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For Immediate Release


Toni Almasy
Avatar Communications, Inc.

Healthcare Georgia Foundation Announces 2010 Recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award

Foundation recognizes five individuals and two community collaboratives for their volunteer work focused on strengthening the health of Georgians

Atlanta, GA – March 31, 2010 - Healthcare Georgia Foundation today announced the recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award. Five individuals and two community collaboratives were honored for their volunteer work and dedication to advancing health and health care across Georgia.

The announcements took place during a special ceremony at the opening of the Foundation’s fourth convening of grantees, partners, and community leaders, Connections 2010: Leadership in Difficult Economic Times: Connecting Resources and People. “Healthcare Georgia Foundation is honored to recognize this year’s recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award for their unselfish, charitable acts which have been given freely from the heart and with significant benefits to the health of Georgians,” said Gary D. Nelson, Healthcare Georgia Foundation president.

The recipients are as follows:

Individual Recipients

Greg Block
Volunteer Organization: First Step

Greg Block is the founder of First Step, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to significantly reduce homelessness by helping individuals find paths to self-sufficiency. His efforts have resulted in the building of a committed and involved board of directors, engaged people to employ homeless individuals willing and able to work, and an energized network of business professionals, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders to advocate for the homeless. As a result of his hard work and dedication, Greg has helped develop a replicable enterprise that will not only help alleviate the burden of homelessness on the health system and community, but also gives hope to those who often need it most.

Eleanor (Lee) Frances Brown, RN, CNP, retired
Volunteer Organization: American Cancer Society

Lee Frances Brown has spent her entire career and volunteer work since her retirement lifting others up. Some of Lee’s volunteer efforts focus on breast cancer awareness, including early detection, prevention, and education. She takes the extra step of referring patients to appropriate specialists and health providers. As a registered nurse and nurse practitioner, Lee stays current on recommended health and treatment practices and is a consistent, caring resource to uninsured and underinsured individuals diagnosed with breast cancer. An active fundraiser, especially in the area of cancer, Lee helps ensure that the local community has partnerships in place to obtain grant funds for free mammograms for low income and uninsured women. Her energy, commitment and unselfish involvement motivates and inspires others to strengthen the health of their own communities.

Bill Cohen
Volunteer Organization: Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI)

When Bill Cohen came to the Center for the Visually Impaired’s Low Vision Clinic as a patient in 1999, he was so impressed by the service he received that he asked what he could do to help. The Center quickly recognized his ability to connect with people and took him up on his offer. Each Tuesday and Thursday, Bill welcomes clients who come to the Low Vision Clinic. His involvement and passion for helping others doesn’t stop there. As an active member of the CVI Board of Trustees, Bill serves as vice chair of the Board, member of the Advocacy Committee, and is the former chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Through his volunteer with the clinic and the hundreds of speaking opportunities he accepts each year, thousands of people are inspired by his message and are introduced to the services of CVI or other vision resources.

Susan Greene, RN, MSN, GNP
Volunteer Organization: Healthy Feet of Fannin County, Inc.

Susan Greene is a geriatric nurse practitioner and graduate of Emory University who has dedicated herself to helping provide Georgia’s aging, poor, and uninsured residents with access to quality, affordable health care. For thirteen years, Susan has provided Fannin County residents with a free monthly foot clinic called Healthy Feet at the Georgia Senior Center and Polk County Senior Center. While targeting the elderly and those with limited ability, anyone can take advantage of this program. Susan tirelessly offers compassionate, knowledgeable advice to anyone she sees, and her Healthy Feet program has helped detect and treat previously undisclosed diseases and conditions.

Alana Shepherd
Volunteer Organization: Shepherd Center

In 1975, Alana, her husband Harold, and her son James co-founded Shepherd Center, after their family learned about the lack of high-quality specialized rehabilitation care in the Southeast through personal experience. The world-renowned 132-bed hospital specializes in providing medical care, rehabilitation services and research for spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other neurological conditions. Alana is the center’s chief fundraiser and volunteer. She is active at Shepherd Center almost every weekday, leading tours for potential donors and visiting patients and their families to encourage them through the rehabilitation process. Her tireless advocacy for accessibility and her ability to galvanize support on the local, regional, and national levels has left an indelible mark on the community.

Collaborative Recipients

Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council
The Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council (CCSNPC) was created in 2004 to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the local health care delivery system and to assist the Chatham County Commissioners in better meeting the health care needs of uninsured and underinsured constituents. The goals of the Council are to strengthen the county’s health care infrastructure, build capacity within the community, improve access to health care for the uninsured and underinsured, and improve health outcomes. As a result of its efforts, the CCSNPC has had a significant impact on its community. The Planning Council has improved health outcomes and chronic disease management, leveraged health information technology, and addressed specialty needs. It has also been able to increase the capacity of uninsured and underinsured patients seen in partner clinics and secured funding to help ensure its sustainability.

Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center Partnership
Established in 1998, the Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center Partnership’s (PRC) mission is to advance scientific knowledge in the field of prevention in African American and other minority communities and to disseminate new information and strategies of prevention. The partnership serves a predominantly low-income area of Atlanta. Its members are represented on the Community Coalition Board that governs the PRC, and includes academic, agency, and neighborhood partners. Through its community-based approach, the PRC conducts interdisciplinary research focused on prevention, trains minority researchers and practitioners, and demonstrates the value of coalitions conducting research. The PRC has impacted the community by improving health, community development, and building momentum for future success.

About Joseph D. Greene
In his 2005 memoir, From Cotton Fields to Board Rooms, Joseph D. Greene recounted leaving his home in rural Georgia in 1959 with his high school diploma and just $35 he had earned from picking cotton. The years that followed were decorated with success and achievements, as he elevated himself from the cotton fields of his youth to become a revered public leader. As a founding Healthcare Georgia Foundation board member, Mr. Greene helped steward the organization from its inception in 1999 through his retirement as board chair in 2006. In November 2007, the Foundation lost an inspirational leader when this gentle soul lost his battle with cancer. In 2008, Healthcare Georgia Foundation dedicated its community service award program in his honor, naming it the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award.

About Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, private independent foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. Through its strategic grantmaking, Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports organizations that drive positive change, promotes programs that improve health and healthcare among underserved individuals and communities, and connects people, partners and resources across Georgia. For more information, please visit the Foundation online at: