Peach Pulse: May 2018

Save the date! 

Celebrate our 10-year anniversary at this year’s Consumer Health Impact Awards

Mark your calendar for the fourth annual Consumer Health Impact Awards on Thursday, September 6th at the Venetian Room! We will celebrate GHF’s 10th year of advocating for Georgia’s health care consumers and spotlight the great work of health advocates and policymakers making a difference. Announcements about this year’s awardees will be made next month. Please plan to join us in September!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Strategic Plan 2018-2020

GHF adopts new strategic plan ahead of 10-year anniversary

Georgians for a Healthy Future celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year! Prompted in part by this milestone, our leadership launched a new strategic planning effort to chart a path forward for the next phase of GHF’s work. We are excited to share the results with you! We hope that you will find inspiration in our new strategic plan and we invite you to take and active role in helping us achieve the success we have envisioned. To read more about our 2018-2020 strategic plan, check out or newest blog post or download the plan today. 


Medicaid Matters for Moms
Two moms, two Medicaid stories

Thanks to Medicaid, Valerie can take care of the health care needs of her three children. Without Medicaid and left in Georgia’s coverage gap, Susie struggles to manage a cancer diagnosis and other health conditions, while caring for her granddaughter full time.

Mother’s Day might be over but Medicaid remains an important asset for some Georgia moms and their kids, while others remain uninsured because of Georgia’s inaction to extend the program. See the difference Medicaid makes in the lives of the extraordinary moms. Read more about Valerie and Susie’s experience on our blog or share their stories on Facebook or Twitter.

Your story is powerful! Share your health care story with us today!

In Case You Missed It
GHF hosts educational forum about children’s behavioral health

On Tuesday, May 15th, GHF hosted Strong Foundations: Building a System of Care to Address the Behavioral Health Needs of Georgia Children. The forum explored the behavioral health needs of Georgia children and youth, Georgia’s publicly-supported behavioral health landscape, and successes and opportunities in the current system of care. In conjunction with the event, GHF released a new behavioral health fact sheet titled Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, available for download here.

If you missed the event, a recording of the webcast is available here.

To see photos, review materials, and read more about our Strong Foundations event, please visit the event page.

Get Involved

Learn, engage, participate

GHF needs you to make a difference! Join us in shaping the landscape for a healthier Georgia. Your time, donations, and advocacy make the difference in mobilizing consumers for change and crafting policy that works for Georgia consumers. Volunteering with Georgians for a Healthy Future provides an opportunity to raise your voice, connect with like-minded people, and make a difference on the health issues that matter most to you. Inspired to take action? Volunteerdonateadvocate, or contact Michelle Conde at


Peach Pulse: April 2018

The Fight to Prevent Youth Substance Use
Power of prevention: A new opportunity for providers to address youth substance use

As a result of sustained advocacy efforts by GHF and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, Georgia’s Medicaid agency has made an exciting change that will help prevent and identify substance use disorders among Georgia youth and others with Medicaid coverage. The change allows health care providers to use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral of Treatment (SBIRT), an evidence-based, public health approach that is used to initiate conversations about substance use behaviors, guide follow-up counseling, and connect people to treatment if needed. Because Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids cover half of all Georgia youth, increasing access to SBIRT may significantly decrease substance use among young Georgians and help stem the tide of the opioid epidemic in the state. Read more about SBIRT and this beneficial policy change on our blog.

Are you a health care provider and want to know how you can use SBIRT in your practice? Check out our new fact sheet.

Upcoming Events
Strong Foundations: Building a System of Care to Address Behavioral Health Needs of Georgia Children

Please join GHF on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 8:30am – 12:00pm for a discussion of children’s behavioral health in Georgia. Presenters and panelists will provide a variety of perspectives and expertise to help attendees understand Georgia’s system of care, learn about services and programs available to young Georgians with behavioral health needs, and recognize opportunities to strengthen the system through collaboration. Join us in person or via webcast for this exciting and important event!


Why Medicaid Matters
For Travis, Medicaid means employment and giving back to the community

Travis suffered from a series of strokes when he was 11 years old that left him with several physical disabilities. Because he is one of the 250,000 Georgians with disabilities to be covered by Medicaid, Travis is able to work and be an advocate. Medicaid is essential to ensuring that people with disabilities, like Travis, are able to lead fulfilling, independent lives as active participants in their communities. Read more about Travis’s experience on our blog or share his story onFacebook or Twitter.

Your story is powerful! Share your health care story with us today!


In Case You Missed It
Webinar: Recap of the Georgia legislative session

The 2018 Georgia legislative session ended on March 29th and with it came changes to health care and coverage in Georgia. GHF partnered with the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute to provide you with a recap of what bills and resolutions passed and which didn’t during the session. In addition to successful legislation, we discussed this year’s relevant study committees, and examined the state budget, including important items for health advocates and consumers. If you missed the webinar, you can catch up by watching the archived recording here.


Peach Pulse: March 2018


Appropriations Health Subcommittee Heard HB 669, Discussed Bi-partisan Desire to Increase Access to Care

Tuesday morning the House Appropriations Health Subcommittee met for a hearing about HB 669, a bill that would close Georgia’s coverage gap by extending health insurance to low-income Georgians as allowed by the Affordable Care Act. Minority Leader Bob Trammell presented the bill to the committee and outlined how the bill would bolster economic activity in rural Georgia, increase access to care for low-income Georgians, and be a smart investment of tax-payer dollars. Committee members asked questions about the bill’s impact on people with mental health conditions and the costs and savings of the bill, and all expressed a desire to find a common solution to Georgia’s high uninsured rate and barriers to health care. No vote was taken on HB 669, so the bill remains in the House Appropriations Health subcommittee.

We are hopeful that this hearing will prompt continued conversation about closing the coverage gap. You can help by thanking the members of the committee and asking them to ensure the conversation moves forward towards a solution. Contact them now!

Rep. Butch Parrish – Chairman
Rep. Lee Hawkins – Vice Chair
Phone: 404.656.0213
Rep. Pat Gardner
Phone: 404.656.0265
Rep. Carolyn Hugley
Phone: 404.656.5058
Rep. Ron Stephens
Phone: 404.656.5115
Rep. Darlene Taylor
Phone: 404.656.7857

For a more detailed account of the hearing make sure to check our latest blog post by clicking here.


Georgia legislative session ends next week


Georgia’s state legislative session is winding down as Sine Die (the last day of the session) approaches on March 29th. With this deadline approaching, some health care bills have seen significant changes and others have been successfully passed. Check out the most recent developments by reading our latest legislative update here. In the final days of the 2018 session, expect to see continued debate over how to best address substance use and recovery, the behavioral health needs of students, surprise out of network medical bills, tobacco taxation and regulation, and more.

REGISTER NOW! Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and Georgians for a Healthy Future will be presenting “Changes in Health Care and Policy in the 2018 Georgia Legislative Session” on Thursday, April 19th at 10:00 AM. Register here.


Congressional debates over health care continue as part of spending negotiations





Over the last month or so, Congress has been focused on spending negotiations in order to pass a spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of the year and avoid a government shutdown. Health care continues to be a major topic in these conversations, especially in the Senate where activity surrounds efforts to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplace. There is little agreement among Senate Republicans and Democrats about how to accomplish the shared goal of lowering health insurance premiums for health care consumers who purchase their coverage through the Marketplace; however, discussions are on-going.

Congress is scheduled to be on recess March 24-April 8.


GHF and Step Up Savannah co-host health advocacy training!





GHF and Step Up Savannah are partnering to host a health advocacy training on Tuesday, April 3rd. The event will be held at 6 pm at the United Way building at 428 Bull Street, Savannah, Ga. Participants will learn how they can participate and lead health advocacy efforts and recieve information about passing health advocacy issues in Georgia. Representatives from Healthy Savannah and Safety Net will also be in attendance to share local resources. If you live in and around Savannah and would like to attend the training, contact Robyn Wainner, Director at Step Up Savannah, 912.232.6747,

Interested in hosting a similar training in your community? We want to partner with you to make that happen! Contact Alyssa Green at for more information.

Michelle Conde joins GHF staff



GHF welcomed Michelle Conde as its new Communications & Special Projects Manager in early March. In this role, Michelle will manage GHF’S external communication channels (email, social media, earned media) and leverage social media for digital advocacy. She will also provide policy research support as needed and contribute to the organization’s policy analysis efforts. We are so pleased to have Michelle join the GHF team. For more on Michelle and for her contact information, click here.

Bill Would Let ‘Micro-Hospitals’ in Rural Georgia Counties

WABE  |  March 16, 2018

Nurse sponsors bill critics say would ease sales of tobacco in Georgia

Atlanta Journal Constitution  |  February 27, 2018