(Trenton, GA) – When Lisa Smith of Trenton began pursuing her General Educational Development® diploma with Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), she withdrew after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Today she is the site director for Primary Healthcare Centers, earning her master’s degree, cancer free, and has her GED® diploma.

Lisa Smith is the Site Director for Primary Healthcare Centers, which is located in several counties in Northwest Georgia with additional locations in Alabama and Tennessee. Smith oversees the facilities in Dade and Walker Counties.
Lisa Smith is the Site Director for Primary Healthcare Centers, which is located in several counties in Northwest Georgia with additional locations in Alabama and Tennessee. Smith oversees the facilities in Dade and Walker Counties.

“I have been cancer free for seven years, which is wonderful!” said Smith.

As site director, Smith manages all the clinic and clerical staff at the facilities in Walker and Dade counties. The only people she does not manage are the providers and doctors. Primary Healthcare Centers has several facilities in Northwest Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Smith earned her GED® diploma through GNTC’s Adult Education program in Dade County.

During the two year break that Smith took from pursuing her GED® diploma, Melissa Blevins, lead teacher for Adult Education in Dade County at the time, would call and tell her that she needed to get back into the program and finish.

“She was a great encourager for me,” said Smith. “She was willing to go above and beyond with anything that I needed from her to get back on track and get finished.”

Blevins, now the lead teacher and site manager for the Adult Education Center in Gordon County, says if she knows something is wrong with one of her students she will call and check on them and make sure everything is okay.

“Lisa was a very hard worker,” said Blevins. “Sometimes she would get frustrated and say ‘I can’t do this’ and I would say ‘yes you can’ and she saw that she could!”

After receiving her GED® diploma from Georgia Northwestern, Smith completed her core classes at GNTC and earned an associate’s degree in the Medical Assistant program at Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville, Ala. She is currently finishing up her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn.

“My master’s degree in Healthcare Administration is crucial for the role I am in right now,” said Smith. “I am about a year and a half from completing my degree.”

According to Smith, anyone thinking about getting their GED® diploma should consider one of GNTC’s Adult Learning Centers.

“I think the people employed at GNTC are passionate and I think that GNTC instills that in their employees,” said Smith. “I think that’s very good because otherwise I wouldn’t have finished and wouldn’t have completed my GED® diploma.”

To learn more about Primary Healthcare Centers, visit the web site http://www.primaryhealthcarecenter.org/

The Adult Education program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College served 3,084 students and graduated 276 students with a GED® diploma in Fiscal Year 2015. The Adult Education program at GNTC serves students in nine counties with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties and off-campus learning centers in Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, and Walker counties. Classes are also held in five different Correctional facilities. GED® Testing Centers are located on campus in Floyd, Gordon, Walker, and Whitfield counties.

GNTC is an official General Educational Development® Testing Center and a site for computer-based GED® Testing in partnership with Pearson Vue, GED® Testing Services, and the Technical College System of Georgia. The mission of GNTC’s Adult Education program is to enable every adult learner in the service delivery area to acquire the necessary basic skills to be able to compete successfully in today’s workplace, strengthen family foundations, and exercise full citizenship.

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities.  Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC.  This past year, 14,562 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,249 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,313 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.