health System was among only four healthcare organizations in the nation named as a finalist for a prestigious recognition from the American Hospital Association (AHA). The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes healthcare organizations that are committed to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The prize, first awarded in 1986, inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities, according to the AHA. “We have hospitals that provide superior care, but we decided to apply that same approach to care that we give to the sick and injured to start at the grassroots to make this a healthier community,” said Daniel Jackson, chairman of the Tanner Medical Center Inc. Board of Directors and president and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Tomorrow. “We had a vision, then a dream, and now a reality. We have a health system that has partnered with the community to make this a healthier place to live.” That vision – and reality – was Tanner’s Get Healthy, Live Well. "As a community-based health system, Tanner has always worked to provide our neighbors with better access to quality health care," said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. "We pay close attention to the needs of our community and we work to develop the programs and services they need." What the region needs now, according to Howard, isn’t just treatment for conditions they have, but the education and empowerment to avoid and better control chronic conditions themselves. "Get Healthy, Live Well has allowed us to truly be a one-stop healthcare destination, thanks to the contributions of the medical care providers, staff, partners and volunteers who are passionate about

improving the community's health," Howard said. "It's rewarding to see the impact this initiative has had in building a culture of health while significantly increasing the quality of life for so many individuals. "Being selected as a finalist is a testament to Tanner's dedication to not only provide exceptional health care at its facilities in west Georgia and east Alabama but go beyond the hospital walls to improve the health and wellbeing of the community at large," he said. “In seven short years – with a very non-traditional approach for a hospital – we’ve made significant inroads toward building a culture of health in west Georgia,” said Denise Taylor, senior vice president and chief community health and brand officer for Tanner, who oversees the Get Healthy, Live Well initiative. According to Taylor, in those seven years, Tanner’s programs and community health efforts have attracted more than $5.5 million in federal and private funding to the region to support community health initiatives. “We believe our structure could be a model for other rural hospitals in the country because partnering and working alongside the community as we have at Tanner is the way you reach people and support them where they live, learn, work, play and pray,” said Taylor. Get Healthy, Live Well has grown to feature 35 distinct community health task forces and 600 active volunteers. Tanner had the opportunity to showcase the work that Get Healthy, Live Well has done during a site visit from representatives of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee, who visited Carrollton late last year as part of a tour that included visits to other finalist organizations. The health system pulled out all the stops to bring together representatives from throughout the region who have been part of Get Healthy, Live Well’s programs, giving a face and voice to the effect these efforts have had. Carrollton’s City Station hosted the visit. One significant way Get Healthy, Live Well has had an impact is through its free educational programs, regularly offered throughout Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties. Get Healthy, Live Well sourced several clinically based programs backed with research to demonstrate their effectiveness. Those programs include Living Well With Diabetes and the Living


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Well Workshop, each developed by Stanford University, the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart tobacco cessation program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Since 2014, more than 400 residents have completed the Diabetes Prevention Program alone, delaying or even preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes by changing their behaviors and diets and losing, on average, more than 5 percent of their body weight over the course of the program. To reach the people who would benefit most from those programs, Get Healthy, Live Well has also started a unique clinical-community linkage process, enabling physicians and other medical providers to refer a patient to a program right from the patient’s medical record. Referrals are received at Tanner and a coordinator contacts the patient to discuss class offerings and register them to attend. “Population health management, patient education and engagement are all critical parts of the care we provide in a practice setting,” said Amy Eubanks, MD, a board-certified internal medicine provider with Primary Care of Bremen, a certified Patient-centered Medical Home and part of Tanner Medical Group. According to Dr. Eubanks, clinicians – including physicians and advanced practice providers like physician assistants and nurse practitioners – are


caring for more patients with complex chronic diseases. Community-clinical linkages are helping these providers connect patients to the resources that help them best manage those conditions. “It’s hard to have time in a practice setting to give patients the education they need to best control their conditions,” said Dr. Eubanks. “When a patient understands his or her role in managing a condition, they do better. The classes not only give them the education they need, but they become a support group of their peers who are dealing with similar issues.” Almost 120 medical providers at almost 30 medical practices throughout the region have been trained to refer patients to Get Healthy, Live Well, and these providers have referred more than 4,000 patients to Get Healthy, Live Well’s evidence-based classes. Another innovation highlighted by the Foster G. McGaw Prize committee was an effort that gives nursing students a chance to learn more about disease processes and community wellness. Get Healthy, Live Well worked with the University of West Georgia’s Tanner Health System School of Nursing to develop a unique community health preceptorship program that teaches nursing students not only how to treat illness, but how to provide education and insight that can prevent disease in the first place. “It’s had a tremendous impact on our nursing

students,” said Jenny Schuessler, Ph.D., RN, dean and professor of the Tanner Health System School of Nursing at UWG. “They get to see healthcare from a very different perspective, and that’s making them better nurses.” Another major initiative for Get Healthy, Live Well has been supporting the Carrollton GreenBelt, which formally opened in 2017. “Tanner was the perfect partner to provide programming for the Carrollton GreenBelt,” said Erica Studdard, community development director for Carrollton and former executive director of Friends of the Carrollton GreenBelt. Carrollton GreenBelt supporters relied on Tanner to produce all the marketing materials for the project. Tanner also helped develop communitybased initiatives that would utilize the trail network like Safe Routes to School, which has led to more pedestrian-friendly policies and infrastructure on the Carrollton City Schools campus and the bike-share program that has stations throughout the city, making it one of the most utilized such programs in the Southeast. The local bike-share program now boasts more riders than its counterpart in the city of Atlanta. Get Healthy, Live Well also worked with local communities to implement or improve “Complete Streets” policies that have improved pedestrian safety and access, encouraging more people to walk or bike. “Tanner understood that infrastructure – trails, parks and paths – improve a community’s health,” said Studdard of the Carrollton GreenBelt. “Their programs brought people to the trail.” Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent of Carrollton City Schools, cited the ways the Get Healthy, Live Well initiative has become part of the very dialect of the region. “One of the hardest outcomes to achieve is changing the culture,” said Dr. Albertus. “In west Georgia, Get Healthy, Live Well is a household name – it’s changing our culture.” In addition to Safe Routes to School, Get Healthy, Live Well has worked with local schools to improve school nutrition and educate young people on the importance of eating a healthy diet. Those efforts have led to the establishment of at least 16 school

gardens, a unique program that makes healthy cooking part of the school curriculum with the Kids ‘N The Kitchen program and more. According to school leaders, those efforts have led to a noticeable increase in the number of children making healthier choices in school cafeterias. “We’re giving students the opportunity to learn about eating healthy and to try healthy foods,” said Dr. Linette Dodson, RD, LD, the former director of school nutrition for Carrollton City Schools who is now state director of the Georgia Department of Education’s School Nutrition Division. “Those nutrition lessons have led to the number of students choosing items such as salads at lunch to increase from 500 to 850, and they’re also taking those lessons home to their parents and trying to impact the level of nutrition in their own homes.” Among the four finalists, the AHA announced earlier this year that the winner of the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service for 2018 would be Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. The organization will receive a $100,000 prize to help them continue their community health goals. The other finalists, along with Tanner, included Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas, and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. As a finalist, Tanner received a $10,000 prize. “It’s almost unheard of to become a finalist the first year you qualify for this award, so we’re very honored that we had this chance to share our story with our colleagues from the AHA,” said Taylor. “I expect we will apply next year, too, and use this experience – and some of the new programs we have in the works – to further impress on the prize committee the extraordinary things we’re doing to impact the health of our region.” Led by Tanner, Get Healthy, Live Well is a comprehensive community health collaborative working to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic disease by decreasing health disparities, reducing obesity rates, eliminating tobacco use, increasing physical activity and improving nutrition in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties. More information on the collaborative’s work can be found online at GetHealthyLiveWell.org. WGW


Kids Korner

Cookie Referees and Football Players


ickoff the beginning of football season with this easy to make football goal post planter. These can be used as placeholders at your next football-themed gathering. For a sweet treat during your next tailgate party, these peanut butter sandwich cookie referee and football players can't be beat. Your little ones will love making these delicious football-themed cookies.

Materials Peanut butter sandwich cookies White chocolate candy melts White icing Black icing Blue food coloring, or color of choice Candy eyes Icing tips 2 small bowls Small paintbrush, optional Instructions Pour some of the white icing into the two bowls – enough for dipping cookies. Add food coloring


By Charlene Brooks and Zachary Dailey Photos by Zachary Dailey to one of the bowls of icing. Mix well until desired color is reached. For the referee dip both ends of the peanut butter sandwich cookie in the white icing. Allow to dry. Take the white icing tube and dab two dots of icing to the front of the cookie and place the eyes into the icing. Above the eyes, spread a thin line of icing for the bill of the hat. Cut a candy melt in half and place into the strip of icing. Allow to dry. Take the black icing tube and draw lines on the bottom half of the cookie. Add a thin strip of black icing for the mouth. If the icing comes out too thick, you may need to use the paintbrush for the smaller details. For the football player dip both ends of the cookie in the colored icing. Allow to dry. Take the white icing tube and decorate helmet and jersey as desired. Take the white icing tube and dab two dots of icing below the helmet and place eyes into the icing. Take the black icing tube and draw a facemask on the front above the jersey. Allow to dry.

Football Goal Post Planter


3 popsicle sticks Small clay flower pot White, yellow and green paint Plant of choice or grass Hot glue gun Paint brushes

Instructions Paint the flower pot green. Paint the yardlines on the side of the pot. Put desired plant or grass in pot. Cut 2 popsicle sticks in half. Take 3 of the halves and glue to form the goal. Glue a whole popsicle stick to the bottom of the goal in the middle for the goal post. Place in flower pot. WGW

August is National Immunization Awareness Month • All adults should get recommended vaccines to protect their health • Even healthy adults can become ill and pass diseases on to others • All adults should get an influenza vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu, especially older adults (65 and older), pregnant women and people with long-term medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes • Every adult should get one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then receive a Td (tetanus and diptheria) booster every 10 years. Women should get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy preferably during their third trimesters (27 to 36 weeks) • Adults 50 and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine • Adults 65 and older are recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines, and some adults younger than 65 with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or both pneumococcal vaccines • Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed by a health care professional

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YOU, THREE DAYS AFTER SURGERY The latest in robotic-assisted surgical care has come to Villa Rica. No one wants to have surgery. But for a wide range of problems, from hernias to chronic heartburn, women’s issues like endometriosis and fibroids to a range of urological problems, surgery is often the best option for getting back to a normal, pain-free life. At Tanner, we’re ensuring that surgery is as comfortable as possible. We’re proud to announce that we’ve extended this state-of-the-art level of care to Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica with our new surgical services center and the expansion of our robotic-assisted surgical program.


More than 1,000 of your neighbors have already stopped living with pain and gotten back to their lives with robotic-assisted surgical care at Tanner. You can, too. Learn more about the advanced minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical services at Tanner’s state-of-the-art surgical care centers at SurgeryAtTanner.org or call 770-214-CARE(2273) for a referral to a surgeon on Tanner’s medical staff.

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West Georgia Woman Magazine August 2019  

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