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New chamber program recognizes health care professionals
Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce 2017

In an inaugural effort, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce is looking to honor health care professionals “making a significant impact on our quality of life through excellence in health and wellness.”

As part of its Healthy Hall Awards of Excellence Program, the chamber plans to spotlight top health care professionals in a Feb. 28 luncheon at the Brenau Downtown Center in Gainesville.

Louis G. Smith Jr., president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, is scheduled as the keynote speaker."

Healthy Hall Awards of Excellence Program

What: Awards program recognizing top health care workers

When: 11:30 a.m. Feb. 28

Where: Brenau Downtown Center, 301 Main St., Gainesville

Admission: $20 per person; $300, 8-person table. Reservations required and can be made by calling 770-532-6206.

Awards will be handed out in such categories as Outstanding Allied Health Professional, Outstanding Healthcare Professional, Outstanding Healthcare Administrator, Visionary Leader, Dentist of the Year and top nurses of the year.

Nominations will be accepted through 5 p.m. Friday and can be made at, which includes the full list of categories.

The deadline could be extended in some categories, chamber President and CEO Kit Dunlap said.

The new program further shows that health care is big business in Hall.

The chamber already holds the annual HealthSmart Expo, which features wellness-oriented exhibitors spread out across the Gainesville Civic Center in October, as well as free health screenings.

Also, at the event, the chamber hands out the Most Fit Company awards to companies that have adopted strong fitness and wellness programs.

Health care has had an ever-growing presence in Hall, including the opening of the 100-bed Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Braselton and a new medical community springing up in that area of South Hall.

Area colleges also are expanding or strengthening academic programs in the field.

“This (awards program) is something we’ve talked about for a couple of years,” Dunlap said. “Should we highlight … and recognize more of the health care community and what they have done?”

HealthSmart will continue, “but it’s a different animal,” she added. “We just didn’t feel like we could fit it all in one (event). You lose some of the emphasis.”

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