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News From Georgia Watch

May 16, 2016
In This Issue
Annual Gala
GA Watch on 11 Alive
CFPB ruling
Summer Interns
Farewell, Elise!
In the News
Quick Links
Get Updates!
Save the Date: Annual Gala October 13!
Please plan to join Georgia Watch for our 
Annual Consumer Champion Award Celebration 
on October 13, 2016 

 Sponsorship opportunities are available

Contact Liz Coyle at 404-525-1085 or for more information.
Georgia Watch's Beth Stephens discusses surprise medical billing on 11 Alive segment
Georgia Watch Health Access Program Director, Beth Stephens, was featured in a WXIA-TV news segment about surprise, out-of-network medical bills.  

"Medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy," said Stephens. Hundreds or thousands of dollars in unexpected medical costs can have a serious impact on a family's ability to afford other necessary items; that's why Georgia Watch is advocating for a solution. 
Georgia Watch receives PCORI Tier II award
Georgia Watch has been selected for a Tier II Pipeline to Proposal award from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
This is the second PCORI award Georgia Watch has received. During Tier I, Georgia Watch successfully built a partnership with a multitude of stakeholders to explore future research that would examine health outcomes in rural communities where nurse practitioners provide primary care. During Tier II, the partnership will focus on narrowing a future research proposal question that will likely explore health care delivery in rural Georgia communities.

This project is funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Pipeline-to-Proposal Award, administered on behalf of PCORI by the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University.  To find out more about this project, please visit us online at

CFPB issues proposed rule affecting forced arbitration clauses, restores consumer rights
On May 5, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposed rule to restrict the use of forced arbitration clauses that prohibit consumers' participation in class action lawsuits against corporations.  

Georgia Watch applauds this proposed rule as a major step to uphold consumers' rights and restore essential protections. Georgia Watch will be submitting public comments during the 90-day comment period in support of this critical CFPB rule.
Read more about CFPB's rule here>

Georgia Watch welcomes Summer 2016 Interns
Georgia Watch is pleased to welcome our 2016 summer interns. 

Danielle Williams (pictured left) is a Master of Public Health student at Morehouse School of Medicine with an interest in servicing minority populations in underserved communities.

Blake Kilday (pictured middle) is a rising third year student at Georgia State University College of Law with an interest in practicing Health Law.  Blake is a native of Woodstock, Georgia.  

Evan Humphreys, J.D. (pictured right) is a recent graduate of Emory University School of Law.  Evan did his spring 2016 externship with Georgia Watch and will be continuing with us this summer completing a project he began this spring.

Danielle, Blake, and Evan will be working with Georgia Watch staff on a number of issues within our different program areas including research for our legislative and policy initiatives, coordinating collaborative project work, and developing consumer protection resources.
We'll miss you, Elise!
Georgia Watch congratulates Elise Blasingame as she transitions into her new role as Executive Director with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia. 

During her time as Georgia Watch's Director of Community Education and Financial Protection, Elise worked to build Georgia Watch's statewide training program on Consumer Scam and Identity Theft Prevention, in addition to spearheading and overseeing Georgia Watch's secret shopper study on tax prep fraud in Atlanta. 

Her stellar work has given Georgia Watch an even greater foothold in the area of consumer financial protection and has led to pivotal policy discussions on tax preparer regulation in Georgia.  We are proud of her accomplishments while serving here and are grateful for her innovation and dedication. We wish Elise well in her new position.
Georgia Watch in the News