Health Department hosting 'Sounding the Alarm' event

ALBANY, Ga. -- Local providers are aiming to fight a few trends that have recently plagued the Albany area, and to give the public the means to do so as well.

"Sounding the Alarm," a four-session program being sponsored by the Dougherty County Health Department and the Albany Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is being held this Saturday at the health department.

"Last year, we started a partnership with Delta Sigma Theta because they have some of the same goals we do," said Vamella Lovett, adult health director for the health department. "We choose to host a mini-women's health conference, and we choose topics both the health department and Delta Sigma Theta are interested in."

The program will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The overall goal is help raise awareness about issues impacting women and provide the tools necessary for them to live safer, healthier lives, officials say.

In addition to snacks and a free lunch, there will be four topics covered in sessions scheduled to take place throughout the day. The first, which kicks off right at 9 a.m., will cover self-defense techniques to be taught by Graylon Brunson of Brunson Martial Arts on Dawson Road.

From 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. there will be a session on domestic violence, which will be presented by an author from Atlanta, Pauline Mansfield, who was a victim of domestic violence.

While that is going on, there will be a session on child abuse that will include a presentation from TeShaunda Hannor-Walker, a school counselor from the Dougherty County School System, and a representative from the Dougherty District Attorney's Office.

"There are cases of (domestic violence and child abuse) that are going on every year in Dougherty County, so we thought those would be good topics," Lovett said. "With the self-defense program, we thought that would be a good mix.

"We hope (those who attend) will be more confident and knowledgeable in these areas."

The last program, which starts at noon, will be concerning cardiovascular disease. The speaker will be Dr. Marla Morgan, a physician with Phoebe Neurology Associates. Lunch will be served during this session, and pedometers will be provided to those that attend.

The health department is located at 1710 S. Slappey Blvd. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance by Friday at 5 p.m.

The health department has capacity of 80 people per session. As of midday Tuesday, a total of roughly 100 people were registered for one or more session.

"We are hoping we will have a big crowd," Lovett said. "It's important to address these needs because these are things that happen in the community that affect women. Women sometimes take care of the family and don't take care of themselves.

"When these things come up, it affects the whole family. We hope to increase awareness of things going on in the community (so women can) hopefully live a better life in general. The ones that attend will hopefully be equipped with the knowledge and spread the word."

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to register, call (229) 430-6230.