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Healthcare Georgia Foundation Announces 2006 Community Service Awards Honorees


  Toni Almasy
Avatar Communications, Inc.

Five Individuals and One Community Collaborative Honored for
Outstanding Achievements in Advancing the Health of all Georgians


Atlanta, Georgia – February 22, 2006 – Healthcare Georgia Foundation announced the honorees of its
2006 Community Service Awards at Connections 2006: Paving the Way to Better Health and Health
Care Across Georgia
, the Foundation’s second convening of approximately 200 grantees, partners and
community leaders. Five individuals and one community collaborative were recognized for their
dedication and commitment to improving health and health care across Georgia. The honorees were
announced at a special ceremony at the opening of the Foundation’s conference. Honorees received an
engraved crystal award in addition to a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to honor and publicly acknowledge these champions for health
for their dedication and unselfish commitment to advancing the health of all Georgians. They are an
inspiration to us all,” said Gary D. Nelson, president of Healthcare Georgia Foundation.

Individual Award Honorees

Edith Biggers, MD
AIDS Survival Project

Dr. Edith Biggers has been a volunteer at AIDS Survival Project for more than 10 years. As an African American woman specializing in HIV care and treatment, her presence has an empowering effect on those the Project serves. A well-respected and knowledgeable provider, Dr. Biggers spends weekends and evenings talking directly with people living with HIV on how to improve their health by understanding their own health care needs. She serves as a role model for others in her profession and improves the lives of those who learn from her.

Dr. Biggers has elected to donate her award of $1,000 to the AIDS Survival Project.



Nelson B. Conger, DMD
Volunteers in Medicine & Dentistry, Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership

What started as a concerned group of community leaders, including several physicians and one dentist (Dr. Nelson Conger), has grown into an extremely active dental clinic for the indigent. A champion for caring for the medically indigent in his community of Dalton, Dr. Conger recruited over 80% of the dentists in his community to volunteer at
the clinic. To date, the efforts of Dr. Conger and the other volunteer dentists have provided dental services for more than 230 patients, saving their community more than $127,000 in prevented dental costs.



Dr. Conger has elected to donate his award of $1,000 to the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership.

Jonathan Dubin, DMD
Special Olympics Georgia

Dr. Jonathan Dubin has volunteered for Special Olympics Special Smiles, an oral health screening that is offered to all athletes that are attending the Special Olympics Georgia State Summer Games for the past six years. Dr. Dubin leads a committee of volunteers that organizes the event each year, recruits volunteers and solicits donations. Since its inception, Special Olympics Special Smiles has screened over 6,000 athletes, providing them with a report card that they can take back to the parent, caregiver or coach for further follow-up, if necessary.

Dr. Dubin has elected to donate his award of $1,000 to Special Olympics Special Smiles.


Donna Tate
National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities

A founding member of the HIV/AIDS Ministry at the Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, Ms. Tate has become all too familiar with the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS has on the African American community. After learning that funds raised by a local AIDS Walk did not specifically provide HIV/AIDS services for
or by African Americans, Ms. Tate started a similar Walk to raise awareness and involvement of more African Americans. After seeing her work and the event’s success, more individuals in predominantly African American neighborhoods have offered to volunteer for future walks.


Ms. Tate has elected to donate her award of $1,000 to the Embrace HIV/AIDS Ministry.

Joe Wilber, MD
Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center

The Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center addresses the health care needs of the indigent who do not have access to health care. As part of a group of Pickens County residents that founded the Center, Dr. Joe Wilber volunteers his services at the Center three days a week. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Wilber was instrumental in establishing and maintaining a free pharmacy that dispenses more than 9,000 prescriptions per year. His treatment of those whom others can’t (or won’t) help has improved the health status of entire communities.

Dr. Wilber has elected to donate his award of $1,000 to Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center.

The 2006 Community Collaborative Award Honoree

Health Access Initiative

The Health Access Initiative (HAI) is a project of the Hall County Medical Society that seeks to ensure appropriate access to health care services for uninsured adults who cannot afford medical care. HAI systematically partners with existing community assets and resources to provide high quality, accessible medical care for the low-income,
uninsured. In recognition that Hall County had no coordinated system of care for the uninsured, Health Access
Initiative began as an effort to link and coordinate the resources and community services already in place, rather than becoming a new service provider. HAI has created, for the first time in Hall County, a comprehensive safety net system infrastructure with clear portals of entry, a medication assistance program, and care management/navigation education services.

Health Access Initiative has elected to donate their award of $1,000 to the Medical Center Foundation’s
Healthy Journey.

About Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, private independent foundation located in Atlanta,
Georgia. 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: