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Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

ATLANTA -- Piedmont Heart Institute has formed an alliance with the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at the renowned Cleveland Clinic.

The partnership will allow both organizations to raise their standards of cardiovascular care by sharing clinical policies, treatment protocols and research opportunities, according to a Piedmont Healthcare spokesperson.

"Teamwork is the next phase of American medicine. We're finding new ways to combine our strengths for better patient care," Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute chairman Dr. Lars Svensson said in a release. "This alliance will allow us to accelerate advancements in cardiac care."

Piedmont Heart operates 26 clinics across metro Atlanta. Visit piedmont.org for more information.

Ga. health rankings: Cobb County

Ga. health rankings: Cobb County

(WXIA) -- A new report offers detailed health statistics for each of Georgia's counties.

The findings, which are posted at countyhealthrankings.org, determined that Forsyth is Georgia's healthiest county. Early is the least healthy.

Cobb is Georgia's 4th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 8th for quality of life, 3rd for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 21st for clinical care, 10th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 124th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Cobb County:

Austell passes measure that pays employees to exercise

Austell passes measure that pays employees to exercise

AUSTELL, Ga. -- The Austell City Council decided Monday night to pay city employees $5 for each day they exercise one hour at the city's 24-hour-a-day gym.

Mayor Joe Jerkins said he proposed the plan due to the city's rising health insurance costs. Healthcare coverage for 100 employees will cost the Cobb County city about $1 million this year, he said. He expects that as employees get healthier, they will be filing fewer health insurance claims.

The measure passed 5-0.

Jerkins said he doesn't expect all 100 city employees to participate and estimates the city's cost at $50,000 each year.

Currently, he said, about 40 of the 100 employees are using the new, $100,000 city hall gym.

The cash bonuses begin immediately, and will be paid in December of each year.

Emory, WellStar in talks to create unified health system

Emory, WellStar in talks to create unified health system

ATLANTA -- WellStar Health System and Emory University have begun formal discussions about the possibility of creating a new, unified health system.

WellStar spokesperson Tyler Pearson said the new system would be formed by combining Emory Healthcare and WellStar Health System. Discussions will continue for next 45 days, with a goal of creating an environment with the best of both community-based care and academic medicine.

"Our shared vision is to design one of the best health systems in the nation to serve local communities, the state of Georgia and beyond," WellStar Health System CEO Reynold J. Jennings said in a release. "The new system will be one of the most innovative and transformational healthcare systems in the industry."

A multi-step design process for the new health system will take about a year to complete.

Blood donation opportunities: Cobb County

Blood donation opportunities: Cobb County

(WXIA) -- The American Red Cross needs blood donations and has provided healthy metro Atlanta residents with several opportunities to give.

Inclement weather and widespread flu have prevented many usual donors from giving, according to Red Cross spokesperson Kristen Stancil. Several blood drives will be held throughout the area this month to make up the difference.

The Red Cross especially needs blood types O negative, A negative and B negative.

Visit redcrossblood.org for more information.

Here are some upcoming blood drives in Cobb County:

Monday, Feb. 16
Cobb Donor Center, 2145 Roswell Road, Suite 205, Marietta
7:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 17
WellStar Health Park, 4550 Cobb Parkway NW, Acworth
1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

MedZed expands service area into Cobb, north Fulton

MedZed expands service area into Cobb, north Fulton

(WXIA) -- MedZed, an innovative at-home pediatric care service in the Atlanta area, announced its expansion into Cobb and North Fulton Counties. MedZed’s growing business in Atlanta neighborhoods provides parents with an alternative after-hours healthcare option in the comfort of their home. With rapid growth in the Atlanta area, MedZed’s team has expanded its service area to include larger patient populations outside of the perimeter.  The new service area includes Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Vinings, Smyrna, Marietta, Kennesaw, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, East Cobb, Morningside, Druid Hills, Midtown, Decatur and Johns Creek.

Students invited to Pizza Farm 2014

Students invited to Pizza Farm 2014

FOREST PARK, Ga. -- How do you expose urban youth to Georgia’s agriculture? You open a Pizza Farm!

Fourth and fifth grade students from the Atlanta metropolitan area will learn about Georgia agriculture by making, and eating, pizza at the second annual Pizza Farm event.

County agents with the Cooperative Extension Metro Collaborative of Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton counties will lead the event set for Oct. 21-23 at the Georgia State Farmers Market in Forest Park, Ga. The students will learn how dairy, vegetables, grains and meats come together to make the pizza.