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GRHA Newsletter
Week of February 3, 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

Caroline Holley Womack

Paula Guy

Monty M. Veazey

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors

  GRHA New Members



Veronda Ford
Aimee Green
Emily Henning



Recognize achievement.

Each year the National Rural Health Association honors outstanding individuals and organizations in the field of rural health during its Annual Rural Health Conference.

Nominate professionals or students who have dedicated their time and talents to improving the health and well-being of others. The Rural Health Awards provide a public forum to show appreciation and offer national distinction to hardworking individuals and devoted organizations.

It's easy to submit a nomination, and the deadline is Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. CST.

Click here to review awards categories.

Click here to submit a nomination.

Questions? Contact Donna Douglas.



National Rural Health Association
521 E. 63rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110-3329
Phone - 816.756.3140

Fax - 816.756.3144

"This is Public Health"
Video Contest
Deadline to submit video is March 1, 2012

To learn more click here
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: 

Clinical Updates via Rural E-CME (CURE) Archived Webinars
Obesity Co-Morbidities: Not Just For Grownups Anymore
Stephanie Walsh, MD, FAAP
Activity Information and Registration: 
Understanding the Relationship of Cardiovascular Disease and the Onset of Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease
Monica Parker, MD
Activity Information and Registration:

GRHA Corporate Members





Blue Cross Blue Shield



Coca Cola




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February Observances

AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month


Heart Month


International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month


National Children Dental Health Month  

Join Our Mailing List

For those of you who want to stay up to date through social networks, please like the Georgia Rural Health Association Facebook page and follow us on Twitter! 

 Find us on Facebook
                    Follow us on Twitter

By joining our social media sites, you have the ability to stay updated on the latest rural health information in Georgia. Please help us spread the word! Thank you for your support and feel free to contact us with any questions.

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



Sallie and Nannette on Capitol Hill 

 Georgia Rural Health Association 

in Washington D.C. for the NRHA Policy Institute

Dr. Nannette Turner, GRHA Legislative Chair, and Sallie Barker, GRHA President, on Capitol Hill


GRHA had a contingent of six representatives visiting congressional offices January 31st. The visits were a part of the National Rural Health Association's annual Policy Institute. The event offered an opportunity to learn first-hand about the development and implementation of health care policy at the federal level and a chance to meet with Georgia's congressional delegation.


NRHA developed three "asks" or items that advocates took to Capitol Hill. GRHA asked their senators and representatives to support:

1)    The continuation of rural Medicare "Extenders".

2)    Modifying the Medicare sequestration process set to begin in January 2013 to avoid disproportionate harm to the rural health safety net.

3)    Appropriate funding levels for rural health programs through fiscal year 2013.

Documentation and background information for the advocacy effort can be reviewed through NRHA's Policy Institute Action Kit.

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



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]




"Swing Bed Services" Fact Sheet Revised  

The "Swing Bed Services"  fact sheet (ICN 006951) has been revised and is now available in downloadable format.  It includes information on background, requirements that apply to hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals, and swing bed services payments.

New Health Information Technology Resource Targets Rural Health Providers


 A new online toolkit will serve as a pilot program for providing health information technology (HIT) resources to rural health care providers. The toolkit, developed by the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) and the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) is designed to help rural providers find resources for HIT, electronic health records (EHR), meaningful use and related topics. Funding for the toolkit, available at, is provided by the federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP).


"HIT is critically important for rural communities and this toolkit is one way to help rural health care providers get projects up and running," explains Kristine Sande, RAC program director. "While rural communities have seen many advances and innovation in using EHRs and HIT networks, they still face a number of challenges."


This toolkit was developed as a result of the President's Rural Health Initiative, which identifies HIT as a priority. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius established the Rural HIT Taskforce to address challenges rural communities face in adopting HIT and achieving meaningful use. The taskforce offers ways to meet those challenges and show rural communities how to coordinate federal resources. The taskforce is co-chaired by HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield and National Coordinator for HIT Dr. Farzad Mostashari.

Using the toolkit, rural communities will be able to:

  • Address challenges in finding capital funding
  • Provide support to community colleges to enhance training programs
  • Stay informed about legislation affecting EHRs
  • Leverage multiple federal resources for project development

Toolkit resources provide guidance in the planning, setup, implementation and operation of an HIT infrastructure. Additional information also shows where to find training programs, funding support and management expertise. Resources are broken down by category and topic for easier access, and can be sorted for more specific results.


Terry Hill, executive director of the National Rural Health Resource Center, emphasizes, "A lot of rural providers need guidance on putting an HIT system in place. This toolkit gives them a starting point and can help them get through the entire implementation process."


For more information  




 How will the Affordable Care Act affect small businesses and their employees?

A new Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet summarizes key provisions in the Affordable Care Act that may affect small businesses and their employees. The fact sheet explains the laws small business tax credits and the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges to be established in each state by 2014, both of which are designed to make it easier for small businesses to purchase insurance for their workers. The fact sheet also describes the penalties employers who employ more than 50 full-time workers would face if they do not offer affordable coverage starting in 2014; smaller employers are exempt from that requirement and would not face any penalties.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism and communication, is dedicated to filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people. The Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation, based in Menlo Park, California.
Michelle Keller
(650) 854-9400
Craig Palosky
(202) 347-5270
Augusta teaching hospital faces deeper cuts
By RUSS BYNUM - Associated Press

As Gov. Nathan Deal seeks to boost state funding for cancer research and expand the ranks of post-graduate medical residents in Georgia, the state's largest teaching hospital outside Atlanta faces budget cuts that could require shrinking its own residency program.


The governor's midyear budget proposes cutting $583,000 in state funding for the Augusta hospital and clinics operated by Georgia Health Sciences University, formerly known as the Medical College of Georgia.


The latest proposed cut isn't huge by itself. But it would add to a decade of reductions that have slashed the hospital's state funding by $8.5 million - or 23 percent - since 2002. "We all have to acknowledge these are tough times and we need to do more with less," said Dr. Ricardo Azziz, Georgia Health Sciences University's president. "But you're now beginning to cut into bone."


The Augusta medical university's hospital performs a key mission in which Georgia overall is lacking: training resident physicians who are fresh out of medical school. The hospital had 421 residents last year, more than 20 percent of the 2,046 residents training statewide. That's more than any Georgia school but Emory University, which routes many residents through Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital.


State money, which makes up only about 16 percent of Georgia Health Science University's overall funding, helps the hospital offset the high cost of training residents as well as recoup some losses from providing care to patients who can't afford it.

Mark Your Calendar
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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