Around Town 28

Atlanta Mothers Help Bring Lactation Rooms to the Nation’s Busiest Airport

Community activists are improving the lives of working mothers by challenging businesses to provide breastfeeding support through successful lactation room campaign. For the first time, the world’s busiest airport is giving nursing moms a quiet place to pump or breastfeed when they travel. It’s a big improvement from the public restrooms, which used to be the only option for nursing moms at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Three years ago, a social media campaign developed by two local mothers used images of models eating in bathrooms to try to convince the airport to become more family-friendly. Prior to the campaign launch, the airport offered no dedicated lactation rooms but touted 16 smoking rooms for commuters- breastfeeding mothers were askedto use the public restrooms or call ahead to reserve a conference room. South Fulton’s own Sojourner Marable Grimmett and Monica Ponder developed the Campaign. Ponder is a public health advocate and Grimmett is a blogger and family advocate. The Campaign, aptly named “Table for Two,” uses images of models eating in bathrooms to demonstrate the barriers working mothers face (picture a teenage boy blissfully eating pizza next to a urinal). The tagline for the campaign asks, “Would you eat in the bathroom? (Of course not, because eating in the restroom is gross.) So why would you ask a baby to?” It challenges public spaces and businesses to designate a private room with a table and chair so that mothers can breastfeed or pump in private, if they choose too. Oftentimes, in order for milk to “let down”, mothers need a quiet and clean environment to pump and express milk. “This campaign demonstrates the challenges breastfeeding mothers face when returning to work or travelling,” explains Ponder, “Without adequate accommodations at work or other public spaces, many women stop breastfeeding before they are ready.”

Breastfeeding is a critical public health issue. Babies who are not breastfed experience more episodes of diarrhea, ear infections, and lower respiratory tract infections and are at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, diabetes and obesity; breastfeeding also helps protect mothers from breast and cervical cancer. Grimmett explains the campaign’s ultimate goal, “We hope that more airports and businesses will model the actions of Hartsfield and also add lactation spaces to accommodate breastfeeding mothers”. To learn more about the Table for Two Campaign or to contact the community advocates, you may follow them on Twitter @MonicaLPonder and @SojournerRuth.

WellStar Expands Footprint and Now Serves New Communities

WellStar Health System is expanding its footprint beyond its historic Northwest Georgia base. Beginning today, WellStar is bringing its vision of world-class healthcare to new communities and patients, following due diligence, regulatory review, and thorough integration planning.  As a not-for-profit, WellStar continues to reinvest back in the communities it serves with new treatments, technologies, and facilities.

With the acquisition of Tenet Healthcare’s five Georgia-based hospitals and a new partnership with West Georgia Health in LaGrange, Ga., WellStar becomes the largest health system in Georgia and one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the country.  The new 11 hospital system will expand upon its proven clinical care models and patient safety programs that have resulted in increased quality and improved access to healthcare to new communities.

“As WellStar continues on the journey to deliver world-class healthcare our physicians, nurses and team members put the patient and family first,” said Candice Saunders, president & CEO of WellStar Health System. “With an expanded footprint, we will leverage best practices to make a difference in the health of our communities by delivering the right care, at the right time in the right place.”

Joining WellStar’s existing five hospitals are: WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar North Fulton Hospital, WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital, WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital and WellStar West Georgia Medical Center.  All facilities will now be operated as not-for-profits. WellStar Medical Group, one of the largest employed physician groups in the Southeast, will expand to more than 1,000 physicians and advanced practice professionals across more than 200 medical office locations and numerous outpatient facilities.

With approximately 20,000 team members, WellStar remains committed to its Employer of Choice strategy that has led to numerous accolades for work-life balance, including being named to Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the past three years.

“At WellStar, we are creating an atmosphere that fosters healing and wellness,” said Gary Miller, chair of WellStar Board of Trustees.  “We are changing the way we care for our communities with cutting edge treatments and new initiatives that keep people healthy.  Today, WellStar is better positioned to provide world-class healthcare to our patients for years to come.”

South Fulton’s Own Lt. Col. Diallo “DOC” Creal’s  USAF Retirement and Exemplary Aviation Career

Lt Col Diallo DOC Creal retired recently with stellar accomplishments. He earned a Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster which was authorized by President Obama’s executive order. Lt Col Diallo ‘DOC’ Creal hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Benjamin E. Mays High School graduating from its Science and Mathematics Academy with honors in 1992. DOC was accepted to and earned his commission from the United States Air Force Academy graduating in 1996. From there he attended Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus AFB, MS.

Following pilot training, DOC was selected for Pilot Instructor Training at Randolph Air Force Base, TX and in 1998 was assigned as a T-37 first assignment instructor pilot 41st Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, MS.  During this time Lt Col Creal was active in the Columbus chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen as well as becoming an RSU observer, check pilot and assistant Flight Commander. Lt Col Creal then attended Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals at Randolph AFB, TX. There he was selected as Distinguished Graduate, and proceeded to A-10 initial fighter training at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. In 2002 he was assigned to Osan Air Base, Korea were he quickly upgraded to A-10 Forward Air Controller and Combat Search and Rescue pilot. After a year-long tour in Korea, DOC moved to Spangdahlem Air Base Germany. During this time he became a 4-ship flight lead and was deployed twice to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2006, he was selected for an assignment to Holloman Air Force Base New Mexico to fly the F-117A stealth fighter. Among other duties, he served as the Wing’s Executive Officer and completed a four month deployment to Kunsan Air Base, Korea. Shortly after his return from Korea in 2008, DOC married his high school sweetheart DeAnna Renee Creal, also of Atlanta, GA.   The Creals were then selected for assignment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) southern air headquarters in Izmir, Turkey. While assigned to CC Air Izmir, Lt Col Creal conducted regular evaluations of NATO units, quick reaction air alert assets and led the first nuclear readiness evaluation by CC Air Izmir in over five years. He was selected as the Headquarters Field Grade Officer of the Year for 2009.

In 2010, the Creals were reassigned to the 479th Flying Training Group Pensacola NAS, FL. At NAS Pensacola, Lt Col Creal instructs Undergraduate Combat Systems Officers in the T-6A. He has performed additional jobs to include Assistant Director of Operations, Director of Operations, and Chief of Student Check Section. He maintains qualifications for formation, Advanced Handling Characteristics Instructor, Functional Check Flight Pilot and Instructor, Simulator Instructor and Check Pilot. The Creals are the proud parents of two children, Aaron and Zora.

As “Doc” closes out his Air Force career, he’s excitedly looking forward to returning to Atlanta to start a new career as a Delta pilot. Lt Col Creal accepted an offer of employment from Delta Air Lines.

Eric Dunlap Joins Pink Frog Foundation Board of Directors

Eric Dunlap, founder of Dunlap Speaks, LLC, has joined the board of directors for The Pink Frog Foundation (PFF). Dunlap is a 16 year breast cancer survivor. “We’re excited about Eric’s decision to become affiliated with the Foundation,” said Tammy L. Bolton, co-founder and executive director of PFF. “He represents the 1 out of 2,000 men annually who are diagnosed with breast cancer. He will assist us with spreading the message about men and breast cancer,” Bolton continued.

Dunlap is also an active participant on the American Cancer Society Speaker’s Bureau, Susan G. Komen Speaker’s Bureau, and the National Cancer Survivors Speaker’s Bureau. The Pink Frog Foundation, Inc., founded in 2012 by Tammy and Robert H. Bolton, is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and operates pursuant to the Georgia Non-Profit Corporation code. The Foundation provides maid service, nutrition support, and transportation services to breast cancer patients while they are under going treatment.