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New Report Reveals Impact of Economic Downturn on Georgia’s Nonprofit Healthcare System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Kristina Heuman
Porter Novelli
(404)-995-4522
Kristina.heuman@porternovelli.com


New Report Reveals Impact of Economic Downturn on
Georgia’s Nonprofit Healthcare System


Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Listening Tour Discloses Health Nonprofits Top Concerns


ATLANTA - July 22, 2010 - Our nation's economic troubles and record-breaking highs in unemployment, have created a new population of individuals in Georgia in need of assistance. According to results from a recent report from Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Voices of the Community: The 2010 Listening Tour, the changes in the economy have not only increased demand on services like Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids, but they have created a shift to a population that is in need for the first time. These newly uninsured Georgians, although potentially eligible for public programs, have little knowledge of what services are available, if they would qualify for them or how to enroll. Although there has been a focus on the need for more revenue in a time of diminishing resources, little attention has been paid to helping these people in need navigate the system. These changes come at a time in which health nonprofits have experienced deep cuts in their workforce and financial resources.

This report is the result of the third Listening Tour in a decade conducted by the Foundation, seeking to actively engage in conversations with leaders across the state and hear directly from Georgians about the issues affecting their health and well-being. Insights from the Listening Tour will be used to help to identify health care challenges and opportunities surrounding the system of health services and supports in Georgia’s communities.

“The vision of this Listening Tour, and the previous ones conducted in 2002 and 2006, is to foster open communication between the community and the Foundation, and to solicit statewide input on perceived opportunities to advance the health of all Georgians,” said Healthcare Georgia Foundation President Dr. Gary Nelson. “In addition, the health information collected from Georgia residents and organizations is used to inform the Foundation’s grantmaking.”

Since 2002, Healthcare Georgia Foundation has conducted conversations with communities in order to shape the direction and strategies for improving the underserved throughout the state. Through the years, the Tours have engaged business and community leaders, professionals working in public health, government, social services and the nonprofit sector. While conversations have evolved over the years, the 2010 Listening Tour revealed that key healthcare concerns from 2002 still exist today. Access to care, health literacy, preventive health and education, and care coordination are steadfast concerns.

 

When discussing critical health issues, leaders shared concern about care for the underserved, the rise in chronic disease, challenges within the behavioral and mental health system and an overall need for more collaboration across sectors and organizations.

“It is our hope that the lessons learned from the Tour will not only inform our work but contribute to an ongoing dialogue in communities and among the organizations that support them,” said Dr. Nelson. “The opportunities to make an impact are nearly limitless. The ingredients for success, however, are more clearly defined.”

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: www.healthcaregeorgia.org.