Latest News

Fri, 02 Oct 2020 Medlink Blog

MedLink Family Health Center Staff Attend National Forum

Dave Ward CEO, Susan Clark CNO and MedLink Board Chair Doug Bridges attended the 2019 Policy and Issues Forum in Washington DC. Every year the National Association of Community Health Centers forum draws thousands of CHC professionals in one of the largest national conferences focused on Primary Care and health policy. Leaders from all over the country assemble to dialogue and meet with their law makers on capitol hill.

Wed, 07 Oct 2020 Medlink Blog

MedLink celebrates opening second Center in Rabun County

The Rabun County Chamber hosted a ribbon cutting at the new MedLink Family Health Center located at 773 North Main Street on Wednesday, December 5th. Over 40 people from the community attended.

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 Medlink Blog

Ribbon Cutting for MedLink Jefferson

Please join us as we celebrate the opening of our newest office in Jefferson, GA! We will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by open house tours and food & refreshments.

Our Jefferson office offers primary care, behavioral health, and diabetes education. We also have COVID vaccines and COVID rapid testing available.

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 Medlink Blog

COVID Vaccination Clinics for Businesses

MedLink Georgia is partnering with local businesses to do on-site vaccination clinics.  Our clinical team will come to you to vaccinate your employees, ensuring your team is protected.  We offer the Moderna COVID vaccine to anyone aged 18+.  There is no cost to your company or your employees.  Let's work together to stomp out COVID!  To get more information or schedule a clinic, email us at:

Fri, 14 May 2021 Medlink Blog

MedLink Welcomes New Providers

MedLink Georgia is excited to welcome 3 new providers to our team!  
Rebekah Hawkins, FNP-C
Rebekah is a Family Nurse Practitioner who will serve as a Float Nurse Practitioner between many of our MedLink Family Health Center locations.  She will see patients for annual wellness visits, sports physicals, well-woman exams and contraceptive management and will accept walk-ins and same day appointments for patients aged 4+.
Savannah Smith, LCSW
Savannah is a Behavioral Health Therapist who is available to assist patients with developmental disabilities, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, PTSD, and is LGBTQ+ affirming.  She is currently accepting patients in our Colbert office and is available for virtual appointments.
Ernie Aldaco, NP-C
Ernie is a Family Nurse Practitioner with over 19 years of experience in orthopedics and sports medicine.  He is accepting new patients, aged 5+, at our Gainesville office for sick and well visits, sports physicals, and basic women's health.  Ernie is also biligual.

To schedule an appointment with any of our providers, give us a call: 706-521-3113

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 Medlink Blog

Water Exercise

The time is here!!! Time for fun in the surf, sand, and sun! Of course, some prefer the calmer places of lake and land. And others, the crystal-clear water and concrete bottoms of the backyard and neighborhood pools. Whatever your pleasure, moving around in water can be some of the best exercise.

For those who have problems with painful joints or muscles, moving around in water instead of on land can be much more pleasant. Being in water takes the pressure off bones and muscles and can allow movement or bigger movement without causing pain. For those who really want to get stronger, water provides an overall resistance through which to move. This resistance causes muscles to work harder. The concept is the same when people lift weights to shape up and gain strength. Moving in water is also a great, safe way to improve balance. The brain and body are having to make small adjustments, constantly, to keep you on your feet and resist moving with the current or ebb and flow of the water. These constant, tiny adjustments being made by the feet, legs, and trunk increase reaction time, posture, and coordination. Therefore, balance and safety when standing are greatly improved. All of this movement increases heart rate as well provides an opportunity to burn calories and improve lung capacity and oxygen in the blood.

Being in the water can have so many benefits. Not only is it a wonderful way to spend quality time with family and friends, but it can also improve physical health. Whether you participate in a formal water exercise class, swim laps, or make up your own routine to do a few times a week, the results can be great. Decreased pain and improvements in strength, balance, coordination, and circulation are just a few of things to expect from this type of exercise. 

Written by:
Amanda Wagner, MSOT
MedLink Georgia Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness

Fri, 04 Jun 2021 Medlink Blog

Skin Cancer Prevention

Summer 2021 is finally here and many of us have never anticipated a season more in our lives.  Coronavirus numbers are finally down and many have protected themselves with the COVID vaccine which makes it safer to get back to vacations, social gatherings, cook outs and the lake!  Since we are venturing back into the glorious sun, we could all use a reminder about preventing sunburns from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.  I commonly hear about “getting that first sunburn of the summer” but just 5 sunburns double your risk for skin cancer. Prolonged direct UV ray exposure is by far the most significant risk factor for developing skin cancer.  And because we all experience some degree of sun throughout our lives, skin cancer is the most common cancer with an occurrence of 1 in 5 people.  Its important to know that all skin types can develop skin cancer, including melanoma, but are much more common in lighter skin.  The good news is that most skin cancers are treatable and can removed before causing a serious problem.  There are 3 main types of skin cancer: squamous cell, basal cell, and melanoma.  Of them, basal cell is the most common and easiest to cure. Melanoma is the rarest but by far the most deadly.  Of the roughly 12,000 people dying each year from skin cancer, melanoma accounts for almost 70%. 

The best way to decrease your risk for skin cancer is to protect yourself from UV rays.   We’ve all heard about using sunscreen but selecting the best type is important.  The most common type of sunscreen is “chemical” based and currently being investigated for safety concerning some of the ingredients, including oxybenzone and octinoxate.  The other form of sunscreen is “mineral” based with zinc and titanium and are considered safe but commonly cast a faint white appearance.  I currently recommend using a high quality, chemically reduced or mineral sunscreen.  Apply 10-15 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours if you stay directly in the sun.  Perhaps more protective is simply spending shorter amounts of time in direct sunlight by taking shade breaks at least every 20 minutes and to minimize direct sunlight from the highest UV hours of 10am to 4pm.  Another important protective measure is wearing clothing and large brimmed hats.  Make sure to take extra care of the kids, since early sunburns in life increase risk for melanoma.  And it is never recommended to use a tanning bed.

In terms of detecting skin cancer, it’s important to be familiar with your most sun exposed areas such as hands, face, and ears.  Talk with your primary care physician if you notice an abnormal spot, especially if this appears to be changing size or color.  Most primary care providers can diagnose and treat many early skin cancers.  Finally, there is not a strong recommendation to have an annual skin check for most people, but light skinned people with history of melanoma should see a dermatologist every year. 

Here’s to having fun and staying well this summer!

Written by:
Daniel Gordon, MD
Primary Care Physician for MedLink Georgia