Once On This Island

Georgia Ensemble Theatre Opens Historic 25th Silver Anniversary Season With Hit Caribbean Musical Love Story

Georgia Ensemble Theatre (GET) is proud to announce that its upcoming season will mark the professional theatre’s 25th Silver Anniversary, exclusively sponsored by The Thoresen Foundation. Co-Founder and Artistic Director Robert J. Farley has announced a special lineup of shows for this milestone and says, “Our 25th Silver Anniversary is going to be one big party all year long. Each play I have selected to celebrate this occasion has been chosen as a tribute to our subscribers, donors, sponsors, and supporters.”

Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s 2017-2018 season promises to be a huge celebration as we begin Mr. Farley’s farewell season, which will end with his retirement at the closing performance on April 29th, 2018. The five mainstage shows will focus on great music and big laughs as audiences will be transported to the Caribbean, Atlanta, Hollywood and Paris, all ending with the most requested musical in the theatre’s history, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. In addition to the regular season which includes three musicals, GET will also produce the four-play FamilyStage: Adventure Series, and a four-concert Joe Gransden Big Band series.

Commenting on the opening production Farley said, “I’m thrilled to be able to open our biggest season yet with the hit Broadway musical, Once On this Island. The fact that we got the rights just before its Broadway revival later this fall says a lot about where this theatre is right now, thriving and moving forward.”

Once On This Island, from the Tony Award-winning team that brought you Ragtime, is the beautiful tale of triumph and love amidst the turmoil of life and is a treat for the entire family, young and old alike. The production runs September 14th through October 1st, 2017 at the theatre’s home in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Once On this Island will be directed and choreographed by one of Atlanta’s best, Ricardo Aponte, with musical direction by the talented S. Renee Clark. The Robert W. Hagan Family Foundation joins us as the Once On This Island show sponsor.

Farley went on to say, “We’ve put together the most amazing group of artists to work on this wonderful show. From Ricardo Aponte and S. Renee Clark leading it, to a great cast, to an all-star lineup of designers that include multi award-winning scenic designers Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay, Emmie Tuttle, the most in-demand young costumer in Atlanta, and lighting and sound from the highly talented Alex Riviere and Preston Goodson respectively.”

For tickets or information, call 770-641-1260, or visit www.get.org.

Hit The Streets!

Marietta StreetFest September 16 & 17

The Marietta StreetFest held each September is an annual tradition and fundraiser for the Marietta Museum of History. The festival is a Top 20 Event selected by Southeast Tourism Society and draws an estimated 15,000 people to the Marietta Square each year.

Patrons can browse the arts and craft booths, stroll down auto alley during the Hubcaps and History Cruise-In and enjoy the many free activities in the Children’s Zone. Then plan to spend Saturday evening listening to local entertainment during the Marietta Grassroots Music Festival.

The Festival location provides additional opportunities for guests to take in the rich history of Marietta and tour one of our registered historic districts, visit museums, or shop the unique stores and boutiques. The local restaurants cater to all tastes and styles; in or outdoor café seating is available. Complete your day by stopping by the Marietta Museum of History—admission is free all weekend.

Roswell Arts Festival Sept. 16

Over 50 years of Fun

In its 51st year, the Roswell Arts Festival is the grandfather… or is it grandmother? No matter which, this is the original festival that started it all long before most of us were here. The annual event, held on Historic Roswell Square this weekend, features artists from throughout the Southeast showing fine arts and original crafts. There will also be plenty of entertainment and activities for the whole family. For visit roswellartsfestival.com.

Meaningful Conversations about Money

Unexpected Medical Bill?

By Robert Fezza and Steve Siders

Americans are paying more for their medical bills than ever before as health care costs continue to rise by large percentages. You’ve probably experienced this yourself! With these cost increases, it is easy to wind up with unexpected medical bills. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently published a study finding that medical debt is the most common type of past-due bill.
So what should you do if you have an unexpected medical bill that you can’t pay right away? Shop around? Question the charges? Negotiate? A recent Wall Street Journal article says yes, do all of these, and do them as soon as possible.

If your health care need is not an emergency, it may be useful to do some legwork and shop around prior to the service. Many out-of-network providers or providers who won’t take insurance may be open to negotiating, even offering a discount for cash payment.

If you have recently received a bill, pay attention to what was charged. You should even go as far as requesting an itemized statement and reviewing it for accuracy. Errors are common in medical billing—especially with duplication of charges—so knowledge is crucial. Many errors revolve around medical providers filing claims with the insurance networks. The last thing you want to have happen is a surprise bill. Do your homework! Consumerssunion.org is a good resource to understand your protections.

You can also try to negotiate, but do this promptly upon receipt of a bill. Your provider may be more willing to work with you if you acknowledge the bill immediately. Try starting the negotiation by asking for a 30% reduction to begin with and negotiate from there. It is not a good idea to ignore a bill and deal with it later. In as little as 30 days from sending you the bill, some providers report these bills to the credit bureaus as delinquent—a tactic to prod customers into paying. Fortunately, beginning this September, all three major credit-reporting firms—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—will have a six-month waiting period before they report these “delinquent” medical debts on a credit report. As a best practice, work out a payment plan as soon as you can because medical debt on your credit report can adversely impact your credit score.

The bottom line when dealing with an unexpected medical bill is to tackle it head-on, know what your insurance does and does not cover, and advocate for yourself. Life’s a journey—navigate it wisely!

Robert Fezza and Steve Siders.

Robert Fezza, CFP® and Steve Siders, CFP® own Odyssey Personal Financial Advisors, 500 Sun Valley Drive, Suite A-6, Roswell, GA. Their firm specializes in working with people who are serious about making progress towards their financial goals. Odyssey manages portfolios greater than $250,000. 770-992-4444, www.odysseypfa.com. Securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Roswell Rotary Goes For The Green

By Lynne Lindsay

The Roswell Rotary Club will be hosting the 39th Aubrey Greenway Golf Tournament and 5th Annual Hagan Cup Classic tennis tournament on Monday, September 11, at the Roswell Country Club. In addition to the multiple divisions of golfers and tennis players, the day will also include dinner, online raffle and casino night, and DJ/dancing, with all proceeds to benefit local charities.

Seeing a need for a community fundraiser, Roswell Rotarians Frank Brown, Judge Maurice Hilliard, and former mayor of Roswell Aubrey Greenway began the golf tournament in 1978. In 2013, the Hagan Cup Classic tennis tournament, named after Bob Hagan in honor of his service to the community, was added to the fundraiser.

Morning and afternoon flights of golf are offered with the first flight beginning at 7 a.m., with over 250 golfers anticipated to participate.

“The tournament is one of the largest all volunteer community fundraisers in the Southeast. In 2016 the event netted over $202,000 which goes to the 40 local nonprofits that Roswell Rotary supports as well as internationally. This tournament is our only fundraiser and our club comes together as a team so that our legacy of giving continues,” said Danny Broadway, golf committee co-chair.

“Last year we had around 55 players in the morning and afternoon flights. We expect to well exceed this in 2017. Atlanta has the world’s largest tennis-based community including 80,000 ALTA members. So it only made sense to give those folks a way to support local charities through Rotary. We’ve found tennis players to be very generous with their time and financial support and look forward to another great turnout,” said Rich Austin, tennis committee chair.

New this year is an online raffle open to all legal residents 21 and older in the State of Georgia. Raffle packages include items such as a South African Safari, lodging in Italy, week long stays in Edisto Island, Hilton Head, Harbour Island and Bear Mountain. In addition are entertainment packages with VIP space rental at Gate City for 100 people; a Big Green Egg; Yeti Cooler; a sports package with tickets to the Georgia Swarm Lacrosse home games, the Gwinnett Braves, and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tickets may be purchased at Roswell Rotary or at raffle.roswellrotary.com. Tickets are $50 each or twelve tickets for $500.00. The raffle is open now and will close on September 11 at 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.roswellrotary.club.



Bottom row: Lisa Carlisle, Pres. of Roswell Rotary; Mindy Jones, Co-Chair of the Tennis Tournament

Back row: Michael Agurkis, Co-Chair of the Golf Tournament; Danny Broadway, also Golf Co-Chair; and  Rich Austin, Co-Chair of the Tennis Tournament.

Proper medication disposal saves lives

Drive through and drop off at WellStar East Cobb Health Park this September

Have you ever wondered what you were supposed to do with that expired prescription you found in the back of your medicine cabinet? Perhaps you considered flushing it down the toilet, or throwing it in the trash can. Many people keep unused prescriptions in their homes for years because they don’t know what to do with them. Or they never thought about it.

But disposing of pain relievers and other medications properly can actually save lives.

You may have heard of the opioid crisis—addiction to prescription pain relievers and heroin that is causing an increase in overdose deaths. More than two million people in the U.S. are addicted.

Here in the peach state, things are bad. Georgia is in the top 11 states with the most prescription-related opioid deaths, with opioid-related deaths spiking, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Opioid addiction has a severe impact on the community. We are seeing the highest rates of overdoses among 25-54 year-olds. And street drugs alone aren’t what they’re overdosing on. Seventy percent of the prescriptions abused are taken from friends and family. By leaving medications in your cabinet, you could increase the risk of others accessing your prescriptions.

Why not get rid of them yourself? By throwing them out, people can unknowingly poison community water or the environment.
Medication Take Back events provide an invaluable service to the community by removing medications that could lead to accidental poisonings or overdose, no questions asked.

How it works:
• Simply bring your unused or expired medications to WellStar East Cobb Health Park—you don’t even have to get out of your car! (Sharps will be accepted. Please place your sharps inside a closed container.)
• Since the current law prohibits distribution of medication from person to person, a police officer is the only one who can accept your medication to be properly disposed of.
• The officer will place your medication in a secure box.
• The police will transport the medications to the Precinct to weigh them and destroy them by high temperature incineration at a disposal facility.

There are no forms to fill out or identification needed.
To prevent accidental poisoning and misuse of prescriptions, bring your unused or expired medications to Medication Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 at WellStar East Cobb Health Park at 3747 Roswell Road, Marietta. The event is co-hosted by WellStar Health System, Cobb County Police Department and Safe Kids Cobb County.

For more information on these events, please call 770-793-7373. For more information on medication safety and proper disposal, please visit rxdrugabuse.org or contact your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Health Care Hero Winner, William Mayfield, M.D.

Physician Patients Get Treatment STAT

One of the country’s preeminent thoracic surgeons and chief surgery officer for WellStar Health System, William “Bill” Mayfield, M.D., is known for his skill as a surgeon and developing innovative processes to fight cancer. Dr. Mayfield was named as the physician winner of the 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Health Care Heroes competition.

Dr. Mayfield has innovated the way lung, chest and esophageal cancers are treated. Patients can now get treated faster, increasing their chances of beating the disease. After research and visits to state-of-the-art treatment facilities, Dr. Mayfield launched a plan to bring a true multidisciplinary clinic to WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in 2006. The model is known at WellStar as the STAT (Specialty Teams And Treatments) Clinic. It expanded to both WellStar Douglas and WellStar Cobb hospitals.

Patients newly diagnosed with certain types of cancers are able to see many specialists in one day. The specialists meet together to come up with a treatment consensus so patients can make decisions and start treatment faster than originally possible.
Additionally, Dr. Mayfield’s research and development efforts have focused on thoracoscopy instruments and innovative procedures, such as Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS). He is active in the development of novel instrumentation for surgery and teaches board-certified thoracic surgeons.

Dr. Mayfield’s innovative approach to medicine, skill as a surgeon and commitment to advocating for patients has given hope and life to many people with cancer diagnoses in this community, and continues to reach further and help more people as his ideas are spread to more locations and specialties.

A Lifetime Of Caring And Creativity

By Tripp Liles

Wendy Wimberly is an artist with notable skill, creative eye and caring heart. She has been painting for many years yet she is defined not by the stroke of a brush but rather her strong desire to provide compassion.

“My mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be a mother,” Wendy Wimberly said. “And that’s my greatest gift. And its also God’s greatest gift to me.”

I discovered her art at The Comfortable Chair Store in Roswell…yes they also sell art. At first glance it is immediately noticeable that real talent is in control of the brush.

“Wendy is a gifted artist who is able to capture the awe-inspiring moments of just being one with nature,” stated Julia Daniels, owner of The Comfortable Chair Store. “Her use of color and light evoke the essence of the calm and serenity found in our most beautiful mountains, oceans and pastures.”

On the creative side, Wimberly is not driven by the same desires as many artists. Some artists, especially the more gifted ones, have a rather myopic view on life. Not Wimberly. She is confident of her brush strokes and creative vision, but the human side, the caring side, is front and center. She is a breast cancer survivor with a degree in Nursing from the University of Maryland and a Master of Nursing from Emory University. Additionally, she is a certified perinatal loss counselor.

Wimberly has been married to Don Wimberly, a retired Episcopal Bishop known as The Bishop of Texas, for more than 50 years. They only recently moved to the area, residing at St. George Village in Roswell, to be near their two children. As a daughter of an Army officer she’s been moving her whole life so the routine is familiar.

While art was always a passion she began to take it seriously in 1974, living in Kansas. Her work is in watercolor, oil, and acrylic, and she studied with noted artists like Herb Thomsen, Tony Couch, and William Mart. Her artistic career includes being a volunteer educator and presenter of art related workshops and she has exhibited and sold her art throughout the country. It was after winning an award, early in her exhibition career, that gave her the confidence to push on. Emotion also plays a big part in her work, which is driven by that caring core.

“I’m more of a traditionalist. I’m not particularly flamboyant and if I were to say what I wanted my paintings to do for people… I want you to look at my paintings and I want you to be able to climb into the frame and walk the paths…smell the pines… feel and touch the flowers. I think there is so much hatred and anger in our world today. And rather than do chaotic paintings I wanted to do paintings that could bring peace to the soul.”


Schools in North Fulton to receive training and emergency kits

Members from WellStar North Fulton Hospital’s trauma team have been busy teaching school nurses, police officers, educators and even Girl Scouts in the area a life-saving skill: how to stop bleeding before professional help arrives.

“It doesn’t matter how fast an ambulance gets there; a person who is bleeding can die from blood loss in five minutes or less,” explained Nathan Polite, D.O., a WellStar trauma surgeon. “If someone were to get shot in a major blood vessel, they could be saved if someone close put a tourniquet on.”

These training sessions are part of the Stop the Bleed campaign, a nationwide initiative that helps prepare bystanders to save lives in case of a bleeding emergency, like a shooting or explosion.
“The number one preventable cause of death in trauma is bleeding. And since it might take a while for EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to reach an injured patient in the field, having trained citizens who are able to render immediate aid until help arrives will dramatically improve a that patient’s chances of survival,’ said Brent Amelingmeier, trauma outreach coordinator for WellStar North Fulton Hospital.

Amelingmeier, as well as other WellStar North Fulton team members, have trained more than 230 people since February, adding to the job done by other hospital workers and EMS agencies.

“As the trauma outreach coordinator, it’s my job to provide the people in our community with education that can help them prevent injury, or at least lessen the harm that’s done,” added Amelingmeier.

Most recently, Amelingmeier trained 24 Fulton County School District registered nurses and at the end of September he’ll be training the 110 Fulton County School District’s clinical assistants. He is also helping schools prepare for the arrival of “Stop the Bleed” kits, funded by a grant from the state.

WellStar North Fulton is one of three WellStar hospitals with designated Trauma Centers who are helping prepare the community to save lives. Trauma surgeons and team members from WellStar Atlanta Medical Center and WellStar Kennestone Hospital are leading similar efforts in Atlanta, Cobb County and surrounding areas.

WellStar North Fulton Hospital is home to a Level II Trauma Center. The center is staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses with a variety of emergency certifications. The 15,000 square-foot Emergency Department incorporates 28 patient rooms, including separate cardiac, trauma and orthopedic areas equipped with technology to handle situations from minor emergencies to life-threatening traumas.

“Anyone in the community can request training, although at this time, we don’t have the resources to conduct trainings on an individual basis. We’re currently focusing on schools, but I’ve also personally trained other healthcare professionals, police officers and emergency responders,” explained Amelingmeier.

“These threats to communities are happening more frequently,” Dr. Polite said. “Now is the time to prepare.”


PICTURED: Brent Amelingmeier training Fulton County School nurses on bleeding control at the Fulton County School Administrative Headquarters in Atlanta.


WellStar North Fulton Hospital recognized by American Heart Association

WellStar North Fulton Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines®—Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association in conjunction with the American Stroke Association. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to provide world-class care for patients experiencing stroke and heart failure.

The program helps hospital teams align patient care with the latest guidelines based on scientific evidence. The quality measures focus on the best outcomes for stroke patients and include aggressive use of medications such as clot-busting and anti-clotting drugs; blood thinners and cholesterol-reducing drugs; preventive action for deep vein thrombosis; and smoking cessation counseling.

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Saving Hearts
Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, research-based standards with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients.

Quality measures to improve outcomes for patients with heart failure include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies, such as ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed die within five years. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their conditions are managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than five million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.