Laura Colbert, the executive director of the patient-advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, is especially concerned about rural patients. Ninety percent of Georgia’s Obamacare customers would be protected from…
Blog (April 2016)
This morning, Governor Deal signed SB 302 into law! GHF strongly supported this bipartisan bill to improve the accuracy and usability of provider directories throughout the 2016 Legislative Session. Provider directories play a critical role in informing patients and consumers about which doctors are in their plan, yet they are notoriously error-ridden. SB 302 is an important step towards making provider directories the accurate and functional tool that consumers need to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families.
Thank you to all who followed this issue throughout the Legislative Session and helped bring it across the finish line by contacting your legislators at each stage of the process!
Georgia’s proactive move is being noticed by national health policy organizations. Families USA’s Private Insurance Director Claire McAndrew’s blog post, How States Are Improving Consumers’ Access to In-Network Health Care Providers, prominently features the bill and GHF’s role in its passage. Another national organization, Community Catalyst, featured GHF’s Executive Director Cindy Zeldin as a guest blogger on the topic. This post, Protecting Health Care Consumers in the Peach State, provides an in-depth look at the policy process and next steps. Here in Georgia, the bill’s progress was covered by Georgia Health News back in March.
During this process, we created a series of resources to educate advocates, stakeholders, and policymakers.
Georgians for a Healthy Future staff attended the Connections 2016 conference hosted by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation on March 29th and 30th. The conference, held every other year, is an opportunity to network and learn from Georgia’s health and public health practitioners, professionals, advocates, and experts.
This year’s conference theme was partnerships, and in keeping with that theme, GHF was invited to present on how we use coalition building and mobilization as a strategy for policy change at the state level. Cindy shared how our history created an organizational environment that fosters and supports the development of strategic partnerships and coalitions. Laura added to that with an overview of GHF’s five coalitions, a coalition case study, and a review of some selected best practices in coalition development and management. You can see their presentation here.
As a result of the two-day conference, GHF staff came away with new contacts to partner with in the future and new ideas about what partnership might look like. The conference also provided the opportunity to network with existing partners, learn about their emerging work, and identify ways to collaborate moving forward.
If you would like to partner with GHF or join any of our five coalitions, contact Laura Colbert, Director of Outreach and Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Access to Care and Equity (ACE) coalition focuses on ensuring that coverage translates to access to care and has been working most recently on the issue of network adequacy
- The Cover Georgia coalition advocates for closing Georgia’s coverage gap that leaves 300,000 Georgians without a coverage option
- The Georgia Enrollment Assister Resource (GEAR) Network connects people and organizations working to help consumers enroll in coverage
- The Health Advocates coalition is open to health advocates representing non-profit organizations who want to coordinate efforts with other advocates
- The Preventing Youth Substance Use Disorders coalition works together to raise awareness about and advocate for a public health approach to preventing addiction
GHF is excited to welcome Sarah Dobra to our team! In her role she will provide development, planning and evaluation, and editorial support to ensure that we’re functioning well across programs and projects. Prior to joining GHF, Sarah was the Disparities Manager and Cancer Care Delivery Research Program Coordinator at a community cancer center in Savannah, Georgia. In this position Sarah successfully leveraged community partners to support cancer prevention and screening activities to address cancer disparities as part of a larger community network. Sarah obtained her law and Master’s in Public Health degrees at Tulane University and holds a BA from the University of Oregon. Sarah can be reached at email@example.com – please join us in welcoming her!
Georgians for a Healthy Future teamed up with the US Department of Health and Human Services Region IV and Enroll America to bring enrollment assisters together to learn what went well, what could be improved upon, and what groups were planning for the next open enrollment period starting this coming fall. We had great participation from all the partners in attendance — stay tuned for some materials highlighting key themes from the discussion in the coming weeks! If you are an enrollment assister or work on health insurance enrollment in Georgia, please join our GEAR network to access helpful materials and engage with your colleagues!