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Public Health by the Numbers

September 4, 2013

Originally published July 2, 2012

"We protect lives" is the Georgia Department of Public Health's motto, but it is astonishing just how many lives we impact when the numbers are broken down.

As the Department of Public Health celebrates one year as a standalone agency, let's take a look at some of the past year's accomplishments.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention provided 2,800 cancer treatments to more than 300 uninsured cancer patients. It also conducted almost 72,000 Pap tests and more than 17,000 mammograms and clinical breast examinations to uninsured and underinsured women.

Maternal and Child Health promoted pregnancy planning and birth spacing to more than 135,000 men and women, supplied 9,157 child safety seats and saved 28 children from serious injury or death as a result of the statewide program. More than 136,000 newborns were screened for hearing loss and dental sealants were provided to more than 1,600 children through school programs. Additionally, the division worked with local fire departments to install 2,349 smoke alarms in high-risk houses.

Public health worked with the Georgia Department of Education to pilot and implement statewide fitness testing in grades 1-12 in public schools, as required by the Georgia Student Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Act. More than 99 percent of schools were trained or had scheduled training. 

Vital Records issued 188,896 certificates for all vital events including births, deaths, marriages and divorces. The Georgia Public Health Laboratory received 585,220 specimens for testing and performed 7,652,865 tests/examinations/determinations.

Though not an in-depth look, these numbers glimpse the hard work that goes into protecting the lives of millions of Georgians from birth to death.