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GRHA Newsletter
Week of January 27, 2012

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Georgia Rural Health Association (GRHA) is the oldest state rural health association in the country. Founded in 1981, this nonprofit network of healthcare providers, educators, and individuals is united in its commitment to improve the health and healthcare services of rural Georgians. Join now!

FY 2012 GRHA Board of Directors


Sallie Barker

Immediate Past President

Nannette Turner

President Elect

Denise Kornegay

Vice President

Ann Addison


Sheila Freeman


Deidre Howell

Board Members

Carla Belcher

Laura Bland Gillman

Sue Nieman

Charles Owens

Chris Parker

Rhett Partin

Caroline Holley Womack

Paula Guy

Monty M. Veazey

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors

  GRHA New Members



Veronda Ford
Aimee Green
Emily Henning
"This is Public Health"
Video Contest
Deadline to submit video is March 1, 2012

To learn more click here

The Auxiliary at John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital is seeking applicants for scholarships given annually to

deserving students enrolled in a medical-related field of study.


Applications are due February 1, 2012.



Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

Do you know someone who

is a Nurse Practitioner (NP)? The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) is reserving up to half of all funding for NPs and we need your help to get the word out.


NELRP offers NPs an opportunity to repay up to 85 percent of their outstanding qualifying

educational loans in exchange for serving at a Critical Shortage Facility that is located in a Health

Professional Shortage Area.


The deadline to apply to NELRP is February 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm EST. NPs can apply to both NELRP and the National Health Service Corps, however if an applicant is selected to receive an award from both, they must select one.


To learn more visit: 

Archbold Announces Hartsfield as Vice President of Medical Affairs
Archbold Medical Center is pleased to announce that Mel Hartsfield MD, JD, has been named vice president
of Medical Affairs for the health system. Hartsfield is board-certified in internal medicine and an
accomplished medical executive.
Clinical Updates via Rural E-CME (CURE) Archived Webinars
Rheumatology Potpourri
William Ginsburg, MD
Activity Information and Registration:
Primary Palliative Care: The Critical Link
Tammie Quest, MD
Activity Information and Registration: 

GRHA Corporate Members





Blue Cross Blue Shield



Coca Cola




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January Observances

Cervical Health Awareness Month


National Glaucoma Awareness Month


Thyroid Awareness Month


National Birth Defects Prevention Month


National Radon Action Month

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GRHA circulates state and national news as an information service only. Inclusion of information is not intended as an endorsement.

By Matt Caseman, GRHA Executive Director
  Matt Caseman

Lack of trauma care remains the single most critical issue facing our state.


The hard reality is that Georgia still needs a dedicated revenue stream to upgrade and expand its trauma center network. Thirty-three states have found ways to permanently fund trauma care, but our state lags behind.


Here are some facts:


*  Georgia has 150 acute-care hospitals, but it has only 15 designated trauma care centers.


*  More than 1 million Georgians live at least 50 miles from a Level 1 trauma center, the kind that handles the most serious cases. That distance makes it virtually impossible to get them to such a facility within the "golden hour" - the period after a major trauma when emergency responders have the greatest chance to save a life. Many Georgians commute through areas that are similarly remote from lifesaving facilities.


*  In metro Atlanta, there's one fatality in every 339 accidents. In rural Georgia, it's one fatality in every 74 accidents. (Georgia defines a rural county as having a population of 35,000 or less, and 108 of the state's 159 counties are in that category.)


Georgia Health News Article

Save the Date

State Capitol 


          Georgia Rural Health Association


Rural Health Day at the Capitol


Thursday, February 16, 2012


State Capitol 


South Wing


8:00 am-12:00 pm


Sponsorship Form




Georgia Rural Health Association

GRHA logo 

2012 R.U.R.A.L. Legislative Agenda  


Georgia Rural Health Association Members can now go to our website and access the latest Legislative Reports and Bill Tracking Documents for the 2012 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. From the Advocacy Page, click on "2012 Legislative Tracking" and log in. For assistance please contact our office at 478-552-3620 or [email protected] 

 Georgia budget offers breathing room for medical segment



Last year, the governor and legislators resorted to sleight of hand when drafting a budget for health care. This year, observers say there are no tricks.

When the state's tax collections sagged because of the lingering effects of the last recession, it was one of the big pots of money for covering shortages in other programs.

The financial strength of Medicaid matters because the health plan for the poor insures 1.6 million Georgians, including three of every five births. Every day, it pays out $36 million in medical claims.

In the budget he left for his successor, Nathan Deal, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue used a few bookkeeping gimmicks to tap into it.

For instance, shifting the timing of payments to the companies that administer Medicaid saved a whole month's payment. Instead of paying in advance for service, the state paid afterward, omitting one whole month from the fiscal year in the transition. The next fiscal year will contain 12 months of payments again.


"We were able to gain $230 million last year that we were able to use to help balance the budget last year when it was so bad, and now it's basically put back in there," said House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn. "That eases up pressure on doctors, nursing homes and hospitals, all the providers."


Full Article by Walter C. Jones, The Augusta Chronicle

 Upsurge in Rural Student Poverty Rates, Diversity, Enrollment



WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Rural School and Community Trust releases Why Rural Matters 2011-12


Nearly one in four American children attend rural schools and enrollment is growing at a faster rate in rural school districts than in all other places combined, according to Why Rural Matters 2011-12 a biennial report by the Rural School and Community Trust. In addition, rural schools show increasing rates of poverty, diversity, and students with special needs. These widespread trends are most evident in the South, Southwest, and parts of Appalachia.


"As the evidence mounts that rural education is becoming a bigger and even more complex part of our national educational landscape, it is becoming impossible to ignore in the quest to improve achievement and narrow achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged groups. The day of closing our eyes and hoping rural education will just go away are ending," said Jerry Johnson, a co-author of Why Rural Matters 2011-12.


Read On

Key report on Medicaid calls for big change

  By: Andy Miller, Georgia Health News


A consulting firm's long-awaited report calls for Georgia to consider adopting an enhanced managed care system for its Medicaid and PeachCare populations.


The Navigant report was commissioned by the state, and it was released Friday by state officials. Hundreds of pages in length, it analyzes Medicaid set-ups in several states and points to weaknesses in Georgia's overall health care system.


It also evaluates the state's current Medicaid and PeachCare programs, which cover about 1.7 million Georgians and have a budget that exceeds $7 billion, most of it federal money.


Gov. Nathan Deal, in a statement, said the state's Medicaid ''redesign'' initiative, led by Georgia's Department of Community Health, "will allow the state to examine new and innovative program delivery models so that we can develop value-based solutions to help us achieve program and financial sustainability."


Read more



The Year in Tobacco Control
Ground both gained and lost in the battle against tobacco use.

The American Lung Association's tenth annual State of Tobacco Control report chronicles a frustrating mix of progress and backsliding as it monitors progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state levels and assigns grades to assess whether laws are effectively protecting citizens from the terrible health burden caused by tobacco use.


State of Tobacco Control 2012 finds that over the past year, most states' efforts to protect children and curb tobacco-related disease have been, in a word, abysmal. The federal government fared significantly better by making major advances in 2011, but still squandered one significant opportunity to save lives.


The state report cards for 2011 were awash with "F's." Only four states received all passing grades, while six states received straight "F's." How did your state rate?

Mark Your Calendar
NRHA 2012 Policy Institute
Jan 30 - Feb 1, 2012
2012 Legislative Breakfast: How Can Georgia Get Back on Top?
February 7, 2012
Program will feature Attorney General Sam Olens and Secretary of State Brian Kemp
7:30-9 am
Blue Room, Georgia Freight Depot, Atlanta, Georgia
Cost: $15, payable at the door
Elected officials admitted at no charge
Please RSVP to [email protected] or call 404-658-5919


Community Health Center Day at the Capitol
Thursday, February 9, 2012


Georgia Rural Health Association
Rural Health Day at the Capitol
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Georgia State Capitol, South Wing
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth
2012 Annual Conference
March 14th-16 Ritz-Carlton, Reynold Plantation
Lake Oconee, GA

Hospitals and Communities Moving Forward with Patient-and Family-Centered Care
March 19- 22, 2012
Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care
Emory Conference Center Hotel
Atlanta, Ga


Society of Trauma Nurses

STN 15th Annual Conference
April 11-14, 2012
Going Coastal: Reset your Trauma Compass
Hyatt Regency Savannah
Savannah, GA



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