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GRHA Newsletter
Week of April 6, 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


 Platinum Corporate Sponsor Member
Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc.

GRHA Corporate Members


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 






Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 



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County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program Releases Call for Proposals

Roadmaps to Health: Community Grants Proposal

  Deadline: May 2, 2012 3:00 PM EDT

National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health


The Branch - April 2012 


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GRHA members are invited to join the Georgia Charitable Care Network, formerly the Georgia Free Clinic Network, at a discounted rate of $150 for 2012.
The Georgia Charitable Care Network is the only statewide organization whose mission is solely focused on the needs of charitable clinics and the populations they serve. To learn more you can go to their website

To access the GCCN application form click here.
To read the GCCN Values Statement click here


Telehealth Network Grant Program


Details and Application


Closing Date for Applications

April 13, 2012

Community Facilities Funds Available from USDA


USDA, Rural Development Community Facilities Program  

Pinnacle Health Group Announces Gold Partnership with National Rural Health Association

  National Public Health Week 

April 2-8, 2012



In 1995, former President William Jefferson Clinton proclaimed the first full week of April as National Public Health Week (NPHW). Each year since then, the public health community has celebrated this observance by focusing on an issue that is important to improving the public's health.


The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the lead organizer of NPHW and with the help of its 50,000 members and hundreds of organizational partners, educate the public, policymakers, and practitioners about the importance of public health.


A healthier America begins with...
strong public health systems across the country. APHA continues to champion the creation of the healthiest nation in one generation with an emphasis on public health's essential role in prevention.


Visit the 2012 NPHW website


April Observances

National Autism Awareness Month


National Donate Life Month


National Minority Health Month 


Women's Eye Health and Safety Month


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month


National Distracted Driving Awareness Month


National Facial Protection Month


Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month


Join Our Mailing List

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

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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.


 Happy Easter

 Rural Health Clinic Conference

May 9, 2012

Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club

2459-H Hwy.280 West

Cordele, GA 31015


Don't miss out on this great networking 

and learning opportunity!


Attendee Registration

Sponsor Registration   



Presentations include: ICD-10 essentials, RAC auditing documentation, rural provider's guide to meaningful use and EHR incentive programs, Medicaid billing, financial challenges of rural health clinics, telehealth, and National Health Service Corp and provider recruitment 


2011 Rural Health Clinic Conference Presentations




2012 Georgia Rural Health Association 

Annual Conference

September 17 -19, 2012

Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA


 2012 Annual conference logo


Deadline is June 1, 2012

Georgia Public Policy Foundation

"Healing Health Care Policy in Georgia" by Benita M. Dodd 

Benita Todd 

After a historic three days of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, the fate of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as ObamaCare lies in the hands of nine justices. Until the expected high court ruling in June, pundits and policy wonks will pick apart the questions and answers in the oral arguments. But Americans know that whether the law stands, crumbles or collapses, health care policy in these United States needs a fix.


Voters in the states know the answer is not in this federal, top-down health law, in essence cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. Just 37 percent of likely voters want the federal law upheld while 50 percent want it overturned, according to a Rasmussen poll conducted March 27-28, even as the court sat in session.  In Georgia, which is party to the 26-state challenge to the law, Attorney General Sam Olens warned: "If the individual mandate, the linchpin of the law, is not stricken, there are no conceivable limits on federal power. The idea that the federal government can compel individuals to purchase a product is a radical one and is completely at odds with the Constitution and principle of federalism."


Read complete commentary

New Health Care Law Good for Georgians and Their Wallets georgia budget and policy institute 


National health care reform is expanding access to health care coverage for thousands of Georgians, particularly young adults and people previously denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, a new analysis by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute shows.


The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2009, will save Georgia taxpayers at least $100 million in health care costs through FY 2013.

The law's benefits are expected to multiply by the time it is fully implemented in 2014, allowing most Georgians who now don't have health insurance to get coverage.


"Georgians who were previously denied health insurance have new coverage options, and young adults can now remain on their parents' insurance until they turn 26," said Timothy Sweeney, director of health policy for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.


Read more 

CMS Makes Improvements to Medicare Drug Health Plans 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations for Medicare Advantage (MA) and prescription drug benefit (Part D) programs to improve benefits and the quality of care for seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in these programs.


"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare are getting more value from their Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans," said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.  "The changes we're implementing today will lower costs for people with Medicare and ensure that they can choose the health plan that works for them."


CMS announced the estimated growth rate for 2013 and other policies for its participating health and drug plans for Payment Year 2013.  The Rate Announcement and Final Call Letter are combined into a single guidance document and establish updates to payment methodologies, other policies, and program operations for Part C organizations and Part D sponsors.  The policies will become effective January 1, 2013, as required by law. "These policy changes will help keep costs low and make Medicare stronger," said Jonathan Blum, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare.


Read more

Talbot County Ranks Lowest In Health
By Orlando Montoya

Researchers have ranked more than 3,000 counties for health outcomes for the past three years.  A new report ranks west Georgia's Talbot County the state's unhealthiest. It says metro Atlanta's Fayette County is Georgia's healthiest county.

Taken together, the report highlights the state's urban and rural health divide.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers published the report looking at more than 3,000 counties nationwide.

 Read more

A Tribute to Leila Denmark, MD (b. February 1, 1898 d. April 1, 2012)


 Georgia has lost one of its favorite daughters, Dr. Leila Denmark, who said, "The secret of a long life is to eat right and love what you do." She died last Sunday in Athens, GA, at the age of 114. She was the fourth oldest person in the world. Denmark graduated from Tift College, studied at Mercer University, and taught high school science before she decided to become a doctor. She was the only woman in her graduating class at the Medical College of Georgia in 1928. She moved to Atlanta after graduation and became the first resident at the new Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children. She admitted the first patient to that hospital, now called Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. She continued to practice pediatric medicine until she retired at age 103 in 2001 at which time she was the oldest practicing physician in the country. Denmark received the prestigious Fisher Award for outstanding research in the diagnosis, treatment, and development of an immunization for whooping cough. In 2000, Emory University awarded her with an honorary doctorate to a standing ovation. At that time, there had been only three standing ovations at commencement exercises in the school's history: for Hank Aaron, the Dalai Lama, and Dr. Denmark. She lived independently until she reached the age 106, when moved to Athens to live with her daughter.

Mark Your Calendar


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


April 12-13
Crowne Plaza Ravinia, Atlanta


2012 RHC Billing and Cost Reporting Seminar
April 19, 2012
Healthcare Business Specialists
Hyatt Regency
Savannah, GA
For more information, contact:
Mark Lynn- 423.899.0945
2012 43rd Annual ASAM Medical-Scientific Conference
April 19-22, 2012
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Hilton Atlanta Hotel
Atlanta, GA


2012 Minority Health Month Health Equity Summit
April 20, 2012
8:00 am to 3:00 pm
The Loudermilk Center
Atlanta, GA
Free- must register


Connections 2012: Because Results Matter

Reception and Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

7pm - 9pm

Connections 2012 Conference
Thursday, May 3, 2012
7:30 am - 4:30 pm



Rural Health Clinic Conference

May 9, 2012

Lake Blackshear, Cordele, GA



2012 NAIS and NIVS Summit

May 15 - 17, 2012
American Medical Association
National Vaccine Program Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
J.W. Marriott Atlanta Buckhead
Atlanta, GA


Early Bird Registration Fees for the 2012 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health!

Early Bird Registration ends April 29 (payment and registration must be received by this date).
2012 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health
Working Together for a Healthier North Dakota
May 30 - June 1, 2012
Alerus Conference Center, Grand Forks, ND
Lodging Reservations at the 1-888-33CANAD (22623). To receive the discounted rate, please request the Dakota Conference room block reservation number 200565. For more hotel options please visit our website.
Register Today!


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