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GRHA Newsletter  Week of March 21, 2014    [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 2014 GRHA Board of Directors


Dr. Ann Addison

Immediate Past President

Denise Kornegay

President Elect

Shelly Spires

Vice- President

Dr. Mary Mathis


Sheila Freeman


Laura Bland 

Board Members

Carla Belcher

Charles Owens

Chuck Adams

Monty M. Veazey

Joseph Barrow

Robert J. Briscione

Sam Johnson

Sherrie Williams

John Butts

Matt Caseman 


Meet our Board of Directors

GRHA welcomes new Bronze Corporate Member 

Georgia State Office of Rural Health 

GRHA Corporate Members


Platinum Corporate Sponsor PPHS



Peach State Health Plan 







Blue Cross Blue Shield 


Coca Cola 


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The Healthcare Georgia Foundation has released their

2014 Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the General Operating Grant Program.


Online applications for this grantmaking program are due by April 2, 2014 (3:00 p.m. EST). Please refer to the NOFA on the Foundation's website for guidelines on submitting applications.


Learn more

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Free GRHA archived webinars are available for viewing:

Rural Health Workforce and the Challenges Ahead

Patient Centered Medical Home: The Basics and How it Works



Funding And Opportunties

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

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GRHA State Legislative Alert

Community Based Faculty 
Tax Deduction Passes!

The Conference Committee Report for SB 391 passed the House and the Senate yesterday. Language from HB 922, which is the community based faculty tax deduction, was included in SB 391 giving it final approval for the 2014 legislative session. 

The Governor must sign or veto legislation within 40 days after sine die adjournment, or it becomes law without signature.
HB 922 was a legislative priority for the Georgia Rural Health Association.  
Deal plan would allow rural-mini hospitals

By Andy Miller
March 19, 2014

In the wake of some recent closures of rural Georgia hospitals, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday an initiative to help such facilities survive tough financial times.


Deal, speaking to the Rural Caucus of the General Assembly, said he is proposing a change in licensure rules that would allow a struggling rural hospital - or one that has recently closed - to offer downsized services that would include an emergency department.

Such a facility could also provide childbirth services and some kinds of elective surgery, he said.


Four rural hospitals in Georgia have closed in the past two years, and a total of eight have folded since 2000.


"Every Georgian deserves [to be] reasonably close to a health care provider should an emergency arise,'' Deal said. "We're taking steps to try to remedy this shortcoming."


"Communities should not have to go without crucial services - many of them lifesaving - simply because they fall in a rural ZIP code,'' Deal said.


Besides increasing the medical risk to people, a hospital closure also devastates a rural area's economy, he noted.


The downsizing licensure change would not require legislation, Deal said.

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The Republican state senator who endorsed Medicaid expansion
Posted: 2:55 pm Thursday, March 20th, 2014 
By Jim Galloway

Buried in the storm of bills shoved through the Legislature on Tuesday was a late-night surprise - for those paying attention.


During debate on HB 990, members of the Senate suddenly found themselves listening to a Republican - Chuck Hufstetler of Rome - advocating for the expansion of Medicaid.


Sammy Jones of Georgia Public Broadcasting kindly dug through the GPB archives and produced the above clip.


No, Hufstetler doesn't have any opposition this year. But it was still stunning to hear a Republican commit GOP apostacy. It's worth listening to Hufstetler's entire presentation, but here's a few tidbits:

"I fought the Affordable Care Act and believe the program as a whole is detrimental to our country. The individual mandate, which I hoped would be invalidated by the Supreme Court, was not. But President Obama has given so many waivers that, for all practical purposes, it's gone."

A Georgia state senator endorses Medicaid expansion
A Georgia state senator endorses Medicaid expansion
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healthcare ga foundation

Election Guide 2014: Georgia's Candidates for United States Senate Address our State's Most Critical Health Challenges

Healthcare Georgia Foundation releases nonpartisan Election Guide for 2014 U.S. Senatorial Candidates

Atlanta, GA - March 18, 2014 - Healthcare Georgia Foundation today released Election Guide 2014: Georgia's Candidates for United States Senate Address Our State's Most Critical Health Challenges. The Guide was conceived as a nonpartisan effort to inform Georgia voters about our state's most pressing health challenges and each candidate's vision for better health and healthcare in Georgia.


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Medical marijuana bill falls short
Posted: 11:49 p.m. Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The effort to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia appears dead for the year.

 Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, who championed the idea after lawmakers had already convened for the year and delivered it to the brink of final passage, acknowledged the end late Thursday of the legislative session's final day.

His bill fell victim to time and the typical political webs that ensnare well-meaning legislation every year.

Peake looked for any opportunity to get the bill passed. His last-ditch effort was to attach it to Senate Bill 291, which created a new agency for adult and aging services. 
Mark Your Calendar




National Rural Health Association

37th Annual Rural Health Conference 

April 22-25

Las Vegas, Nevada

Learn more

Matt Caseman