Gainesville, Hall County, GA

Wellness and Healthcare Access

Leadership: Dr. Gale Starich, Brenau University

Our Vision: Gainesville-Hall County is a model for providing high-quality, affordable healthcare to its residents. The healthcare community has deployed technology that connects providers accross the region and allows clinical data exchange.  We strive to create a culture of wellness among our residents and our community.

Our Healthcare Initiative Consortium is a group of healthcare leaders who are working toward community health improvement on the local level using meaningful and specific data, ongoing communication and seeking out opportunities that the community may benefit from along the lines of better health.  See the Adult and Pediatric Snapshots below. 

The group includes representatives from physician practices, the health department, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Brenau University, and Good News Clinics, and dovetails with Vision 2030 and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce's Healthcare Committee. 

To develop the VISION 2030 health and wellness initiative, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce formed the Healthcare Committee in 2007. The committee includes representatives from Northeast Georgia Health System, physician groups and health-related organizations. The committee oversees a set of community-wide programs and events and meets monthly to discuss access to healthcare, wellness programs and benefits, healthcare services, legislative issues, health insurance and other important health and wellness topics.

Now in its 10th year, the Annual HealthSmart Wellness Expo features some 70 booth exhibits providing interactive wellness services. The event, free and open to the public, focuses on community health and wellness and continues to be one of VISION 2030’s most successful initiatives. Dozens of services are provided at the Expo including FREE health screenings.
Click here for more information.

As part of the VISION 2030 HealthSmart Community Challenge, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce conducts a survey to seek the “Most Fit Company” in Gainesville-Hall County. Judging criteria for the contest includes Wellness, Nutrition and Physical Activity that the company provides for its employees. The award is presented in three categories for large companies (251+ employees), medium (51-250 employees) and small (50 employees or less). The Chamber’s Healthcare Committee initiated this program to raise company wellness awareness and promote healthy workplaces in our community.

The Annual Chamber Chase 5K & Wellness Walk includes corporate and community teams. The event includes education and training opportunities for the participants focusing on physical activity and nutrition. In its 9th year, the Chamber Chase has become one of the community’s most successful wellness programs. In April 2016, over 2,000 people will participate in some aspect of the race. Instead of gathering at the company water-cooler for a post-work chat session, thousands of employees descend upon Riverside Military Academy to get a little exercise. The event consists of two, separate 5K races, one for runners and one for walkers. The goal of the annual race is to encourage businesses to create company-based wellness programs for employees. Click here for more.

“Hall County’s Largest Office Party” at the end of the race course provides an opportunity for employees of different businesses to mix and mingle and unwind after the race. There is food, live music along with prizes to the Fastest Corporate Team, Fastest Community Team, Fastest CEO, Most Spirited Team and T-Shirt Design Team Winner. 

The Blue Zone Community Summit, held in April 2016 and efforts to keep Hall Healthy are ongoing and the focus of the Healthcare Consortium. A group of stakeholders work collaboratively on keeping the 9 Power Approaches forefront and in action.  Efforts across Vision 2030 lines help to make these approaches the easy choice! 


1. Move Naturally 
The world’s longest-lived people live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. 

2. Purpose 
Why I wake up in the morning – Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy. 

3. Down Shift 
Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. We need routines to shed that stress. 

4. 80% Rule 
Stop eating when your stomachs are 80 percent full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. 

5. Plant Slant 
Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstones of most centenarian diets. Meat is eaten on average five times per month. 

6. Wine @ 5 
People can drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all weekend and have 14 drinks on Saturday. 

7. Belong 
Belong to some faith-based community. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy. 

8. Loved Ones 
Put families first. This means keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby, commit to a life partner (which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy) and invest in their children with time and love. 

9. Right Tribe 
The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors. The social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors.