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GRHA Newsletter    Week of July 13, 2012    [email protected]    478-552-3620

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

Carie Summers

Paula Guy

Monty M. Veazey

Shelley Spires

Joseph Barrow

Robert J. Briscione

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors

  GRHA Welcomes

     New Member






Keystone Mercy Health Plan


Tift Regional Medical Center


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Non-members who register for the 2012 GRHA Annual Conference will receive a one year free membership with the Georgia Rural Health Association!
Some Membership Benefits Include:

Discounted membership rates at all GRHA events


Timely legislative tracking reports throughtout the General Assembly session, guided with the issues members say are important 


Up to date state and national public policy and advocacy e-mail alerts guided by GRHA Legislative Affairs Committee and the NRHA


Grant information available only to members



This offer will end August 23, 2012

GRHA Corporate Members


Summit Funding Group


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 





Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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Childhood Asthma in Rural-Urban Areaschild with asthma  


Asthma is one of the leading causes of chronic illness among children and the most commonly reported cause of childhood disability. Rates of childhood asthma in the United States have been increasing over the last several decades such that the rise in asthma prevalence has been labeled as an epidemic. The causes of this increase are not well known but may be related to factors such as increased impact of environmental allergens, indoor and outdoor air pollutants, increased obesity rates, and inadequate early immune system exposures. Research specific to prevalence of asthma among rural children is limited and has resulted in conflicting findings which may reflect differences in exposures across different types of rural settings.


These reports assess rates of lifetime and current asthma for children across the rural-urban continuum for the U.S. They also examine how asthma may be related to rural areas adjacent or non-adjacent to larger population centers, to variation in measures of air quality, to varying levels of agricultural and animal production, and to other characteristics such as obesity, race/ethnicity, or health insurance.


Full Report  

  New Funding Opportunity


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced available funding of $70 million to improve the health of small communities across the nation. Grants will be awarded to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations across a variety of sectors, including transportation, housing, education, and public health, in an effort to save lives and control the nation's growing health care costs associated with preventable chronic diseases.


The official funding opportunity announcement for the Community Transformation Grant program Small Communities component can be found by clicking here


Application closing date: July 31, 2012



Funding And Opportunties

Save the Date
1st Annual Medical Fair 

October 12-13, 2012

Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation


More Information Coming Soon!


georgia map

Community Facilities Funds Available from USDA


USDA, Rural Development Community Facilities Program  

July Health Observances


Cord Blood Awareness Month 


International Group B Strep Awareness Month


Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month


National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month


UV Safety Month

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.

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

2012 Georgia Rural Health Association 

Annual Conference

September 17 -19, 2012

Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, GA

2012 Annual conference logo


 will update as speakers confirm 



 Deadline extended to September 7, 2012


Deadline is August 1, 2012


Callaway Gardens Resort  

Reservations: 1-888-312-8002

Ask for GRHA Rate





Time to Nominate Your Colleagues for 2012 GRHA Awards of Excellence

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The nominations are now open for the 2012 GRHA Awards of Excellence.  Click here for more details and  to make a nomination. Deadline is August 1!


You can nominate people or organizations for the following awards:


Legislator of the Year

Outstanding Rural Health Practice or Practitioner .

Outstanding Rural Health Program  

Distinguished Educator/Researcher

James Alley Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Rural Health Care  

Outstanding Volunteer  

Future Professionals in Rural Health  


Awards will be presented at the GRHA Annual Conference in Pine Mountain, Georgia on October 17.


Public Health marks milestone with upbeat report


The Department of Public Health's commissioner said Tuesday that she remains worried about two agency problems: funding and workforce vacancy rates.


But in her progress report on Public Health, a year after its launch, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald also listed several accomplishments of the new agency, including initiatives to reduce the state's high rates of obesity and infant mortality.

"I'm enormously pleased by the incredible work done'' by public health employees, she told the agency's board at a meeting.

Public Health, formerly part of the Department of Community Health, was made an independent agency in July 2011 through legislation passed by the General Assembly.


Full Story by Andy Miller

WellPoint buying Amerigroup; new ACOs announced


Two announcements Monday underscored the rapid currents of change in Georgia health care.


First came news of a $4.5 billion deal by health insurance giant WellPoint to acquire Amerigroup.


Both companies have large operations in Georgia.


WellPoint is the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, the state's largest health insurer. Amerigroup runs one of the three ''care management organizations'' (CMOs) that serve the Medicaid and PeachCare populations in the state.


According to the second announcement, Cobb-based WellStar Health Network has been selected to participate as an ''accountable care organization'' (ACO) for Medicare patients in Georgia.

ACOs are networks of hospitals and doctors aimed at improving patient care and containing costs. Under the Shared Savings Program, the organizations get paid more for keeping their patients healthy and out of the hospital.


The WellPoint deal is focused on Amerigroup's Medicaid business nationally. States increasingly are looking to managed care companies to control their spending on Medicaid, which covers the poor and disabled and is jointly financed with the federal government.


By: Andy Miller

Full Story

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2012 Rural Health Clinic Conference Recorded Webinars


Southwest GA AHEC Distance Learning 





March for Rural Hospitals

On July 30-31, NRHA will host the first March for Rural Hospitals in Washington, D.C., to protect funding for Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDH) and low-volume hospitals (LVH) across the country.


Join us on Capitol Hill to:


* step up the grassroots effort to restore MDH program and LVH adjustment funding


* analyze the rural implications of the Supreme Court's health reform decision


* voice your opinion on MedPAC's flawed rural report

* get the latest federal policy and funding updates and how they'll impact you

Keep rural hospitals open. Join NRHA in its march on Capitol Hill to tell Congress to protect rural hospitals and the patients that they serve.

The event is free, but you must register here to ensure there is enough food and materials.


Physicians should have more freedom to coordinate care, MedPAC says



Physicians must be given flexibility in how they participate in new Medicare payment models for care coordination efforts to be successful, according to a new report by a congressional advisory panel.

Recent government studies have shown that most Medicare demonstrations on coordinating care have failed to improve patient outcomes and produce cost savings. However, some models - ones that give doctors more leeway and additional options in caring for patient populations - have proven to raise the quality of care and lower program spending, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's annual June report. MedPAC provides advice to Congress and the administration on how to reform the way Medicare pays for services, but they are under no obligation to follow the recommendations.


"To be successful, a program of care coordination has to be carefully woven into the practice environment where it occurs," said MedPAC Chair Glenn Hackbarth. "It's not possible to achieve good care coordination by imposing it externally. It's not the sort of thing you can design from a distance and plug into a local health care system."


Full Story By Charles Fiegl, amednews staff

Georgia health care in limbo

Georgia hospitals were depending on the health care law to ease the burden of treating hundreds of thousands of uninsured patients each year for free. But that relief may never come.


While upholding the law, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled states could reject the massive expansion of the Medicaid program that is a cornerstone of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For hospitals, not expanding the health program for poor and low-income Georgians would mean having to treat almost as many uninsured patients as ever while facing significant cuts to their reimbursements.


Last year, Georgia hospitals lost an estimated $1.5 billion caring for people without insurance. The promise of fewer uninsured is what led the national hospital industry to agree to the health law's $155 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts over a 10 year period.


Read more

 Life Expectancy for Rural Men


Men in most rural and exurban counties lives shorter lives, on average, than do men in the nation as a whole. The average age at death of a man in the United States was 76.2 years in 2009, the latest data available.


A total of 482 rural and exurban counties had male longevity rates above the national average. In nearly 1,200 counties, however, the average age at death of men in 2009 was under 75 years of age.

 Read the full article. 


By Bill Bishop and Roberto Gallardo - Daily YonderMen 



Mark Your Calendar




What's Up, Doc: What You Need to Know About Medical School 2012

Date: Thursday, July 19, 2012
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)  Sponsor:  SOWEGA AHEC


Cardio-Metabolic Syndrome: Downstream Economic & Patient Impact

Friday, August 10, 2012
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM (EST)

Presenter: Omar M. Lattouf, MD, PhD, FACC, FACS
Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery
Emory University School of Medicine




Georgia Oral Health Summit

Monday, August 13, 2012

Macon, GA

Registration and Agenda coming soon!


2012Georgia Rural Health Association Annual Conference

September 17-19, 2012



20th Annual NALBOH Conference

Aug 8 - 10, 2012

National Association of Local Boards of Health

Hyatt Regency Downtown

Atlanta, GA

For more information, contact:

Tracy Schupp

[email protected]



2012 National Medicare Region IV Train-the-Trainer


Aug 21 - 23, 2012

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Atlanta, GA

Information and Registration Link


2012 Annual NASCSP Conference

Sep 11 - 14, 2012 

National Association for State Community Services Programs

Grand Hyatt Atlanta

Atlanta, GA


GAFP's 2012 Annual Meeting & Scientific Assembly

November 8-10, 2012

Cobb Galleria- Atlanta, GA

For more information:


ICD-10-CM Workshop

Dec 14, 2012  

American Medical Association

Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

Details and Registration

For more information, contact: Desiree Evans

[email protected]

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