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GRHA Newsletter
Week of April 13, 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

Shelley Spires

Joseph Barrow

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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National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health


The Branch - April 2012 




County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program Releases Call for Proposals

Roadmaps to Health: Community Grants Proposal

  Deadline: May 2, 2012 3:00 PM EDT

georgia map

Grant Award  

Dr. Jacob Warren


Dr. Jacob Warren, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University and Dr. Bryant Smalley (Department of Psychology), the co-Executive Directors of the Rural Health Research Institute, have been awarded a $450,000 federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund Project ADEPT (Applied Diabetes Education Program using Telehealth).  Project ADEPT will establish and determine the effectiveness of a new telehealth network that connects a diabetes educator housed within the Rural Health Research Institute to four clinic locations of East Georgia Healthcare Center.  In doing so, Project ADEPT will help under-served diabetics in Candler, Emanuel, Tattnall, and Toombs counties learn how to better manage their condition.

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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  

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.

 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
Health worse in rural counties, study shows 
By: Any Miller

An analysis comparing health statistics for Georgia counties shows a wide gap between rural and urban/suburban areas in the state.


The top seven counties in the state in the new health rankings - Fayette, Forsyth, Oconee, Cherokee, Gwinnett, Cobb and Columbia -- are all in large metropolitan areas in the northern or north-central part of the state.


The bottom 10 counties are in rural South or Middle Georgia, according to the rankings, compiled for each state by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and released last week. Here's a link to the Georgia breakdown.


Rural experts said this Georgia health disparity isn't surprising, given those areas' high poverty rates and medical access problems.


The 2012 rankings provide statistics in four categories: health behavior, clinical care, physical environment, and social and economic factors, which include the percentage of children in poverty, unemployment and education rates.


Read full story with comments by Matt Caseman, Executive Director of GRHA and Jimmy Lewis, CEO of Hometown Health. 


"Source: Georgia Health News, an independent, nonprofit news service".

Study shows big gaps in midstate health, healthcare
By MIKE STUCKA - [email protected]


 For more than a decade, Billy Powell and his wife have been leaving Fort valley to visit a Macon cardiothoracic surgeon, F.S. Wanna, whom Powell considers one of the best in the state.

"Macon is certainly a better place to set up a practice than Fort Valley. You have a bigger population," said Powell, a 76-year-old author.

Not all his care has been from out-of-town. Powell said he received "excellent care" from an in-town physician, Dr. Dinakara Shetty, and Peach Regional Medical Center when he had a heart attack in 2000, when he was taken by ambulance to a cardiologist.

A health study released last week suggests Bibb County, with regional hospitals, is the fourth-best county in the state for clinical care. Yet Bibb County residents still die too young, according to the study.

The study, called the 2012 County Health Rankings, highlights other disparities that experts say show ties between poverty and poor health.

Read more here:

HHS Press Release: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Announces Delay of ICD-10 until October 1, 2014


In a new press release from HHS, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a proposed rule that would delay the compliance date for ICD-10 from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014The ICD-10 compliance date change is part of a proposed rule that would adopt a standard for a unique health plan identifier (HPID), adopt a data element that would serve as an "other entity" identifier (OEID), and add a National Provider Identifier (NPI) requirement. The proposed rule was developed by the Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) as part of its ongoing role, delegated by HHS, to establish standards for electronic health care transactions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). OESS is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


The full release can be found on the CMS Website, and more information about this proposed rule can be found on the proposed rule ICD-10 fact sheet.

April is STD Awareness Month


Every year sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion-and cost individuals even more in immediate and long-term health consequences.


April is STD Awareness month, an annual observance to call attention to the impact of STDs and promote STD testing across the United States.


Regardless of race or gender, data show that sexually active teens and young adults are at an increased risk for STDs when compared to older adults.

  • Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 19 million new infections.
  • Estimates suggest that even though young people represent only 25% of the sexually experienced population, nearly half of all STD cases occur in young people aged 15 to 24.

The good news is that most STDs are treatable, and many are curable - early detection through testing is key. Yet, stigma, inconsistent or incorrect condom use, access to health care, and a combination of other factors contribute to high rates of STDs among teens and young adults.


Primary care physicians, pediatricians, and other health care providers play an important role in ensuring young people receive correct information and comprehensive health care. Providers and the information they share are respected by patients. Research shows that adolescent patients feel primary care settings are an appropriate place to discuss sexual health and would like their providers to initiate such discussions. In a recent study of college students, almost half of those surveyed preferred to receive sexual health information from their provider who initiates the conversation and only 25% preferred to receive this type of information from the Internet. Patients are most comfortable with providers who are "knowledgeable about sexual concerns" (75%) and "seem comfortable addressing sexual concerns" (68%)1.



Mark Your Calendar



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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