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Connections 2012: Because Results Matter - Conference Wrap Up

On May 2-3, 2012 more than 275 Healthcare Georgia Foundation grantees, partners and community leaders gathered at Connections 2012: Because Results Matter, the Foundation's fifth statewide convening of grantees, partners and community leaders. This year's theme, Because Results Matter, focused on the importance of evaluation and improving outcomes for health nonprofits. The two-day event also featured networking, best practices, technical skills and capacity building.

Connections 2012 began on the evening of Wednesday, May 2nd, with a special Welcome Reception and Ceremony honoring the recipients of the 2012 Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award.

Welcome Reception and 2012 Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award Ceremony

On the evening of Wednesday, May 2, 2012, Healthcare Georgia Foundation presented the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award to five individuals and one collaborative recipient in recognition of their dedication and commitment to improving health and health care across Georgia..

2012 Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award Program (PDF)

Individual Recipients

Dr. Paul Buczynsky
Volunteer Organization: Mercy Health Center

Dr. Paul Buczynsky co-founded Mercy Health Center in 2001 for the specific mission of “providing quality healthcare in a Christ-centered environment, to our uninsured neighbors.” As the Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Buczynsky volunteers at least ten hours per week providing leadership for the organization, consulting the medical needs of patients, seeing patients during scheduled evening clinics, and coordinating the schedules of volunteer medical providers. Through Dr. Buczynsky’s vision and service, Mercy Health Center conducted more than 9,000 patient visits in 2011 (completely free of charge), to patients in Athens and the surrounding communities.


Pictured: Dr. Bucznysky (left) accepts the award from Dr. Ted Holloway, Board Chair, Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Video: Dr. Bucznysky's Volunteer Story (***Please click the image below to view the video)

 Dr. Karen Carter
Volunteer Organization: Special Olympics Georgia

Dr. Karen Carter has spent the past 12 years volunteering her time helping to make sure the athletes at Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) are fit to compete. A passionate supporter of the disability community, Dr. Karen (as she likes to be called) has served as the Medical Director for the State Indoor Winter Games. She also volunteers as one of the medical personnel at the State Summer Games, and is available on call 24/7 to handle injuries and incidents that may arise during the Games. Dr. Karen’s service stands out among SOGA’s 22,000 volunteers. Not only does she help more than 5,600 athletes compete in the Games, she inspires them to improve their physical fitness, participate in social activities, and gain the confidence they need to shine.

Pictured: Dr. Karen (center) accepts the award from Gary D. Nelson, President, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (left) and Dr. Ted Holloway, Board Chair, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (right)


Video: Dr. Karen Carter's Volunteer Story (***Please click the image below to view the video)


Charles G. Johnson, MD
Volunteer Organization: Good Shepherd Clinic

During the early years of Dr. Johnson’s private practice, volunteerism was defined as good
neighbors taking care of one another. After 47 years in private practice in Clayton County, Dr. Johnson retired for a year and quickly became restless. When asked to volunteer at the Good Shepherd Clinic, he agreed immediately and without hesitation. Now 87 years young and the Clinic’s Medical Director, Dr. Johnson regularly uses his humor along with his caring nature to provide Clayton County’s uninsured residents with access to primary healthcare. In the years since he joined the Clinic, it has grown from 1,000 to 3,000 patients served annually, all of whom have been touched by his strength, expertise, humor, and passion for helping others.

Pictured: Dr. Johnson (center) accepts the award from Gary D. Nelson, President, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (left) and Dr. Ted Holloway, Board Chair, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (right)


Video: Dr. Charles Johnson's Volunteer Story (***Please click the image below to view the video)


Mary Lynch, MD
Volunteer Organization: Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation

Dr. Mary Lynch is an ophthalmologist who began volunteering at Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation in 2008. Since that time, she has provided more than 400 full eye exams to low-income clients, a critical service which often falls through the cracks. Dr. Lynch’s volunteer work with Lions Lighthouse extends far beyond the vision care she provides for her patients. She was instrumental in the creation of the Lighthouse’s first medical committee, which helped navigate the creation of 22 statewide vision clinic sites. Through her work, Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation was able to serve more than 4,000 Georgians in 2011 – helping countless clients perform better at work and feel more optimistic about their futures.

Pictured: Dr. Mary Lynch

Video: Dr. Mary Lynch's Volunteer Story (***Please click the image below to view the video)

Janice and Tolbert Morris
Volunteer Organization: Helping Hands Outreach Clnic

Janice and Tolbert Morris founded the Helping Hands Outreach Clinic in 2001, fulfilling a dream to serve the unmet basic healthcare needs of indigent and uninsured residents in Rockdale County. Soaring demand for the Clinic’s services has resulted in more than 7,000 patient visits over the past 11 years. Together with volunteers, minimal staff, partnerships with medical providers, and donations from local businesses, the Clinic provides a wide range of services, including basic healthcare services, preventive and patient education, referrals, health fairs, prescription assistance, and diagnostics.The Clinic has become a beacon in its community and a model for success for Georgia’s free clinics.

Pictured: Janice and Tolbert Morris

 Video: The Morris' Volunteer Story (***Please click the image below to view the video)


Collaborative Recipient

Coordinated Care Collaborative (C3)

The Coordinated Care Collaborative (C3) was established in 2010 to serve the Fayette County Population. The collaborative is comprised of a lead organization and five partner agencies that work together to provide a wide range of coordinated health and social services. After years of working together informally, the partner organizations began to discuss formalizing the relationship to better serve shared target populations and streamline health and social services already in place. The collaborative takes a holistic approach to healthcare, providing the citizens of Fayette County with access to a network of providers that might otherwise be unavailable to them. This unique network is able to maintain patient confidentiality while providing coordinated care that serves and monitors the needs of the patient. Those treated within the collaborative are able to receive a high level of care that is comparable to those with access to mainstream health and wellness care, which makes C3 an outstanding model for a nonprofit collaborative approach to healthcare delivery.

Pictured: Coordinated Care Collaborative partners (center) acceptc the award from Gary D. Nelson, President, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (left) and Dr. Ted Holloway, Board Chair, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (right)

 Video: The Coordinated Care Clinic Story (C3)  (***Please click the image below to view the video)


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Program Highlights

Connections 2012: Because Results Matter featured dynamic, interactive sessions and networking opportunities with nonprofit health organizations that have successfully gone through the evaluation process. Attendees benefitted from presentations on who’s doing it well, what they’ve learned, and how nonprofit health organizations can benefit from the challenges and successes experienced by their peers. 

Download the Full Conference Program (PDF)


Welcome and Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Gary D. Nelson, PhD, President
Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Keynote Address:

Building Stronger Communities for Better Health: Moving from Science to Policy and  Practice

 Dr. Brian Smedley
 Vice-President and Director
 Health Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

 Racial and ethnic minorities relative to national averages suffer from higher  rates of infant mortality, disease, disability, and shorter life spans. A growing  body of research shows that an array of social, economic, and environmental  conditions in communities contribute to health
 inequities. This presentation exploredhow community conditions shape health,  and will present promising policy strategies to improve opportunities for good  health in communities of color.
 View or download presentation (PDF). 


Morning Session 1

From Evaluation to Action: Using Results to Improve Services and Programs
Too often, an evaluation report is required by a funder only to end up sitting on a shelf. Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports the use of evaluation for purposes of improvement in performance and outcomes. These presenters will share how their organizations have used evaluation results to improve their services or programs, ultimately benefitting their constituents. 

Facilitator: Nancy Paris, President and CEO, Georgia CORE

Rebekah Hudgins, Evaluation Consultant, Georgia Family Connection Partnership - Presentation (PDF)
Christina Lennon, MA, Executive Director, Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation - Presentation (PDF)
Sayge Medlin, Systems and Information Manager, Georgia Family Connection Partnership
Sandee Simmons, RN, Children's Medical Services Coordinator, Lowndes County Board of Health - Presentation (PDF)








Pictured (left to right): Sayge Medlin, Rebekah Hudgins, Nancy Paris, Christina Lennon, and Sandee Simmons


Conducting and Evaluating Health Policy Work: The Role of Safety Net Providers

Policy and advocacy activities are critical to advancing the missions and activities of nonprofit health organizations, particularly safety net organizations. In this session, you will learn how to conduct effective policy and advocacy activities. Presenters will share their expertise on engaging consumers, patients, and legislators about your work, as well as how to evaluate the impact of your activities. The session will also feature information about emerging health policy issues in Georgia that affect primary care and mental health providers.

Facilitator: Tim Sweeney, MPA, Director of Health Policy, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute


Karen Minyard, PhD, MSN, Executive Director, Georgia Health Policy Center - Presentation (PDF)
Cynthia Wainscott, Mental Health Advocate, former member of the National Council on Disability
Cindy Zeldin, MA, MPH,Executive Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future - Presentation (PDF)

Engaging Board Members, Staff, Volunteers, and Key Stakeholders in Evaluation

Evaluation can give your nonprofit health organization the information it needs to improve organizational and program effectiveness. It also benefits the individuals, families, and communities you serve, and ultimately helps you tell your story. This panel presentation features effective and successful communications strategies with key stakeholders around the importance of creating an evaluation plan and how the implementation of the plan can be utilized to increase organizational capacity.

Greg Dent

Alan Essig, MPA, Executive Director, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
Christi Kay, MEd, Executive Director, HealthMPowers - Presentation (PDF)
Donna Looper, Executive Director, Georgia Charitable Care Network
 - Presentation (PDF)
Terri Theisen, Theisen Consulting, LLC
 - Presentation (PDF)

Pictured (left to right): Greg Dent, Alan Essig, Christi Kay, Donna Looper, and Terri Theisen


Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Grants Management Process and 2012 New Priorities

The Foundation recently updated its priority areas and grantmaking process. In this session, Foundation staff will introduce the new grantmaking priorities and cycles, the online application process, and RFPs. You’ll learn about incorporating evaluation and results into your work, how to best communicate with the Foundation, and how to publicize the results of your grant. Participants will also receive an overview of reporting and financial requirements. This session will be recorded and made available on the Foundation’s website after the conference. A video presentation of the session will be available soon. 

Presentation (PDF)

Facilitator: Dr. Ted Holloway, Board Chair, Healthcare Georgia Foundation


Andrea Kellum Young, MPH, Program Officer, Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Racquel Lee-Sin, MPA, Grants Manager, Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Lisa Medellin, MSW, Program Officer, Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Mike Sweeney, Chief Financial Officer, Healthcare Georgia Foundation







Pictured (left to right):Racquel Lee-Sin, Dr. Ted Holloway, Lisa Medellin, Mike Sweeney, Andrea Young


Morning Session 2

Above the Fold: Using Results to Publicize Your Message

You’ve just completed an extensive planning and evaluation process, and you now have compelling data and results that you want to share with the public and your constituents. Or perhaps you’d like to get important evidence in front of legislators who shape policy affecting your target audience. What’s the best way to get your message heard? This important skill-building session will explore the development of effective messaging, the art of storytelling, pitching to media, and much more. 

Scott Maxwell, Mathews and Maxwell

Charlie Hayslett, CEO, Hayslett Group - Presentation (PDF)
Andy Miller,  MEd, CEO and Editor, Georgia Health News
Ayanna Robinson, MPP, Senior Vice President, Porter Novelli 
- Presentation (PDF)

Sustainability: It’s Much More Than Fundraising

The availability of philanthropic support is dwindling, and more than ever before nonprofit organizations have to do more with fewer resources. How can a nonprofit survive in this economic climate? Presenters in this session will provide information on how to create a sustainable and fundable organizational model that links fundraising to a sustainability plan, address the key elements necessary for creating a sustainability plan, and share tips on how to capitalize on organizational intellectual property. You’ll learn how to engage staff, board, and volunteers on the value and necessity of implementing a sustainability plan, and how to identify funding resources.

Facilitator: Dr. Francis Tedesco, Board Vice Chair, Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Veda Johnson, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine - Presentation (PDF)
Val Porter, Foundation Center - Atlanta 
- Presentation (PDF)
Pam Reynolds, Executive Director, Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center 
- Presentation (PDF)









Using Organizational Assessment to Build Capacity

Knowing how your organization is functioning on all levels is critical to its performance and outcomes. This session will provide an overview of how the organizational assessment process supported a healthcare organization’s focus on a priority capacity building project. You’ll learn how to establish an impact plan to assess results, implement that plan with consulting support, and acknowledge organizational accomplishments. Three grantees will share their experiences with this process and how it influenced their ability to accomplish their goals. 

Facilitator: Lynn Thogersen, MHA, Board of Director, Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Subie Green, Executive Director, Center for the Visually Impaired
Jenny Pomeroy, President, Prevent Blindness Georgia 
Ruth Rucker, 
Executive Director, Hands of Hope
Neil Sklarew, MS, MBA, Senior Consultant, Georgia Center for Nonprofits 
- Presentation (PDF)

From Assessment to Tracking: Clinical Tools and Evaluating Results
Do you have the right resources to achieve the results you seek? This session will explore various tools used to assess and diagnose patients and track outcomes in community-based primary care and mental health settings. Presenters will discuss their experiences with the implementation of electronic medical records in a volunteer-based clinic, including the inputting of patient data to improve tracking and monitor outcomes. You’ll learn how to use diagnostic tools in a community-based mental health setting, and the best way to ensure the effective diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of patients. 

James Freeman, MA, Director of Housing, Southside Medical Center

Mary Baxter, MEd, Office Manager, Mercy Health Center - Presentation (PDF)
Kimberly D. Farris, PhD, MSW, Skyland Trail 
- Presentation (PDF)

Lunch Sessions 

Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Evaluation Resource Center
This session features the launch of the Foundation’s Evaluation Resource Center (ERC), which offers evaluation tools and services tailored to help nonprofit organizations achieve better outcomes.

Presentation (PDF)

Gary D. Nelson, PhD, President, Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Maddy Frey, MPH, Evaluation Resource Center, Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: Engaged Leadership for Collective Impact

What does collaboration need to be to deliver collective impact at scale? What’s working that creates measurable outcomes and at the same time, builds community capacity and civic infrastructure? This presentation. will draw on learning from the healthy/livable/sustainable communities movement to share success stories from investment strategies, healthy public policy to authentic leadership that are vital to effecting positive community change.

Tyler Norris - Featured Speaker
Senior Advisor 
Center for Total Health
Kaiser Permanente

Presentation (PDF)


Afternoon Workshops

Introduction of the Georgia Evaluation Resource Center (ERC)

In this session, preliminary results of ERC capacity-building activities will be discussed. A panel of ERC participants will discuss the changes to their organizations resulting from ERC participation, as well as additional successes or challenges experienced with efforts to evaluate their programs and organizations.

Facilitator: Maddy Frey, MPH, Evaluation Resource Center, Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Connie Buchanan, MS, NP-C, FNP, Executive Director, Community Advanced Practice Nurses, Inc. - Presentation (PDF)
Mary Kate Pung, MSPH, Executive Director, Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center - Presentation (PDF)
Pat Willis, Executive Director, Voices for Georgia’s Children - Presentation (PDF)






Pictured (left to right):  Rebecca Roebuck, Connie Buchanan, Mary Kate Pung, Pat Willis, Maddy Frey

Using Technology to Connect Communities, Consumers, and Experts to Improve Health Outcomes
Thanks to technology, the world is flat. But how do you keep up with innovations that are constantly changing the way we access information? This panel presentation and discussion will highlight programs that are utilizing technology to connect patients with doctors, health care providers with education and training, and nonprofit professionals working in health with the information they need, when they need it. (Continuing Education Credits are being applied for this session)

Facilitator: Matt Caseman, Executive Director, Georgia Rural Health Association

Marsha Davis, PhD, College of Public Health, University of Georgia - Presentation (PDF)
Paula Guy, CEO, Georgia Partnership for Telehealth
John Banning, Senior Manager, Applications Services, Techbridge 
- Presentation (PDF)











Pictured: Paula Guy

Data Driven: Gathering and Using Data to Inform Policy Decisions
Assessment is a core function of public health. Understanding the health of a community enables health-related organizations to design and implement appropriate health interventions. Assessment also informs the adoption of policies in support of the health needs of that community. During this session, presenters will describe processes used to collect data on the health and health needs of their communities, and use those data to plan community health initiatives.

 Kelly Hill, PhD, Nexus Research Group

Bee Frazier, MPA, PhD, Performance Improvement Manager, Office of Performance Improvement, Georgia Department of Public Health 
- Presentation (PDF)
Allen M. Hoffman, MD, Executive Director, WellStar Community HealthCare
Jennifer Muñoz, MPH, Planning & Quality Project Manager Cobb and Douglas Public Health 
Valarie Wilson, Executive Director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership 

Creating Successful Partnerships and Collaborating Effectively
Collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships among nonprofit organizations, government agencies, individuals, and communities often provide more positive results and financially efficient solutions than any single organizations or individuals. Presenters in this session will discuss two different models:

  1. Public-Private Partnerships - benefits, successful strategies, and how to improve health outcomes. Participants will learn the about the role that public-private partnerships can play in improving health and social services, strategies for establishing and sustaining partnerships, and how the Augusta-Richmond County model can be replicated.
  2. Local Collaboration - benefits, how to identify potential collaborative partners, establishing mutually beneficial priorities, as well as how to initiate a collaborative relationship, merge leadership styles, and identify funding for a collaborative partnership. This session features a Lightning Round.

Mary Beth McCleod, Patient Assistance Case Manager, Medbank Foundation - Presentation (PDF)
Robetta McKenzie, Executive Director, Augusta Partnership for Children - Presentation (PDF


Closing Session

Managing for Better Results

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of Georgia Department of Public Health, State of Georgia 
Janine Lee, President and CEO, Southeast Council of Foundations, Inc. 
Mike Kemp, JD, Senior Vice President, Regional Trust Manager, Synovus Trust Company, N.A. 

This interactive panel discussion featured evaluation and performance perspectives from experts in the public, philanthropic, and collaborative sectors.Panelists discussed:

  • Performance within their own organizations and other organizations they support
  • The primary purpose evaluation serves in their leadership role and the type of leadership/management style that produces the best results
  • Where evaluation over-promises and under-delivers; and
  • The most important evaluation issue nonprofit health organizations should embrace


Pictured (left to right): Gary D. Nelson, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Mike Kemp, Janine Lee

Closing Remarks           Gary D. Nelson, PhD, President, Healthcare Georgia Foundation