Legislator of the Year - Awarded to the member of the Georgia General Assembly who demonstrates wisdom and foresight in dealing with rural health issues, understanding of rural health, and exemplary leadership in addressing the needs of rural areas and resolution of their health problems. This year the award goes to State Representative Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro). Pictured with Rep. Parrish is GRHA Board Member and Awards Committee Chair Shelly Spires.
Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner - Award recognizes a community-oriented rural health care practice, whether a group or an individual physician, that has improved direct access to health care services and information for rural people through innovative, comprehensive approaches. This year the award goes to Frances Ferguson, MD. Dr. Ferguson currently treats patient needs in 3 of Albany Area Primary Health Cares' most rural centers located in Baker, Calhoun, and Dooly Counties (each 25 - 55 miles from her home). Pictured on the right with, and nominating, Dr. Ferguson is Tary Brown, CEO of Albany Area Primary Health Care.
Outstanding Rural Health Program - Award recognizes a program that meets a healthcare need in a community or a group of communities and has demonstrated outcomes. This effort can include a collaboration of clinics, doctors, hospitals, wellness programs (i.e. recreation department or wellness facility), civic groups, or faith-based organizations. This year the award goes to The Hearts and Hands Clinic, Inc. The Hearts and Hands Clinic, Inc. promotes health and wellness by providing primary healthcare services for the citizens of the Bulloch County, GA community who are medically uninsured with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline. Pictured from the Hearts and Hands Clinic is Jordan Wilburn and Ann Clifton. Also pictured on the far right is GRHA Board Member and Awards Committee Chair Shelly Spires.
Outstanding Volunteer - Awarded to a volunteer who has made a significant contribution toward improving rural health. This year the award goes to Richard "Buck" Grist. Mr. Buck has devoted a major portion of his life to improving access to health care in rural Southwest Georgia. His contributions to the rural communities in SWGA are not solely healthcare related, but many of his volunteer hours have been outstanding humanitarian contributions that made a difference in the lives of many underserved individuals, particularly children in Early County. Pictured with and nominating Mr. Buck was Dr. Ann Addison, GRHA President Elect and CEO of Primary Care of Southwest Georgia, Inc. (PCSG).
Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Rural Health Care (James Alley Award) - Awarded to the practitioner, educator, public health employee, volunteer, or other individual who has excelled over a lifetime in service to rural people, either directly or indirectly. This year the award goes to Thomas "Mack" Allen, MD. August 5, 2012 was the official goodbye for Dr. Thomas "Mack" Allen from his medical practice, but he left a lasting legacy and some grateful individuals in his wake. This date was the culmination of 47 years of consistency for the community of Terrell County as it was on this date, 47 years prior that Dr. Allen had begun his practice with then partner Charles Sheffield. Over the years the partners may have changed a few times and eventually private practice gave way to hospital oversight and then ultimately health center management, but the one constant was Dr. Allen's availability for his patients. Pictured on the right with Dr. Thomas "Mack" Allen and presenting him with the award is Tary Brown, CEO of Albany Area Primary Health Care.
Thank you for your Service!