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Monday May 4th, 2015 6:17PM

HealthSmart focuses on wellness and drug abuse prevention

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - The Seventh Annual Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce HealthSmart Expo was held Wednesday at the Gainesville Civic Center, with a focus this year on prescription drug abuse prevention.

The annual event was sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Gainesville physician Dr. Tennett Slack was one of the featured speakers at the EXPO Breakfast. He is Co-Chairman of the Medical Association of Georgia's 'Think About It' campaign, and he gave his audience a lot to think about when it came to prescription drug abuse and how to prevent it.

"Unintentional overdose deaths have surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States," Dr. Slack said.

Slack added that patients need to understand how deadly pain killer drugs can be if improperly used, and they need to learn how to store and properly dispose of the drugs. Doctors, he said, need to use care in prescribing the medications.

"We need to encourage prescribers not to under treat pain with narcotics but on the other hand not to over treat pain either."

Chamber president Kit Dunlap said Gainesville is known for medical care and it's the logical location for a health care expo.

"We live in a community where there are so many health care services, and the Expo makes people aware of what we have in Hall County," Dunlap said.

Most Fit Company awards went to HTI Employment Solutions, Procare Rx and Hall County Government. (See separate story on AccessNorthGA.com's business page.)

Around 60 health care exhibitors met the public at the Expo, with several free healthcare screenings for glucose, cholesteral,blood pressure and others.Newly arrived in Gainesville is AEON Clinical Laboratories according to CEO Sonny Roshan, who said his firm serves area doctors.

"Hall County is very progressive and has a number of physicians who use us," Rohsan said. "It was just natural for us to be in Hall County."

Roshan said AEON moved from Winder to Gainesville because the city is a regional center for medical care.
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