Lanier Tech SkillsUSA National Winners Present to Board of Directors

August 9, 2023

Gainesville, GA-Lanier Technical College’s 2023 SkillsUSA National Gold Medal Winners, Ashley Watson, Janet Penaloza, and Lillian Phillips, took the opportunity to present their Career Pathway for Healthcare Science showcase to Lanier Tech’s Board of Directors on August 7, 2023. This very presentation won the trio the National Gold Medal in Atlanta, Georgia, a few months prior, competing with students from all 50 states and territories of the United States. The winning showcase focused on a recent collaboration with Northside Hospital and Forsyth Healthcare Association to make Forsyth County, Georgia, a “Four Minute City,” which is defined as a city in which a portable Avive defibrillator is only four minutes from any victim suffering heart attack symptoms. This is achieved by volunteers who receive CPR training as well as training in the proper use of an Avive compact defibrillator device. This high-tech defibrillator is equipped with a GPS that helps 911 dispatchers and Northside Hospital triangulate both the patient and defibrillator so that lifesaving treatment can be applied within four minutes and share data instantly so that the healthcare organization knows how best to treat that patient.  Watson, Penaloza, and Phillips showcased a video from Avive Solutions, developer of the defibrillator, that shows exactly how the device works:


“The normal mortality rate for a heart attack currently is about 94 percent. With this initiative, the mortality rate has dropped to 30 percent within the first year, thus, saving more lives,” said Health Information Management Technology Program Director, Annette Baker. This lightbulb idea has caught the attention of various healthcare organizations who have taken an interest in making this a reality not only in Forsyth County, Georgia, but in surrounding counties as well. As the winning team says in their presentation, “Georgia is a great place to live and a great place for your heart health!”



Lanier Technical College has a 100 percent job placement rate five out the past seven years. The College offers 50 programs of study in some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including healthcare, energy, business and industry, and public or private service.
Lanier Technical College is a Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Lanier Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC's website (
Equal opportunity institution.