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GRHA Newsletter  Week of September 13, 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 2:30 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

September 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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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.

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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 Speaker

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

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


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Free Webinar

"Patient Centered Medical Home: The Basics and How it Works" 

WebinarDate: Monday, September 30, 2013

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)

Sponsor:  Georgia Rural Health Association 

Presenter: Harry Strothers, III, MD, MMM 
Session Description: The Patient Centered Medical Home is a team based healthcare delivery approach to providing care and maximizing health outcomes. With goals of raising patient satisfaction, improving overall health, and increasing access to health care, the PCMH model is growing in popularity throughout the country.

This webinar will cover the basics of a PCMH and how it works. Additionally, information will be provided on utilizing health information technology and a trained staff to provide coordinated care through team based models, which is a critical aspect of PCMH. 

Endangered Species: Georgia's Rural Hospitals


By Pam O'Dell
Capitol Reporter

    Grave uncertainty plagues Jimmy Lewis as he hurriedly visits hospital administrators in rural Georgia, particularly those in south Georgia among the state's poorest areas. CEO of Home Town Health, (a management consulting and advocacy group for rural hospitals) Lewis is on a mission to prevent the closure of more hospitals.

    With a little more than four months before significant elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are implemented, news came of three facility closures.  
    "That's just this week." Lewis says in an exasperated but determined tone, "Community hospitals are the lifeline of rural Georgia. When a hospital closes, its economy and infrastructure fold. The tax digest is destroyed. It falls off the map... it dies." 
    Lewis is concerned that the ACA may result in changes in federal reimbursement that will likely force the consolidation of rural hospitals, reducing the services available, and lengthening distances between critical access hospitals. 
    Lewis spends a significant time at the state capitol trying to convince an increasingly urbanized legislature of the severity of the problem. He's got the governor's attention. 
    "The governor hates that this is happening. He has done all that he can do. He is from rural Georgia..." Lewis puffs as he runs in to see a confused and concerned hospital administrator.  

Read more
First, Do No Harm: Providing Meaningful Access to Healthcare for Limited English Proficient Patients in Rural Georgia

By Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, Esq.

Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River with 159 counties, but 35 percent of its population is centered in the five major counties in metropolitan Atlanta. Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) "is a non-profit law firm offering legal services to Georgians with low incomes who live in the 154 counties outside Metro Atlanta. We handle cases involving domestic violence, housing problems, access to healthcare, elder law, and school problems, among others. We advocate for the rights of our clients to be safe from violence, to have decent affordable housing, to get needed health care, to have decent schools for their children, and to rely on society's safety net when they are in need. GLSP helps clients to overcome barriers to opportunities out of poverty, and delivers on our nation's promise of justice for all."


Be a rural health rock star in the Lone Star state


Get your tickets today for NRHA's Rural Health Clinic ConferenceOct. 1-2, and Critical Access Hospital ConferenceOct. 2-4, in the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas.


This year, you'll discover the best rural-relevant ways to:

  • implement health reform changes
  • leverage rural economic development and charitable giving for sustainability
  • navigate accountable care organizations
  • manage ICD-10 implementation and code changes
  • integrate telemedicine and achieve meaningful use
  • transform to a patient-centered medical home model
  • understand the regionalization of health services and role of population healthon your community's future
  • improve patient safety, the discharge process, remote monitoring and more from experts and colleagues from across the country.

A recent HHS report indicates that 846 CAHs would lose certification and funding if forced to re-enroll in the CAH program. Hear from your national advocates from NRHA and AHA on the impact of this recommendation and what you can do to make sure it doesn't happen.  

Check out the best spots
 to eat, people-watch and explore in and around Austin from local NRHA member Dave Pearson.

Register today for one of NRHA's fastest-growing events.
Could Retiring Physicians Solve the Primary Care Shortage?
Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media
September 9, 2013 

A program to retrain retiring specialists for part-time careers in adult primary care could bolster care teams in established physicians practices, community health centers, and retail health clinics.


Is there such a thing as too much golf?

The majority (60%) of physicians say they would retire today if they could, [PDF] according to The Physicians Foundation.


But more than half have more realistic plans to cut back on patients, work part-time, switch to concierge medicine, or retire.


The survey found that primary care physicians are generally more positive about their profession than specialists, even though they are facing some of the same stressors, and are paid on average 30% less.


Read more

Special offers for medical students considering rural rotations or residencies 

Rural Training Track Technical Assistance Program
The Rural Training Track Technical Assistance Program, funded through the federal Office of Rural Health Policy and administered by NRHA, is offering two programs for medical students considering either a rural rotation or a residency at a RTT program. One offers reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses up to $1,000 for students who complete a medical school rotation at a RTT's rural site. A second program offers a travel stipend for significant others of RTT residency applicants who travel with the applicants to their on-site interviews.  

Learn more
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