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Rural Health Day at the Capitol

By Matt Caseman
Executive Director, Georgia Rural Health Association

Health care providers and professionals from every corner of the state descended on the state Capitol Wednesday, February 16th for Rural Health Day sponsored by the Georgia Rural Health Association. Activities began at 8:00 am with State Senator George Hooks (D-Americus), the longest serving member in the General Assembly, being presented with the Legislator of the Award from GRHA. With a district that includes twelve rural counties, Senator Hooks has looked out for underserved areas his entire career. He is a former Legislator of the Year for the Georgia Public Health Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and the Georgia Hospital Association.

House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) also stopped by to thank everyone for delivering medicine and treatment to rural communities. Hailing from the North Georgia Mountains, the Speaker noted that rural providers often have to do more with less and underscored the need to work together to improve health care.

Rural Health Day is a great opportunity for GRHA members and others to come to Atlanta and witness the legislative process under the Gold Dome. Our members are passionate about promoting and improving rural health. Of Georgia’s 159 counties, 109 are considered rural, and with a population over 1.7 million, they differ greatly from the urban areas of the state. To help meet their unique healthcare needs, GRHA’s 2011 Rural Georgia C.A.R.E.S. legislative agenda is as follows:

Completely Fund an Enhanced Trauma Care Network

Adequately Provide for PeachCare for Kids and Medicaid

Rationally Implement Requirements of the New Healthcare Reform Law

Energetically Protect the Georgia Rural Health Safety Net Program and;

Strongly Support Efforts to Stabilize and Grow the Health Professions Workforce for Rural And Medically Underserved Communities

To go to the GRHA website and read the entire 2011 Rural Georgia C.A.R.E.S. legislative agenda click here.

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