Johnson Expresses Concerns Over Handling of Healthcare Change

News, Politics
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Blue Ridge, Ga – Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson voiced his opinion on the changes to the county’s healthcare policy.

In the May 28 Board of Commissioner’s meeting, Johnson, who missed the called special session on healthcare, made his thoughts on the changes known.

“The reason I felt that we went to self-insured, two or three years ago, was to save money, and that hasn’t been the case. I would hope that next year that we get some different proposals, said Johnson.

He stated that he couldn’t disagree with the tobacco policy, but the spousal carve-out warranted further consideration before moving forward.

Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson expressed concerns over the speed of the approval for the new healthcare policy.

“The carve-out, I would have liked to have seen some numbers on how much that is going to save us, stated Johnson, “Some of the employees have worked here for numerous years, and now their spouses are going to have to receive healthcare from somewhere else. It could be an undue hardship.”

It’s still too early to tell how many employees will be affected by the carve-out. Employees have until the end of the month to decide what to do.

Johnson stressed looking into different options next year, “We’re paying about the same. I feel like we have to get permission from this new insurance company to get injured, so I would like to a few options for us all to look at. For myself, I am coming off it.”

He also expressed an issue with the decision being made in a called meeting. “We had a meeting that Tuesday. I wished we had presented it then,” said Johnson, “We’re taking two weeks to go over an ambulance bid, and we had one meeting to change the entire insurance for the county.”

In closing, Johnson stated, “We’re trying to do everything for the cost not to rise, and I feel like that is what the commissioner’s did even in my absence. Everyone’s trying to keep the cost from going up.”

“I’m certainly in favor of looking at anything that reduces insurance costs. The claims can be terrible, and it impacts everybody, and we tried to choose the route that impacted the fewest people, “said Chairman Stan Helton, “We’ll certainly take that under advisement.

County Encourages Tobacco Users to Quit

News

Blue Ridge, Ga – Board of Commissioners offer county employees incentives to quit tobacco in the 2019 healthcare plan.

In a called meeting of the Board of Commissioners, the commissioners added a $50 a month surcharge to monthly premiums for tobacco users. Studies have shown that tobacco use causes poor health in individuals who partake over a number of years. The addition to the premium is an effort to promote good health among the employees of the county government.

Fannin County employees have six months to stop using tobacco, starting on July 1.

“The fair thing is to give employees a chance, a timeframe to stop, to cease the use of tobacco and then along with that plan to offer some tools that helps them to get off of it,” said Chairman Stan Helton.

Sheriff Dane Kirby confirmed with Chief Financial Officer Robin Gazaway that current premiums and how the $50 monthly charge would break down week to week.

“It would be about $11.50 or $12 extra a week,” said Gazaway.

Post Two Commissioner Glenn Patterson asked, “Are we going to provide them with things to help them stop?”

Benefit Support’s Representative Lena Andrews assured him that the health plan will offer them tools to quit. Starting in July, which is when the new healthcare year will start, tobacco users will have access to cessation methods as well that the county will pay for. They can choose the patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler,  and nasal spray to help them quit.

County employees have six months to stop their tobacco use before the $50 surcharge goes into effect.

However, if employees haven’t quit by January 2020, they will be charged the $50 surcharge on their insurance premium. January 1, 2020, would be when the county sent out the first surcharge. Employees can also choose to quit to take advantage of the cessation methods at any time.

Additionally, the county included a spousal carve-out clause to their insurance plans. Essentially, if an employee’s husband or wife has the opportunity to be insured by their employer, then they must be covered through their employer.

“If the spouse has access to coverage through their employer, then that spouse is required to sign up for coverage through that employer. They can stay on the county if so desired, but the county becomes secondary to the other group health insurance plan,” explained Total Insurance Representative Ron Offord, “That being said, a lot of employers don’t offer spousal coverage because they are allowed to do that under Affordable Care Act plans.”

Spouses have 60 days to make the change, and the effective date must be July 1 for the individual to be covered on their new plan. The healthcare providers plan to meet with each and every employee to go through all the details.

A prescription step-up plan was also added, which states the lowest cost prescription is the first choice by the healthcare plan. If a doctor prescribes a more expensive prescription, however, the insurance will cover the cost.

No raises in insurance premiums this year for Fannin County employees.

The county’s making these changes in an effort to keep employee premiums down and provide the most benefit to everyone. The program’s self-funded and claims greatly affect health insurance rates, so by helping employees become healthier and fewer people on the insurance plans the rates can remain low.

“We’re not raising, this year, their premiums,” said Helton, “it will happen. We don’t know when, but we felt strongly that we needed to look at some other options before going to the pocketbook.”

Post One Commissioner was absent during this called meeting, and all present department heads decided the changes were fair when asked at the end of the meeting.

Myth’s, Illusions or Truths?

Opinion

Most of our nation’s young people under the age of 30, are the products of some form of
government control. They enjoyed free meals at schools, health care, education, housing, etc..
The expected requirement of their acceptance was to obey teachers and school administrators.
The punishment that followed, if they deviated from the official dogma, was to be ostracized and
shamed. Through the collectivization of their thought process, they needed to only to know what
was taught to them and to ignore what they learn outside the school environment from their
parents, friends, relatives and Fox news. Attempts at original thought was/is discouraged.

Schools can’t proceed as they do without the political and financial support of politicians; the
very ones, the “Establishment Elites,” we are fighting today. It is they who organize the standard
dumb-down curriculum to ensure implementation of their socialist ideas without comment. All
propaganda and brainwashing. Don’t dare show up with a MAGA hat.

Unobstructed, politicians know that the more they lie the more we tend to believe them and
become more dependent on them. Without the constant barrage of propaganda, our attention
span would decline and they’ed lose control over our actions. The present predicament of the
Progressive sneaked up on ‘em and their supporters in the elections of 2012, 2014 and 2016.
The Democrat Elites lost control because believed their own nonsense and didn’t see the Trump
tidal wave coming. We see it often enough when we recognize otherwise smart folks acting
contrary to their own best interests without a second thought. That’s the power of propaganda
but, it must be a continuous daily drumming on the listeners’ senses if it is to stick!

Trump, like a breeze of fresh air, beyond all possible reasoning of media ‘pundents,’ confronted
them with a serious challenge to their belief system and their minds closed tight, because,
without a script or a firm belief that their dumbing down of the populous has really worked, they
don’t know what to do. Witness Sen. Elizabeth, the Indian Princess. Her defense of her
Pocahontas DNA tests was a fraud. That wee drop of native blood she says she has comes
from South America, from an illegal no doubt. Trump trolled her and, like a slippery fish bent on
absolution, she rose to the bait and now looks like a complete fool. It’s exactly the same for silly
Hillary who thinks she and Bill can tour the country, at $1000.00 a head, and draw the big
crowds like Trump does.

When challenged, progressives immediately go into avoidance behavior. They scream, holler or
’PooPoo’ the challenge as a “Vast Right-Wing conspiracy,” label it as stupid and unworkable and
move on to the next subject threatening dire punishment for any who dare question their truth.
Alinskites know that organized and sophisticated propaganda operates outside the normal level
of intelligence. So, without some reason to ask questions, as many intelligent people don’t, they
accept the lies and myths the same as the mass general population. Repeated often enough,
the propaganda then becomes conventional wisdom because, we rarely accept challenges to
conventional wisdom. Once belittled, it’s never considered again. Here is where they ignore
facts even when those facts support contrary knowledge, and embrace “stupid.”

When do myths, used to persuade people, become dangerous? When the people accept them
as ‘benefits. That’s the power of propaganda. Losing an illusion actually makes us wiser than
finding a truth.

Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (17Oct18)

Humble but proud: Local athletic trainer’s impact hits home

Team FYN Sports

High school athletics are a huge part of character development for our young men and women, teaching them how to overcome adversity, work together, balance studies with extracurricular activities, and last but not least: It is their first legitimate introduction to health and fitness.
You may have heard of the “Five Parts of Physical Fitness” before – but there are actually 11 components of what a coach evaluates when assessing the physical fitness of an athlete.

These include:

1. Agility
2. Balance
3. Body Composition
4. Cardiovascular Endurance
5. Coordination
6. Flexibility
7. Muscular Endurance
8. Muscular Strength
9. Power
10. Reaction Time
11. Speed

We use these components of physical fitness in our everyday lives, but the first true test of each of these measures typically comes by way of high school sports. Strength coaches help their athletes with endurance, strength, power and balance. Conditioning coaches help their athletes with cardiovascular endurance, reaction time, coordination and agility. All coaches typically impact an athletes body composition, flexibility and speed.

The one coach who assists the athletes with all of the above, however, is the athletic trainer. Day or night, when there is a ball game, a wrestling tournament, a track meet, or even at power puff flag football; the athletic trainer stands ready to help the athletes prevent accidents, stay hydrated, and in worst-case scenarios; diagnose and treat injuries as they occur. Oftentimes their hard work is overshadowed by the gameplay itself, but when a player goes down these coaches show their true value by coming to the immediate aide of all involved.  Humbly waiting in the shadows of the sidelines, the athletic trainer answers the call that no one else would ever want to.

Jeremy King, FCHS Head Athletic Trainer

Fannin County High School’s head athletic trainer is Jeremy Keith King, a 2007 FCHS graduate who went on to study Sports Medicine with an emphasis in Athletic Training at Valdosta State University. Coach King graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 and after completing his internship at Northeast Medical Center/The Rehabilitation Institute in Gainesville, Ga, he began his career at Fannin County High School.

In 2013, he was hired as the Head Athletic Trainer for FCHS, and he was offered a full time teaching position in Healthcare Science.

When asked about his experience, King shared that he’s worked closely with multiple doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and EMT’s; as well as many other sports medicine professionals. “To come home to my high school and serve as the head athletic trainer and instructor of the Sports Medicine program is a dream come true for me,” King told TeamFYNSports.

We asked one of his students/trainers about her experience learning from the head athletic trainer and participating in the Sports Medicine program at FCHS.  Trudy Cobb is a senior, and could be seen carrying water bottles to players, coaches and even GHSA officials at each home and away football game this year.

It’s a great experience to get to learn things that people my age don’t usually know,” Cobb told TeamFYNSports. “Coach King is a great teacher inside the classroom working with all high school grade levels, but in OUR program we learn SO MUCH MORE.”   Cobb shared that she has been introduced to many healthcare professionals by King, and she felt that has helped her understand and develop a genuine interest in sports medicine as a potential career.

“I truly think that the key to knowing if you want to be in that career, you should immerse yourself into those type of situations,” Cobb explained, “but through [King’s] program, I have learned the hands-on of taping an ankle and working on rehabilitating athletes.  You have to know the ins-and-outs of each and every sport because not only are you watching – and hopefully enjoying – the games; you must also know the essential motions of movements that the particular athletes you are working with use. It’s an experience that I am very blessed to have been a part of through my years in high school.”

Although his position at FCHS is a demanding one, King still makes time for his family and his other passions.

“I am happily married to Christa [King] and we have two daughters, Evie and Lyla,” said King. “They attend Fannin County schools.” He added that he and his wife recently welcomed their son, Thaddeus, to “Rebel Nation” this year.

King is also a member of the Blue Ridge Rugby Club and he is a proud member of the Phi Sigma Kappa National Fraternity. “I currently still serve as a mentor and advisor for new members [of Phi Sigma Kappa] and I serve on the Alumni Board of Executives,” King explained.

TeamFYNSports had an opportunity to catch up with Coach King, and since this is the time of year so many people tend to look at their new year resolutions, we thought we’d ask him if he had any advice for anyone getting out to the gym to try and shed a few pounds after a relatively sedentary holiday break.  Here’s what he had to say:

“From an injury prevention measure, know your limitations. Don’t feel like you have to show out, your body can not just pick up right where it left off. Slowly ease yourself back into a workout program and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Gyms have personal trainers there to give you feedback and help you – if they don’t – consider a different gym. Also, don’t forget about the diet and stretching parts of a workout program. If you are wanting to get stronger or healthy, the diet is an important part of it. Our body needs “good” fuel to run on, especially if we are asking more from it. Stretching is important before and after a workout. Get a good dynamic (moving) 10-minute warm-up in before your start and a good cool down period before you stop. Static stretching (holding a stretch) is best after you are done with you entire workout. Remember it is all a process and results do not happen overnight, so stick with it even when you feel like giving up.”

We also asked King what was the most common cause for injuries in high school sports.  His answer came as no surprise:

“#1 is accidents, stepping on another players foot, a plant and twist of the knee, getting hit. They are all freak accidents that you can’t control. That is where most injuries occur, but there are preventable injuries that happen too. The number one cause of “preventable” injuries in high school sports in my opinion is not stretching enough or not stretching adequately. Whether it is a dynamic warm up or static stretching after practice, kids just don’t do it enough. Our coaches do a great job having warm ups and giving kids time to stretch but if the kids don’t actually put the effort into it then it doesn’t do much good.”

If you’re a parent of a student athlete at FCHS, you may have already known who Coach King was; do us a favor the next time you see him and shake his hand. This is one coach who has put his whole life into his education, then turned around and brought his skills back to Fannin County to apply them in our community.

We are fortunate to have Coach King as the FCHS Head Athletic Trainer.

Author

Career Day at FCHS

Fannin County High

FCHS Hosts Career Day

Fannin County High School hosted Career Day on October 25.  Over 40 different careers were represented with students being able to choose two sessions to attend.  The variety of topics covered by presenters included duties of the careers, education and/or training needed for the career, salary and benefits associated with the careers, along with how to keep the career once obtained.  The soft skills needed to maintain a job were described as: being on time to work, dressing appropriately for the job, working productively on a team; and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity.   Principal Erik Cioffi expressed his gratitude to the community for their support and willingness to participate in this important event.

Senator David Perdue: August 2017 In Photos

Politics

 

Sen. David Lucas to Host Second Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting

State & National

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Ines Owens, Director
Elisabeth Fletcher, Communications Specialist
Elisabeth.fletcher@senate.ga.gov
404.656.0028

Sen. David Lucas to Host Second Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting

ATLANTA (August 7, 2017) | Sen. David Lucas (D – Macon) will hold a two-day Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting to discuss broadband, healthcare, telecommunications and developing tourism TOMORROW from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and WEDNESDAY from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. The meeting will be held at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.

WHO: Sen. David Lucas and Rural Georgia Study Committee Members

WHAT: Two-day Rural Georgia Study Committee Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
               9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
               Wednesday, August 9, 2017
               9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

WHERE: University of North Georgia
Continuing Education Center in Dahlonega
25 Schultz Avenue
Dahlonega, GA 30597

 

Sen. David Lucas, Sr. represents the 26th Senate District, which includes portions of Bibb, Houston and Jones Counties and all of Hancock, Twiggs, Washington and Wilkinson Counties. He may be reached at 404.656.5035 or by email atDavid.Lucas@senate.ga.gov.

Lt. Governor Cagle to Host Health Care Reform Task Force Meeting

State & National

ATLANTA, June 30, 2017 – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, along with Sens. Renee Unterman, Dean Burke, Chuck Hufstetler, Ben Watson, Kay Kirkpatrick, Jack Hill and Doc Rhett, will hold a meeting of Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force at Tift Regional Medical Center on MONDAY, July 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Members will discuss innovative reforms to advance Georgia as a national leader in delivering patient-centered health care.

The Task Force will be hear presentations from representatives of Tift Regional Medical Center, Emory University, and Dr. Keith J. Mueller, Interim Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Who:                     Lt. Governor Casey Cagle

What:                    Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force Meeting

When:                  Monday, July 10th at 10:00 a.m.

Where:                Tift Regional Medical Center
901 18th St. Tifton, GA 31794

 

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