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Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

ATLANTA -- Piedmont Heart Institute has formed an alliance with the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at the renowned Cleveland Clinic.

The partnership will allow both organizations to raise their standards of cardiovascular care by sharing clinical policies, treatment protocols and research opportunities, according to a Piedmont Healthcare spokesperson.

"Teamwork is the next phase of American medicine. We're finding new ways to combine our strengths for better patient care," Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute chairman Dr. Lars Svensson said in a release. "This alliance will allow us to accelerate advancements in cardiac care."

Piedmont Heart operates 26 clinics across metro Atlanta. Visit piedmont.org for more information.

Ga. health rankings: Rockdale County

Ga. health rankings: Rockdale County

(WXIA) -- A new report offers detailed health statistics for each of Georgia's counties.

The findings, which are posted at countyhealthrankings.org, determined that Forsyth is Georgia's healthiest county. Early is the least healthy.

Rockdale is Georgia's 15th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 27th for quality of life, 24th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 53rd for clinical care, 39th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 101st for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Rockdale County:

27 percent of Georgia hospitals get top safety rating; Grady, Piedmont get a 'D'

27 percent of Georgia hospitals get top safety rating; Grady, Piedmont get a 'D'

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Twenty-seven percent of Georgia hospitals earned an "A'' grade in recently released ratings on patient safety. Several Atlanta-area hospitals are among those awarded high marks, but several scored a "C" rating, and Piedmont Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital scored a "D."

The ratings measure the ability of hospitals to prevent errors, injuries and infections, and are intended to help consumers choose a facility for health services, according to Georgia Health News.

Georgia's top-rated performers include large hospitals and small ones.

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

ATLANTA -- Thousands of Georgia parents are buying sparklers for their children this Fourth of July, thinking they are a safe way to celebrate. But, as a Georgia eye expert warns, sparklers heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt some metals -- and are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

Members of the Georgia Optometric Association are urging parents to leave all the fireworks to the professionals and avoid fireworks that may cause serious eye injuries when used inappropriately. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers.

3 rabies cases reported in Rockdale County

3 rabies cases reported in Rockdale County

CONYERS, Ga. -- At least three people were bitten by rabid animals in Rockdale County in the past few weeks.

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office said one case involved a raccoon, which bit someone in the Saxony Drive area near McDonough Highway. The other two animals were foxes; one was found in the Pembroke subdivision off Highway 212, while the other incident happened on George Place NE.

Henry County, which is adjacent to Rockdale, has also reported a large number of rabies cases. One entire neighborhood is under a rabies quarantine.

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016, a reflection of the growing distaste people are showing for such ingredients.

The chain of bakery cafes, which has about 1,800 U.S. locations, is making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it is unveiling Tuesday that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.

The announcement comes at a time when Panera Bread Co. is facing slowing sales growth and working to jumpstart its business.

It also underscores how positioning foods as natural has become a marketing advantage, regardless of whether it brings any nutritional benefits.