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GRHA Newsletter  Week of August 30, 2013    [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 2013 GRHA Board of Directors


Denise Kornegay

Immediate Past President

Sallie Barker

President Elect

Ann Addison

Vice- President

Shelly Spires


Sheila Freeman


Laura Bland Gillman

Board Members

Carla Belcher

Tim Trottier

Mary Mathis

Sue Nieman

Charles Owens

Chris Parker

Chuck Adams

Paula Guy

Monty M. Veazey

Joseph Barrow

Robert J. Briscione

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors


GRHA Corporate Members


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 







Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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Al-GA Rural Health Clinic Conference 


Free Webinar Series:

Rural Health Clinic Billing 101




Please join us for a webinar on rural health clinic billing presented October 1, 2013 at 12:30 EDT and 1:30 CDT. This webinar is the second of three being offered as follow up to the joint Alabama-Georgia Rural Health Clinic Conference. All are invited to participate - this webinar is for everyone, regardless of whether or not you attended the joint rural health clinic conference. There is no cost for participation. 


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Free GRHA archived webinars are available for viewing:

2013 County Health Rankings


Funding And Opportunties

August Health Observances

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

Please join us for the 
2013 GRHA Annual Conference 
in Savannah!

Keynote Speakers

Georgia Department of Community Health Commissioner 
Clyde L. Reese III, Esq

James A. Hotz, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Dr. Hotz was an inspiration for the novel (and subsequent movie) Doc Hollywood.

Desoto Hilton, Savannah
October 21-23
Conference room rate is $140.00. Please use the group code GRH to make your reservation.


Latest hospital closing a blow to rural residents
By: Andy Miller
Published: Aug 26, 2013

Charlton Memorial Hospital in southeast Georgia, which will suspend operations Friday, is set to become the third rural hospital in the state to close this year.


The Hospital Authority of Charlton County cited ''financial instability'' in announcing its decision to close the nonprofit facility's doors. A family practice clinic will continue providing services, the authority said.


The decision on the Folkston facility followed closings of Richland and Arlington hospitals earlier this year.


"The hospital has been experiencing financial problems for a number of years,'' Charlton Memorial CEO H.D. Cannington told GHN on Monday. The facility, he added, "has a tremendous amount of indigent care.''


Local residents recently petitioned the Charlton County Commission to assist the struggling hospital. According to a WTLV report, county officials pointed out in response that the hospital was continuing to lose money, and they cited the increase in its debt - from $1 million in 2000 to more than $5.8 million this year.

Enrollment for Medicaid, PeachCare hits new high

By: Andy Miller 
Published: Aug 28, 2013

Georgia enrollment in Medicaid and PeachCare has jumped to almost 1.9 million, a new record, state officials said Wednesday.


Put in perspective, that's nearly one of every five Georgians. It's more than the population of several U.S. states.


And Georgia expects another 65,000 to enroll in Medicaid this fiscal year and the next one due to the Affordable Care Act, even though the state does not plan to expand its Medicaid program as envisioned by the 2010 law.


Georgia Medicaid chief Jerry Dubberly presented figures on the growth and costs of the government programs to state lawmakers convening the first meeting of the Joint Study Committee on Medicaid Reform.


The panel was created by a house resolution passed this year by the Georgia General Assembly. Six members each from the House and Senate were appointed, as well as six non-legislator members named by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Economist: Rural residents more likely to be affected by states' refusal to expand Medicaid
By M.L. Johnson, Associated Press
August 27, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Rural residents will likely benefit from the health care overhaul, but many will be hurt by their states' refusal to expand Medicaid coverage, a health economist said Tuesday during a conference on rural health care.


Twenty-one states, including Wisconsin, have opted not to expand Medicaid eligibility, while another half-dozen are still debating the issue, said Tim McBride, a health economist with the Rural Policy Research Institute's Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis.


He told hospital administrators and others gathered in Milwaukee that when researchers look at rural residents who could be covered by expanded Medicaid, more than half live in states that have opted out. In comparison, more than half of the urban residents eligible for coverage under the expansion live in states that are going forward with it.


"Not expanding Medicaid . . . is a rural issue," McBride said.



The Georgia OBGyn Society, working through a grant partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health and the March of Dimes, is conducting research on the obstetrical shortage in Georgia. Initial research determined at least 40 counties in the state did not have an obstetrical provider and the number was growing.


The second part of the research delves into reasons for the shortage and potential solutions. As a team of graduate students - the Georgia Maternal and Infant Health Research Group, or GMIHRG - we are collecting data from professionals throughout the state who have insight into obstetrical care from many perspectives. In particular, we are interviewing social workers and medical case managers working in labor and delivery units, as well as the administrative staff who manage these units. If you are interested and willing to discuss your experiences and perspectives with us, please email Erika Meyer at [email protected], or call 678.641.2756.

Mark Your Calendar

Georgia Association for Primary Health Care

2013 Annual Conference

October 2-4

Augusta, Georgia 

Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center



30th Annual Georgia Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates Conference:

September 20-22, 2013
Evergreen Marriott Resort
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
4021 Lakeview Drive 

2013 Georgia Chapter Scientific Meeting
American College of Physicians
October 4-6, 2013
Hyatt Regency
Savannah, Georgia

1st Annual Wound Care Conference
River City Wound and Ostomny Group
October 30, 2013
Columbus Regional Conference Center
710 Center Street
Columbus, GA 31901
More Information

Matt Caseman