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The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

ATLANTA -- Sixty years ago, 1 million men and women signed up for the first-ever Cancer Prevention Study. They filled out surveys every few years. And the information from those million Americans led to a dramatic discovery.

Doctor Alpa Patel with the American Cancer Society is the lead researcher on CPS3, the third generation of the cancer prevention studies.

MORE | Join the Cancer prevention Study 3

"The first study was actually set up to specifically address the question of whether not smoking caused lung cancer, and it provided the first evidence that in fact smoking is what was the causal fact, causal factor with the increase rise in lung cancer death rates we were seeing in men at that time," she said.

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

ATLANTA -- The YMCA of Metro Atlanta kicked off a campaign on Tuesday that will connect families in need with scholarships, allowing them to participate in YMCA programs. 

The campaign, Why It Matters takes place once a year. For 2013, board members Charlie Yates, Jr. and Carol Cookerly will co-chair the campaign as it works towards raising $2.7 million. 

"The Y has always had an annual campaign that helped meet the need for financial assistance," Cookerly said. "But, this marks the first year we are pulling together our 23 local Ys and launching a system-wide brand and effort to secure the funds we need to continue to play a pivotal role in Atlanta by helping individuals, especially children, reach their greatest potential."

Fulton County Health Services and the Healthy Heart Coalition celebrates American Heart Month

Fulton County Health Services and the Healthy Heart Coalition celebrates American Heart Month

Fulton County Health Service and the Healthy Heart Coalition is supporting a range of activities in commemoration of American Heart Month this February. The Coalition’s American Heart Month activities will commence with a special proclamation at the February 6th Fulton County Board of Commissioners meeting. With the help of stakeholders, community leaders, medical experts, policy makers and grassroots organizations, the Coalition will also be supporting a range of healthy heart activities throughout the month of February.

The American Heart Association recommends we assess our risk factors for cardiovascular disease and work to keep them low. The sooner we begin reducing our risks, the longer and stronger our hearts will beat. In the spirit of American Heart Health Month, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to be aware of the following:

Fulton County warns about new strain of Norovirus

Fulton County warns about new strain of Norovirus

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Over the last few weeks the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness has investigated several outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease associated with food service establishments. 

For some of these events the department has documented that a new strain of Norovirus that is spreading widely throughout the United States was the cause and that the virus had infected food service workers. 

The Department of Health and Wellness is offiering advice on steps everyone, particularly food service establishments, can take to avoid this common and unpleasant gastrointestinal illness.

The most important step in controlling the spread of this virus is regular hand washing with soap and water. 

Noroviruses are easily transmitted by touching a contaminated surface as well as by direct contact or by eating food or drinking liquids that have been contaminated with the virus. 

Fulton Health Services recognizes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Fulton Health Services recognizes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) on February 7, Fulton County Health Services will provide FREE HIV testing and counseling to residents.  NBHAAD is a nationwide mobilization effort designed to encourage African Americans across the United States to get educated, get tested, get treated and involved with HIV/AIDS, as it continues to affect African American communities.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded a $4.5 million grant to Fulton County to implement high impact HIV prevention programs in both Fulton and DeKalb Counties.   The overall goal of the grant is to identify more residents who are HIV infected but are unaware of their status and to link those individuals with medical services and treatment.  The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 HIV infected persons are unaware of their status.

Roswell event to offer free Alzheimer’s Sensitivity Training Program

Roswell event to offer free Alzheimer’s Sensitivity Training Program

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Consumers interested in experiencing first-hand the impact of Alzheimer’s disease are invited to attend a free sensitivity training event on January 31 in Roswell.

Presented by Second Wind Dreams, the Atlanta-based nonprofit changing the perception of aging, the event will give the public the opportunity to experience The Virtual Dementia Tour®, a 20-minute long scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of sensory tools and instruction.

Local families, business leaders, first responders, and church groups are invited to join with the more than 500,000 people in 14 countries who have experienced the tour.