Category: Blog and News

January is cervical cancer awareness month. Make sure you are in the know on what to look for. We have provided a fact sheet from the American Cancer Society for reference. Call our Women’s Health Department to make your appointment today!

Our very own Dr. Kamesha Harbison will be speaking at a local event to promote Cervical Cancer Awareness. See below for the details!

St. Francis Hospital Welcomes First Baby of 2018

 Columbus, GA (January 2, 2018) – St. Francis Hospital is ringing in 2018 with the year’s first bundle of joy. Weighing 6 pounds and 4 ounces and measuring 19 ½ inches, D’Nyla was born to Makayla and Dwight, Monday, Jan. 1, at 1:40 pm.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new baby girl!” said Makayla. “The physicians, nurses and staff at St. Francis Hospital took such great care of us and we are so grateful to them for making this experience so special.”

St. Francis Hospital’s Family Birthing Center is committed to providing high quality, compassionate care close to home for new and expecting parents. The Center offers several programs and services to help parents through the process of welcoming a new baby.  The team approach, including access to OB/GYNs, certified nurse midwives, pediatricians, nurses, lactation consultants, and educators, is designed to provide mother and baby with special, individualized care. St. Francis Hospital is the first hospital in Georgia to have earned Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission.  In addition, they have been recognized by the March of Dimes for successfully reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy to less than one percent (1%).

 “We have an exceptional team of clinical and support staff who are dedicated to bringing new life into our community, not just on New Year’s Day but year-round,” said Dr. Kamesha Harbison, OB/GYN at St. Francis Hospital.  “Our expectation is that every patient and his or her family will have a positive experience and genuinely feel our commitment to providing the highest quality care possible, in a comfortable and welcoming environment.”

St. Francis Hospital’s Family Birthing Center is located at 2300 Manchester Expressway in the St. Francis Butler Pavilion.  To learn more or to schedule a tour of our facilities, please call 706.320.8001, or visit


About St Francis

St. Francis Hospital, a part of LifePoint Health, is a 376-bed facility that offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency room services and is the only area hospital offering open-heart surgery. With more than 2,800 employees, 300 physicians and the latest technology, we strive to help you regain and maintain your health. Our overriding goal is to provide you with the best possible care. For more information, visit

“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


This time of year is widely known as a time of giving, and that is exactly what the hearts of Valley Healthcare System have felt. This year the staff has come together in a number of ways to further support our community.

From the Thanksgiving “Thankful Tree” at our Columbus Location, to the Feeding the Valley food drive and Christmas Patient Sponsorships, the VHcS Board and Staff has proven to be a group of altruistic individuals with an incredible ability to come together and make magic.

We wanted to share some of that magic with you!



Valley Healthcare System, Inc. hosted a public meeting to discuss plans for seeking funding from USDA to purchase equipment. The meeting was held on December 2, 2017 at The Talbot County Library at 175 North Jefferson Street, Talbotton, Georgia 31827 and was open to the public. If you were unable to attend the meeting and have comments or questions concerning the project, contact Sarah Lang, CEO at 706-987-8334.


December 5, 2017

Valley Healthcare has been the safety net for the uninsured and under insured in the Valley Region for over 20 years. I have seen the compassion from staff to patients, who were experiencing hard times. I have seen providers with a generous spirit; help each person as they faced some of life’s hardest experiences.


A few years ago while my husband and I were at Cracker Barrel for Breakfast we got separated in the crowd while waiting to be seated. I was busy looking at the Christmas décor and lost track of time. When I began searching for Mike, I saw him looking down with a concerned look on his face. He was talking with an old friend of ours that I could not see from my vantage point.


As I came closer I heard him say “Kathy can help you get in touch with Valley Healthcare tomorrow.” As I got closer I could see Joan was crying. I made an appointment with her for the next day at my office. Joan was introduced to Valley Healthcare’s management team. They set up the care of Joan’s adult son. Joan and her husband were caregivers to their adult son who was terminal ill. Their son’s wife had sent him to his parents for his final days; he was moved across state lines so the insurance could not be transferred quickly.


The Valley Healthcare Team provided the medial support to help Joan and her husband deal with end of life care.  The Valley Healthcare providers and staff supported Joan and her husband throughout the painful days and checked on them after their son had passed away.


We were so grateful to the providers and staff of Valley Healthcare System, for the compassion showed to our friends.


Katherine Wolfe
Community Affairs Liaison
Valley Healthcare System, Inc.







When women are pregnant they take care to eat right and refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages.  But what to do about prescription drugs is a more complicated topic.

Pamela ScottThere are very few prescription medications that have been specifically approved for use during pregnancy. And yet, doctors in clinical practice must prescribe needed medicines to pregnant women to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or even something as simple as a dental infection.

Indeed, about half of the 6.3 million women who are pregnant every year take at least one medication, and prescription use is on the rise, up by more than 60 percent from 1976 through 2008.

More information is clearly needed. The 21st Century Cures Act, which was enacted in 2016, established a task force to consider what is being done to identify and address gaps in knowledge and research on safe and effective therapies for pregnant and lactating women. Within 18 months after it is established, the task force will develop a report to Congress with specific recommendations for addressing the issues identified. The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) is leading FDA’s activities for the task force. My colleagues at OWH will be working with FDA’s Centers to promote dialogue and research collaboration. We look forward to hearing from our public and private partners at the Task Force’s two-day public meeting, which begins today.

Meanwhile, we are continuing our work to help ensure that doctors and their patients have better drug information. In 2015 we began implementation of new requirements for the pregnancy and lactation subsections of labeling for prescription products. The new requirements provide a framework for clearly communicating information on the benefits and risks of using a drug during pregnancy and lactation and also remove the decades-old pregnancy category letter system that was often confusing and did not accurately or consistently communicate differences in degrees of fetal risk.

FDA is also collaborating on research to fill in the gaps of our knowledge about medication use by pregnant women. OWH leads pregnancy research initiatives that fund studies and workshops to support FDA decision-making. Some of our research is using predictive modeling to try to anticipate how pregnant women might respond to a drug without having to expose them to the drug during a clinical trial. Other projects address emerging issues like Zika while others have examined ongoing issues like food safety in pregnancy. FDA’s Centers are also conducting research to better understand the safety, efficacy and effects of products used during pregnancy. Their research addresses a wide array of topics including vaccine safety, MRI effects, drug toxicity, and tobacco use and its potential impact in pregnancy.

Through the Medication Exposure in Pregnancy Risk Evaluation Program (MEPREP), a multi-site research collaboration between FDA, academia and health insurers, FDA is doing research to learn more about medication effects by linking healthcare records for moms and babies. MEPREP has already conducted a number of projects including an award-winning study of sulfonamide use during pregnancy and the risk of congenital anomalies. MEPREP is currently conducting a 3-year epidemiologic study to evaluate a potential association between neural tube defects and maternal exposure to prescription opioids.

Finally, we are doing what we can to encourage pregnant women to enroll in a pregnancy exposure registry if they take a prescription drug for a medical condition. Enrolling can help improve safety information for medicines used during pregnancy and can be used to update drug labeling. FDA’s pregnancy registry site connects women and health professionals to over 40 registries and provides links to drug information and educational resources on medication use during pregnancy. Studies conducted with the registry data can help to provide information on the effects of prescription drug and vaccine exposures on the health of pregnant women and, after they give birth, of their babies.

Real-World Research and Safety Monitoring

FDA’s pregnancy research assists in the assessment and safety monitoring of the range of products that pregnant women use in their daily lives. Our guidance and policy efforts provide a research framework for industry. And, our pregnancy outreach activities help to raise awareness and disseminate timely safety information. The work that we do with other government and private sector partners leverages existing data and collaborative approaches to address gaps in knowledge about medication use during pregnancy.

Throughout my career at FDA, I have had the chance to collaborate with diverse partners on pregnancy research with MEPREP and later in my role at OWH, and I have seen the positive impact of FDA’s pregnancy initiatives. I look forward to the task force report. But in the interim, I know that OWH will continue to serve as an information source and catalyst for research in support of FDA’s ongoing commitment to providing pregnant women and their healthcare providers with the best possible information to guide their healthcare decisions.


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Original Source

By: Pamela E. Scott, Ph.D. –  Deputy Director and Director of Research and Development, FDA Office of Women’s Health

Child Foot Newborn Babies Baby Baby Feet FeetSeptember is newborn screening
awareness month.

“Newborn screening identifies conditions that can affect a child’s long-term health or survival. Early detection, diagnosis, and intervention can prevent death or disability and enable children to reach their full potential. Each year, millions of babies in the U.S. are routinely screened, using a few drops of blood from the newborn’s heel, for certain genetic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders, and are also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center.”

For more information visit:

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Are you a medical or dental student in your final year of school?

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) provides loan repayment to medical (MD and DO) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need.

Plan Ahead

Create a Federal Student Aid ID before beginning the application process to electronically import your Federal loan information for your application.

Gather documentation you will need to submit with your application. You will need loan information verification, school transcript, verification of good standing, proof of passing Step/Level 1 of USMLE/COMLEX or documentation verifying that you have passed Part I of the National board Dental Examination, as well as letters of recommendation and a CV or resume.

Visit the Health Workforce Connector to explore the many different places that S2S LRP participants can practice after completing their residencies.

Watch this video to learn about the factors used to determine NHSC awards.




Valley Healthcare System, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit, Charitable Organization.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in accordance with the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act, as amended, sections 224(g)-(n) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n), deems Valley Healthcare System, Inc. to be an employee of the PHS which provides liability protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

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