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WellStar names new president

WellStar names new president

MARIETTA, Ga. -- WellStar Health System has chosen Candice Saunders as its new president and chief operating officer.

Saunders will take over her new role after current president and CEO Reynold Jennings' contract expires on Dec. 31, 2015.

"WellStar is critical and essential to the communities it serves. More than 1.4 million people rely on our services to live a healthy life," Saunders said in a release. "With my new responsibilities, I will provide leadership continuity to ensure that our system continues to play a major role in providing world-class healthcare to the people of metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia for years to come."

RELATED | Local Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor partners with WellStar

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

(WXIA) -- IHOP will once again participate in the National Pancake Day promotion on Tuesday, Mar. 4.

Customers who visit any IHOP location on National Pancake Day will be treated to a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In exchange, the restaurant chain encourages diners to leave a donation for a number of charities, namely the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1, IHOP will collect donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Customers can buy paper balloons that cost either $1 or $5. The balloons will hang in IHOP restaurants through National Pancake Day.

Anyone who purchases a $5 balloon will receive a $5 IHOP coupon to use on a future visit.

Learn more about the promotion at ihoppancakeday.com.

The Biggest Loser's DOLVETTE

He calls Atlanta home, Dolvette of NBC's The Biggest Loser, stopped by Conn TV Studios to talk about his new lifestyle book about balance, not diet! You don't want to miss what he says about emotion, details, health and much much more. 

Random Acts of Kindness: Dr. Richard Gray

Random Acts of Kindness: Dr. Richard Gray

AUSTELL, Ga. -- Today's random act of kindness is for Dr. Richard Gray.

As we continue to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we celebrate this morning with a random act of kindness for a devoted doctor who is helping one patient in particular for 20 years and counting.

Rebecca Liggin is a breast cancer survivor, and thanks to Dr. Gray has gotten through every hurdle so far. Rebecca wanted to show Dr. Gray how much he means to her, so 11Alive stepped in to help give him a random act of kindness.

Ga. movie theater ads target drugs, underage drinking

Ga. movie theater ads target drugs, underage drinking

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Public service announcements provided by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities that target underage drinking, drugs and alcohol abuse are being shown in AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas across Georgia and in Screenvision Theaters in Columbus.

The ads, which are scheduled to run through June 30, 2014, are part of an initiative led by the department's Division of Addictive Diseases to reduce underage drinking and alcohol-related deaths, according to a statement released by the Georgia agency.

The campaign, referred to as the Alcohol Prevention Project (APP), is funded by a Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

ATLANTA -- Sixty years ago, 1 million men and women signed up for the first-ever Cancer Prevention Study. They filled out surveys every few years. And the information from those million Americans led to a dramatic discovery.

Doctor Alpa Patel with the American Cancer Society is the lead researcher on CPS3, the third generation of the cancer prevention studies.

MORE | Join the Cancer prevention Study 3

"The first study was actually set up to specifically address the question of whether not smoking caused lung cancer, and it provided the first evidence that in fact smoking is what was the causal fact, causal factor with the increase rise in lung cancer death rates we were seeing in men at that time," she said.