South Central Health District of Georgia

The South Central Health District

Bleckley. Dodge. Johnson. Laurens. Montgomery. Pulaski. Telfair. Treutlen. Wheeler. Wilcox.




Program Highlight:


Breast and Cervical Cancer Program:

Are you worried because you don’t have insurance and think you can’t afford breast and cervical cancer screenings? We might be able to help. Call your county health department for more information.

Roll In , Roll Down, Roll Out!

Several health departments are planning drive thru flu clinics this fall. This is a great way to make sure you are protected from the flu.  In addition, these exercises serve as practice in case our communities had to respond to a disaster situation with mass dispensing of medications.  Please come and drive thru even if you don’t need your flu vaccine.  Help your community be prepared!



August is National Immunization Awareness Month

DeAnna Brown, Immunization Coordinator

During National Immunization Awareness Month, our Immunization Coordinator, DeAnna Brown, would like to remind everyone to make sure your family’s vaccines are up-to-date. For more information, please visit  Call your local health department or physician’s office to schedule needed vaccines today!

Megan Brantley, Emergency Preparedness Training Coordinator

Bleckley Open Point Of Dispensing Exercise

Friday, June 21st from 10 am to 1pm

Location: Heartland EMS (256 Lucas Road, Cochran, GA)

Kelly Knight  (3rd from left) and Stacey Upshaw (4th from left) attend the 2019 Association of Public Health Nurses Conference

Nursing Director, Kelly Knight, and Assistant Nursing Director, Stacey Upshaw, are attending the 2019 Association of Public Health Nurses Conference in Atlanta this week.

The Conference Learning Outcomes include:

  • Demonstrate how public health agencies can incorporate principles of Public Health 3.0 and social determinants of health into their workforce training programs.
  • Describe strategies and emerging practices to develop nurse leaders who promote building a culture of health in their communities.
  • Discuss ways in which academic partners are integrating social determinants, equity, and culture of health concepts into nursing curricula.
  • Describe strategies for public health departments to form active cross-sector partnerships with community stakeholders.
  • Explore efforts through which public health partners can develop and assess prevention initiatives targeting social determinants of health and health equity.
  • Discuss evaluation strategies for primary prevention initiatives at the community level.
  • Discuss ways in which communities have incorporated a health in all policies approach at the community systems level to advance health equity.
  • Explore innovative models for organizational funding of expanding public health core infrastructure and community work.
  • Discuss emerging practices to address the environmental and human health consequences of climate change.

We are very proud of the outstanding work performed by our many great nurses! 

Shown above: Melissa Brantley, Health Promotion Coordinator for South Central Health District

Diabetes Self -Management Education and Support

If you are one of the millions of people living with diabetes, we have good news to help you live a better quality of life. Participating in a self-management education (SME) program can help you learn skills to manage your diabetes more effectively by checking blood sugar regularly, eating healthy food, being active, taking medicines as prescribed, and handling stress.

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) services provide information and skills for people to manage their diabetes and related conditions. DSMES is tailored to your individual needs, goals, and life experiences and is guided by evidence-based standards. You’ll learn how to eat healthy, be physically active, monitor blood sugar levels, take medication, problem solve, reduce risk for other health conditions, cope with the emotional side of diabetes, and improve your health and quality of life. DSMES is led by a diabetes educator like a registered nurse, registered dietician, or pharmacist.
It’s important to receive DSMES services when you’re first diagnosed. There are three other times DSMES can help you manage your diabetes that include at your yearly follow-up visits with your doctor, if health complications arise, and when changes in your care occur.

Topics include:
• Understanding diabetes and diabetes treatment.
• Healthy eating.
• Being physically active.
• Taking medicine.
• Checking your blood sugar.
• Reducing your risk for other health problems.
• Learning to cope with stress, depression, and other concerns.

Your doctor may refer you to a specific program. For more information on a local program, contact Melissa Brantley at 478-275-6545. 

Children’s Medical Services/Children 1st

Children & Youth with Special Needs Programs

Children & Youth with Special Needs Programs began in 1935 when congress passed the Social Security Act. Title V of the Social Security Act provides funding to states to provide public healthcare programs to children and youth with special needs.

Programs Offered That Your Child Might Qualify For:

  • Children 1st(Birth – 5 Years Old)
  • Children’s Medical Services (Birth – 21 Years Old)

Children 1st:

Children 1st is a free tracking and monitoring program offered by the state of Georgia. The Children 1st staff collaborates with local pediatricians and is able to monitor the health and development of every child enrolled in the program through their regular doctor’s visits. Children 1st sends periodic tracking letter to the pediatricians of each child enrolled. When the pediatrician responds with a concern for a child, the Children 1st staff attempts to contact the family. This program is to ensure that each family gets the resources needed for its unique situation.

Children 1st is the single point of entry for all the Children & Youth with Special Needs Programs. If you think your child qualifies for one of our programs, you can make a referral to Children 1st and your child will be placed in the most appropriate program for him or her.

All children from birth to age five who face situations that have the potential to hinder their growth and development are eligible. These situations can be social or medical.

Children’s Medical Services:

Children’s Medical Services is a public health program that provides medical care and financial assistance to children with disabling conditions or chronic illnesses.

There is a wide variety of conditions covered through CMS.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Neurological Disorders including epilepsy
  • Orthopedic and/or Neuromuscular disorders including Cerebral Palsy
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Visual Disorders

Children from birth to 21 years old are eligible for this program.

CMS is able to help pay for any equipment, medicines and doctor’s visits pertaining to a child’s qualifying medical diagnosis.

If you know of a child that might qualify for the Children 1st program or the Children’s Medical Services program, please call Cathy Moore or Kerrie Fountain to make a referral.

Once the referral is made, the staff at Children’s Medical and Children 1st will immediately start the enrollment process.

The Children’s Medical Services and Children 1st Staff are more than happy to help with anything! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call!!

Children’s Medical Services/Children 1st

2505 Bellevue Road

Dublin, GA 31021


Fax: (478) 275-5117

Meet our Emergency
Preparedness and Response Team!

Front Row: (L) Megan Craft, (R) Megan Brantley

Back Row: Left to right: Nichole Evans, Jennifer Stokes, Jodi Bazemore, and Jill Bracewell

…and below one of our great nurses:  Stacey Upshaw RN, MSN

The mission of the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) team is to assure the health and well-being of individuals in the ten counties in our district by preparing for, responding to and recovering from events of public health significance.

Planning and response includes all hazards that pose a risk to the health and well-being of our district; support outside of our district when called upon for assistance; support of our regional health care coalition to prepare for and respond to medical surge events; working together with our community health care organizations.

EPR leads efforts related to Emergency Support Function 8 (Health and Medical) and support Emergency Support Function 6 (Mass Care) by providing technical assistance and guidance as well as communication and logistics to support communities during times of disaster or emergency.

We appreciate the hard work of this group!  Thanks for keeping us all safe!

A Message from the Health Director…

Welcome to the website for the South Central Health District, the local ten-county representative of the Georgia Department of Public Health serving Bleckley, Dodge, Johnson, Laurens, Montgomery, Pulaski, Telfair, Treutlen, Wheeler, and Wilcox counties. Our mission is to prevent disease, promote better health, and ensure that families have the resources they need to prepare for and respond to health emergencies caused by flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even acts of bioterrorism or outbreaks of infectious disease.  WE PROTECT LIVES!

Every day more than 135+ dedicated public health employees throughout our district are working to protect YOU!  We provide testing of every newborn for life-threatening conditions; we inspect the restaurants you dine in; we inspect the public swimming pools you swim in to make sure they are safe.  Additionally, we offer both childhood and adult vaccinations to guard against many life-ending or life-altering diseases.  Each year during flu season, our flu immunization program protects you and your families at work and at school.  We promote smoking cessation to fight chronic lung disease and heart disease.  We provide women with screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer.  We have programs to encourage exercise and healthy eating to combat childhood obesity among our young people.  As a new initiative of the Georgia Department of Public Health, we are providing programs that encourage “Early Brain Development” in infants and children age birth to 2 years, realizing this is the foundation of a healthier, educated, prosperous future for Georgia—and it all starts with language and talking with (and reading to) your baby from birth.

We also have public health employees and practitioners working to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—and we are doing more to link people to the specialty care needed for these diseases.  We provide Health Promotion and Education to prevent or minimize the effects of hypertension and diabetes through nutrition and weight management programs.

Lastly, we are collaborating like never before with other programs and agencies (such as EMS, CDC, local and state government, schools/academic institutions, and various healthcare institutions through our Regional Healthcare Coalition) to prepare for disaster-related health implications such as hurricane sheltering, flooding, and potential mass treatments for epidemics or bioterrorism.  The South Central Health District even helped with our district’s first-ever hurricane impact in October 2018!

Georgia Public Health feels that people enjoy longer and happier lives when they live healthy lives in healthy families and in healthy communities.  We at the South Central Health District want to provide the resources to achieve this for every resident of–and visitor to–our ten-county district.  Please feel free to peruse our website to learn more about the many services and programs that we offer.

Thomas E. Craft, Jr., M.D.

District Health Director, South Central Health District

Georgia Department of Public Health

Need Data and Statistics?

The Georgia Department of Public Health has two ways to access Georgia’s public health data:

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Upcoming Events Calendar

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Restaurant Inspection Scores

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Form Finder

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