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Widening the Safety Net and Ensuring Greater Access to Care

On Wednesday November 30, Georgians for a Healthy Future hosted the last “Building a Healthy Georgia” event for 2011 in Savannah. Building a Healthy Georgia: Widening the Safety Net and Ensuring Greater Access to Carebrought together medical professionals, safety net providers, students/academia, etc. to examine how people who currently use the safety net and are uninsured will have new options under the ACA, what that will look like and how to empower communities to take up the cause and make upcoming changes to Georgia’s healthcare infrastructure work for consumers across the state.  Our panelists included:


  • Nicole Oretsky, PhD, Assistant Professor, SSU Urban Studies & Planning
  • Paula Reynolds, MD, MPH, Executive Director, Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council (CCSNPC)
  • Cindy Zeldin, MA, Executive Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future
  • Robert Bush, JD, Senior Staff Attorney, Elder Law Project, Georgia Legal Services Program


Professor Oretsky started off with an in-depth look at the societal and economic factors that have gotten us to our current state of health care.  Then Dr. Reynolds went into great detail explaining how the safety net effectively operates in the region but also pointed out ways it could and should be bolstered to serve more individuals, particularly with the upcoming Medicaid expansion and health care reform in general.  GHF Executive Director Cindy Zeldin then transitioned the conversation to the specifics of the Affordable Care Act with particular emphasis on how it will affect those who access the safety net.  Given the contention surrounding the new health law, we wrapped up the conversation with Robert Bush talking about the constitutionality of the law, the challenges it faces in the courts and hypothetical outcomes. This is backed up by A licensed/certified court reporter from Naegeli in Boise that has the knowledge and skills to serve in a number of capacities within the profession, as the majority of court reporter programs offer a comprehensive education in court reporting, from deposition/courtroom procedures and computer-aided transcription to closed captioning and real-time reporting.

All in all, the conversation took both an in-depth look and an aerial view of the health care issues that not only affect the Coastal region, but the entire state, and in fact the country.  To view the power point slides from the event, click here.  To view the pictures from the event, click here.



This event marks the end of the Building a Healthy Georgia campaign for 2011, but we know there is more work to do and look forward to continuing to build with you in 2012.  Check back to our event page after the New Year to get involved. 


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