November 29, 2020

New Microsite Targets Teen Tobacco Use in Carroll, Haralson and Heard Counties

Get Healthy, Live Well, a “creating healthier communities” initiative led by Tanner Health System and funded by a Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is introducing its new tobacco-free living program to Carroll, Haralson and Heard County teens this week with a new microsite,, a new Facebook page,, and wristband and T-shirt giveaways at The Amp’s Summer Movie Classic Series starting June 20.

The new microsite features a humorous video on a serious topic—tobacco usage among teens—developed and produced by the tobacco-free task force with input from multiple focus groups of actual teen tobacco users and nonusers. The site also contains short, easy-to-read posts on a variety of topics—including smart-phone apps to help smokers quit smoking, seven “smoking hot” reasons to stop using tobacco, a way to calculate how much smoking or dipping costs now and over a lifetime, a list of resources for in-depth information on the health risks associated with tobacco use and more, as well as a calendar of upcoming events where teens can take the Don’t Be a Bonehead pledge and get a free wristband.

Building upon the early success and momentum of Get Healthy West Georgia, a nutrition and exercise program started in spring 2012, Tanner applied for and received a $1.2 million community transformation grant from the CDC. The grant was part of $70 million awarded to 40 organizations throughout the country. Tanner was the only grantee in the state of Georgia and one of just eight hospital systems in the country to receive a grant.

The grant funding is allowing Tanner, which has created a new community health division, to significantly expand its focus and increase efforts to reach individuals in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties.

Bonehead_URL-Logo“Community health has always been a big part of our focus at Tanner,” said Denise Taylor, senior vice president and chief community health strategy and brand officer for Tanner Health System. “In the past, that’s taken the form of health fairs, free screenings and health education programs. This is different. It’s much bigger and we can’t do it alone. However, in collaboration with many others in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties—including over 200 volunteers who have joined over 20 Get Healthy, Live Well task forces, as well as others in our community who are already working on programs and initiatives that are in line with our mission—we can change and save lives in west Georgia. Don’t Be a Bonehead is just one of many upcoming programs developed with this type of community collaboration.”

“Meaningful, lasting change is our goal,” said Tanner Health System President and CEO Loy Howard. “Our community has always rallied together. That’s how our hospitals were built in the first place—with individuals, organizations and companies working together to improve the health of our community. That’s what we’re doing again: pulling everyone together to improve the health of our community. The problem now isn’t lack of access to doctors and hospitals; it is obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, sedentary lifestyles and more that are requiring people to access those services, and we can do a better job of managing those with help and participation from the community.”

In addition to tobacco-free living, grant funds are being used to bring key community leaders together to form task forces that will implement programs for: healthy food access (such as the Knox Park Community Garden dedicated and planted in April); youth wellness; faith-based wellness; business and industry wellness; breastfeeding; healthier child care centers; healthy and active families; healthy and safe communities; childhood obesity; and diabetes.

For more information about the Don’t Be a Bonehead teen tobacco-free program and to spread the word about it to teens in the community, visit To learn more about Get Healthy, Live Well or to join a community task force,

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