Drought conditions have expanded over the past three months to include most of Georgia. The major exceptions are north-central and northeast Georgia, where conditions are rated as abnormally dry. Additionally, Bibb, Crawford, Macon, Peach and Houston counties are classified as being abnormally dry.During the late summer and fall, Georgia depends on tropical weather to bring much-needed rain. This fall has been very dry with most of the state receiving less than 70 percent of normal rain. Many locations in the coastal plain and coastal Georgia have received 50 percent or less of normal rain over the past three months.Soil moisture conditions along the Georgia coast into southeast Georgia are near the 1st percentile for this time of year. Being at the first percentile, we would expect more moisture in the soils in these areas 99 out of 100 years. Also, the Okefenokee Swamp is very dry.Seasonally adjusted stream flows are slowly declining across the state. Stream flows respond to drought more slowly than soil moisture. The bountiful rain that Georgia experienced last winter and spring has helped to keep stream flows near normal for most of the fall. However, in recent weeks the dryness is starting to show in decreased stream flows. Flows are particularly low in northwest Georgia, where most streams are at the 10th percentile or lower, meaning stream flows would be greater 90 out of 100 years in this area. Wildfire risks have increased across the state due to dry conditions and falling leaves. Anyone outdoors should be cautious when using equipment that can cause sparks. Special vigilance is needed with any outdoor fires. Check with the local fire department or the Georgia Forestry Commission concerning restrictions and outdoor burn permits.Georgia depends on winter and spring rains combined with cool temperatures to recharge soil moisture, groundwater, streams and reservoirs. The fall and spring climate outlooks do not hold much promise for drought recovery. Climatic conditions are expected to be warmer than normal and drier than normal through the spring. Georgia should see some improvement in soil moisture and stream flow conditions in early spring since moisture loss due to evaporation and plant water use is lower during cool months. This improvement in moisture can be misleading. Relative to normal recharge during this period and this winter is expected to be limited.Up-to-date information on dry conditions across Georgia can be found at www.georgiadrought.org. Updated weather conditions can be found at www.georgiaweather.net.
Hillrom_Logo_Register Mark_RGB_AllChicago, Il. — Global medical technology company Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), today announced a global rebrand as Hillrom™ with an updated brand promise of Advancing Connected Care™.“With our rapid advancements in digital health and connected care, we are extending our physical healthcare environment solutions to the digital space,” said President and CEO John Groetelaars. “We are excited to launch our new brand, which reaffirms our identity and underscores our commitment to the continued transformation of our business.”The modernized Hillrom visual brand – with the “H” and “r” in the logo depicting the ones and zeros that underpin the digital world – reflects the company’s strong and growing capabilities in connected devices, advanced analytics and delivery of actionable insights at the point of care. The brand transition propels Hillrom forward from its history in hospital beds and medical device development to one that advances connected care across the healthcare continuum.Recent successes highlight this transition:Hillrom’s recently announced global collaboration with Microsoft. The combined offerings, using Microsoft Azure®, are intended to dynamically analyze real-time sensing data from medical devices and historical medical record information, and communicate potential patient risk and hospital protocol actions directly to caregivers at the point of care.The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) grant of Conditional Authority to Operate (ATO-C) to the company’s Welch Allyn® Connex® monitoring systems, Connex® vital signs connectivity solutions, ELI™ 380 resting ECG (electrocardiograph) device and NaviCare® Nurse Call. The DoD authorization allows these Hillrom vital signs monitoring systems, resting ECG device and care communications platform to be connected to DoD healthcare system networks in the U.S. and internationally.Hillrom’s acquisition of Voalte, a pioneer and leader in real-time, mobile healthcare communications, to accelerate Hillrom’s leadership in care communications and advance the company’s digital and mobile communications platform and capabilities. The companies’ combination has already led to substantial customer wins.The new Hillrom brand brings together the company’s acquisitions and updated focus areas, which help caregivers to:Accelerate patient recoverySimplify clinical communication and collaborationEnable earlier diagnosis and treatmentOptimize surgical efficiency and safetyShift care closer to homeBeyond the company’s visual brand update, Hillrom is uniting its acquired company brands. The Welch Allyn brand will continue as a flagship product family for the company’s patient monitoring and diagnostic solutions. The Voalte brand, which Hillrom acquired in April, will continue as a cornerstone of the company’s expanded Care Communications product line. All other brands will be transitioning over time to the Hillrom brand.“Our customers know us in a number of different ways, and today we bring them together under a powerful global Hillrom brand,” said Groetelaars. “Our 10,000 employees around the world can proudly say they work for Hillrom, a single brand with a single mission: every day, around the world, we enhance outcomes for patients and their caregivers.”