Issue 14.86 | Feb. 3, 2015
SUWANEE, Ga., Feb. 3, 2015 -- Dacula's Ramon Viña was honored last week, as the 83-year-old retires from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's Standardized Patient program after eight years at the Georgia Campus in Suwanee.
Standardized Patients (SPs) are professionals who are trained to enact various health problems in a realistic and standardized manner in order to aid students in their education on patient diagnosis and procedures.
Dr. Paula Gregory, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, says: "Our SPs make a significant contribution to students' education by simulating the symptoms of diseases." She explains that SPs are used in more than 85 percent of U.S. medical schools to both teach and assess clinical skills, and their use is increasing. They serve to mimic authentic medical encounters that the students may experience in their future careers, and they help evaluate student performance.
Viña enjoyed a career in sales and also worked as a part-time actor prior to joining GA-PCOM in 2007. During his time as an SP, Viña portrayed patients with various health issues such as sinusitis, Bell's palsy and mini-strokes.
Teary eyed, Viña embraced everyone who came to the celebration in his honor. "I loved it and I will miss it," Viña says about leaving the program, while explaining that he is "slowing up" and has other things to get done -- like repairs around the house and woodworking projects." Viña's wife, Adele, attended the celebration with him and he noted that she has been a great supporter of his work at the College.
Viña adds: "I've been blessed, you know. I will be 84 in three weeks, and I don't take any medication, none. Next week I'll be married for 64 years. I was in the Korean War -- went to North Korea -- and I came home physically fine. I have a blessed family. I realized I was blessed to be here to help students become doctors. These are all my blessings." He also added that he has a great relationship with the American Red Cross, as he has been donating blood to them for the past 65 years.
With a proud smile, Viña stated, "I didn't look to accomplish so much, but I did."
We have never understood that capricious move, unless of course, there are overriding circumstances, such as traffic or crime problems. Or a pure store closing not to re-open in that overall area. But more often, we are simply puzzled at this move to open a brand new retail outlet several blocks away.
One community in McAllen, Texas, took advantage when WalMart abandoned a location. After all, the Wal-Mart had space enough inside to make up 2.5 football fields. And they needed a new library. So, adjusting their thinking, they got a lease, started a big reclamation project, and look what they got in their library:
And one more site, one which shows their incredible original thinking. They also got a Farmers Market!, set up for shopping on the inside in summer or winter. (McAllen is in deep southern Texas. They need it inside during summer as much as winter.)
We're pleased that a reader sent this along. For more on this, go to this link.
Of course, such recycling of large buildings is nothing new in Gwinnett. When Jim Steele was head of building (and later COO) of the Gwinnett County Public Schools, he nabbed a former shopping center on Pike Street in Lawrenceville, which housed a supermarket, drug store, movie house and Rose's Department Store, and converted it into the open campus Phoenix High School.
Later the county school took the former Selectron manufacturing site in Suwanee and converted that into the current offices of the Gwinnett schools, saving again through retrofitting an existing building. Besides getting a real estate deal on the place, the school also landed a tremendous parking lot for the students who would be driving there!
Down in what was then Norcross, and is now Peachtree Corners, when Jumbo Sports went out of business years ago, Christ the King Lutheran Church saw opportunity in that flat square of a Big Box. They made handsome renovations with a majestic steeple to produce a beautiful sanctuary. Most riding by would probably never realize it was once a simple retail outlet. Others of you can cite even more recycling of buildings in Gwinnett.
Perhaps renovations such as these will give governmental officials and developers a nudge along this line, retrofitting suddenly abandoned empty spaces for public use, saving tremendous monies in the process, and at the same time doing good for recycling facilities no longer built for their original use.
When shopping centers go kerflooey, that might be a time for action through innovation, as we have seen in Gwinnett over the years of its growth and changes!
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's underwriter is The IMPACT! Group, a full-service housing assistance agency based in Norcross. The IMPACT! Group provides a range of housing assistance services, including foreclosure prevention, homebuyer education, financial education, and transitional housing to the residents and military veterans of Gwinnett County and greater Atlanta.
In the past year alone, the agency operated approximately 60 percent of the transitional housing units available to homeless families in Gwinnett and provided over 5,000 of your neighbors with housing counseling and education. Awarded the 2010 D. Scott Hudgens Humanitarian Award by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, The IMPACT! Group is able to provide all of its services in both English and Spanish. If you or a loved one are facing a home foreclosure or are looking to access down payment assistance to buy a home, The IMPACT! Group may be able to help. All IMPACT! housing counselors are HUD-certified as well as certified military housing counselors, and all homeowner counseling sessions are kept confidential.
Editor, the Forum:
Because of opposition from highly placed members in the medical community, a respected cancer network was able to get permission from the Georgia Legislature to expand into Georgia only if Georgia patients accounted no more than 35 percent of patients. This has had the effect of actually turning Georgia cancer patients away (or, even worse) forcing Georgia cancer victims to travel into one of their out of state facilities maybe even driving past the one in Atlanta to go to the one in Houston.
How absurd! Of course the best solution would be to repeal the law, but the governmental solution appears to be pass another law, to increase the percentage of Georgia patients allowed, which then hurts patients from out of state who may not have such a facility in their state,
Supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, discount stores and auto dealers, for example, do not need state permission to file a "certificate of need" to open a location in Georgia. So why should health care firms be so required? Similar problems exist in Alabama and North Carolina as well.
The politicians help auto dealers as well, given their opposition to allowing the new Tesla electric car to be sold direct to the consumer.
Bottom line: the only people who are not helped by politicians are consumers.
Classical music on radio does not jumble your thoughts
Editor, the Forum:
I want to echo the thoughts about WABE (Friday, Jan 30) becoming a predominantly talk radio station. Classical music provides wonderful background for many activities. It is not fraught with words to jumble your own thoughts, but accesses parts of the brain that are not otherwise activated. The removal of classical music and the concept that we want to hear other people talk all day is a misconception that drove the decision-makers at WABE. If PBS does not offer alternatives to the cacophony of rap, country, pop and jazz, who will?
Feels green cemetery idea makes sense
Editor, the Forum:
It was interesting to find out about the Green Cemetery in Milton, Ga. I didn't know if that was still allowed or not. A friend and I were talking about how stupid it was that we couldn't be buried naturally. Now I know you can ... thanks for posting his note.
Mom and Dad keep complaining about all the funerals they get invited to. I suggested they quit hanging out with old people. Everyone laughed.
Picture this: an old-world grandmother, new-age grandson and a tiny New York apartment. What could possibly go wrong?
Finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Time Magazine's number one Play or Musical of 2012, 4000 Miles rolls into Lawrenceville's Aurora Theatre, February 12 to March 1!
Dynamic writer Amy
Herzog uses her own feisty grandmother's experiences and stories to shape
the character of elderly Vera in this altogether sensitive and comical
story. Audiences are invited to take a trip to New York City's Greenwich
Village and experience the implausible, yet beautiful relationship of
two characters, as they embark on a journey to find their place in today's
Deadline approaching for Gwinnett Co. Citizens Police Academy
The Gwinnett County
Police Department Citizens Police Academy is accepting applications for
its next session, which will begin on March 3. Residents will receive
training on topics including animal welfare and enforcement, crime scene
investigations, criminal investigations, firearms, SWAT, traffic enforcement,
vehicle pullovers, and more. If you are interested in participating, visit
to get an application. Applications must be received by Friday, February
Stone Mountain barbershoppers offer "Singing Valentines"
Quartets from the Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus will offer their popular "Singing Valentine" program for 2015.
David Southern, Greater
Atlanta Chapter president, says: "This is one of our most enjoyable
projects because we get to deliver a unique 'I Love You' message to that
special sweetheart. We have serenaded both men and women in such varied
spots as supermarkets, college and elementary classrooms, business offices,
retail shops, doctor's offices, living rooms and residential driveways.
The effect is most dramatic when an audience is present to witness the
One of the new buildings which Gwinnett County Public Schools opens in August, 2015 reaps a savings for the county in that it is a "re-purposed" building. That would be the new Discovery High School on Old Norcross Road near Lawrenceville, giving relief to the Central Gwinnett and Berkmar clusters.
That new school, along with four new schools opening this year, will come on line for students in August, says John Hodgson, executive director for Facilities, Planning and Construction for the Gwinnett schools. The savings by re-purposing a school is in the range of at least 20 percent, says Hodgson.
The other new buildings open for the 2015-16 school year will include:
The basic building which will be Discovery High School once was a warehouse for Bridgestone Tire Company. It will be the largest (in area) high school in Georgia, consisting of 654,870 square feet. Its initial enrollment is projected at 1,925 students, though that could vary by August. Several other additional school programs will be housed at this school, including the Junior Achievement program.
Gwinnett Public Schools have a history of converting building for another purpose for its schools. One example is the Northbrook Middle School, on Brown Road in Suwanee, which was once a giant Panasonic warehouse.
Program on Gullah/Geechee culture Feb. 7 at Heritage Center
Explore the fusion of cultures and discover the unique Gullah/Geechee people through song, dance and storytelling at the Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) on Saturday, February 7.
Inhabiting an area primarily along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, the Gullah/Geechee are descendants of Africans and African-Americans who worked on various rice plantations located in the coastal regions. The Gullah/Geechee have maintained their cultural traditions since the 18th century. Their culture was impacted by several groups, which created a distinctive language, arts, music, crafts and diet.
In celebration of
Black History Month, the EHC is holding a special program highlighting
the unique cultural contributions the Gullah/Geechee have brought to the
Live Healthy Gwinnett encourages residents to share photos
Live Healthy Gwinnett is sponsoring a new program to encourage Gwinnett residents to be active, eat healthy, get checked and be positive! Residents are encouraged to take pictures or "Healthies" and share them on the Live Healthy Gwinnett Facebook page or Tweet the images.
could include any activity promoting personal wellness at Gwinnett County
Parks. Activities can include participating in park events, walking on
park trails and using sports facilities. "Healthies" should
be tagged with @LHGwinnett using the hashtag #healthies. Prizes will be
given weekly to selected winners.
We recently tried the newly opened Tin Lizzy's Cantina in Duluth on Sugarloaf Parkway (the former Loafing Leprechaun near Satellite Boulevard). The employees were very friendly and hospitable and seemed to been enjoying their new place. I ordered the Mediterranean Skillet which was very tasty. It consisted of seasoned rice, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, feta cheese, all tossed in oregano vinaigrette dressing and with your choice of grilled gyro meat, shrimp or chicken. Topped with a drizzle of tzatziki sauce. Yummy! My husband got a quesadilla which he liked. I first considered the fish tacos. Maybe next time! The atmosphere was upbeat and had some fun decorations. They are located at 6320 Sugarloaf Parkway. There is another Tin Lizzy's Cantina at the Mall of Georgia.
(Continued from previous edition)
The1950s and 1960s were a time of prosperity as well as civic unrest. With the arrival of the civil rights movement, Episcopalians in Georgia struggled with the same racial issues as did the larger southern society. The Council of Colored Churchmen, formed early in the 20th century, was disbanded in 1947, when the rector of Savannah's Christ Church, Francis Bland Tucker, began a push to desegregate the Episcopal Church in Georgia.
During the civil rights movement, Tucker was instrumental in leading Christ Church (and thus many of its sister congregations) into a peaceful acceptance of integration by exhorting his congregation "not to pass any resolution or take any action that would prevent the entry of any person into the house of God."
During the 1960s the Episcopal Church on the national level became more active in political causes, especially in the case of the Vietnam War (1964-73). This activity, as well as changes made in 1979 to the denomination's prayer book and accompanying rituals, the first such changes since 1928, brought dissension and led some congregations, including some in Georgia, to leave the majority and form independent churches.
Between 1874 and 1989, four of the Episcopal Church's African American bishops were born in Georgia. The first was Henry Bard Delaney, born in St. Marys in 1858. From 1918 until his death in 1928, he served as Suffragan Bishop for Colored Work in the Diocese of North Carolina. A second African American bishop from Georgia was Dillard Houston Brown, born in 1912 in Marietta. He was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of Liberia in 1961 and was assassinated in 1969. John Thomas Walker was the third black Episcopal bishop from Georgia. Born in Barnesville in 1925, he was consecrated Bishop of Washington in 1977. The fourth African American bishop was Quintin Ebenezer Primo Jr., born in Liberty County in 1918. After serving as Suffragan Bishop of Chicago from 1972 until 1985, he became Interim Bishop of Delaware.
As of 2003 the Diocese of Atlanta consisted of 93 congregations throughout north Georgia with 54,006 baptized members. The bishop of the diocese is seated at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, one of the largest congregations in the denomination, with more than 5,000 members. In addition to reaching out to the region's growing Hispanic population, members of the Atlanta diocese have joined with Muslim community members to assist refugees settling in the metropolitan area.
The southern part of the state continues under the Diocese of Georgia, with the seat of administration located in Savannah. As of 2003, it consisted of 72 congregations with 18,631 baptized members. The Diocese of Georgia actively ministers to the Korean and Hispanic people living in south Georgia, thereby carrying on the tradition of missionary work begun thereby English settlers in the 18th century.
GwinnettForum is provided to you at no charge every Tuesday and Friday. If you would like to serve as an underwriter, click here to learn more.
Send your thoughts, 55-word short stories, pet peeves or comments on any issue to Gwinnett Forum for future publication.
We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from GwinnettForum, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.
We encourage you to check out our sister publications:
"A newspaper consists of just the same number of words, whether there be any news in it or not."
SEARCH GWINNETT FORUM
ON THE CALENDAR
Cultural Festival, February 5-7, at Archer High School, at
2225 New Hope Road, Lawrenceville. Sponsored by the Snellville Arts Commission,
the three day event is in honor or Black History Month, and will showcase
"Cindy, the Musical," at 7 p.m. February 6, and 3 p.m. on February
"Pink Goes Red" with line dancing at the Lucky Shoals Community Center, 46521 Britt Road, Norcross, on Friday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. This is to support the American Heart Association "Wear Red Day," and to bring awareness of heart disease. Sponsored by Upsilon Alpha Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more details, go online here.
Second Annual Black History Month Program at Friendship Baptist Church, 3375 Church Street, Duluth, on February 7 at 4 p.m. "Back to the Old Landmark" is the subject. For more details, send an email here or call 404 933 4725.
State-of-the-County address, by County Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash, Thursday, February 19, starting at 11:30 a.m., at Gwinnett Center. Cost is $75 per person. To register, go online here.
Centuries of Childhood: An American Story, now at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, continues through April 30. Visitors connect the stories of American history to their own experiences by learning about the lives of five historical children and their families. A supplementary exhibit is titled Georgia's Sacred Soils. This exhibit blends science and history through the exploration of Georgia's geology and its colonial history. Both exhibits are included in the price of admission to the EHC. More info: www.gwinnettEHC.org.
(NEW) Gwinnett Senior Games will be from April 1 to May 13 for Gwinnett seniors age 50 and older. Deadline to sign up to participate in the activity is March 13. Those interested can download information at www.GwinnettSeniorGoldenGames.org. The fee is $15, and for this, you receive two meals, a T-shirt, a gift and a medal if you are good enough at that event. There are over 30 events included in the overall activity. Registration forms may also be picked up at Gwinnett Senior Centers.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
© 2001-2015, Gwinnett Forum.com is Gwinnett County's online community forum for commentary that explores pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.