Peach Pulse | Trivia, Medicaid turns 55 & a new GHF team member!

Give ’em Health!

 

Join GHF for Give ‘Em Health trivia night on September 15th!

 

Our first-ever Give ‘Em Health trivia night is an exciting, energetic event that will bring together GHF friends and supporters for a health-themed trivia extravaganza. Join us on September 15, 2020 as we gather online for an evening of fun, friendly competition and some of the most topical health trivia we can come up with.

Give ‘Em Health trivia night will feature two rounds of mind-bending questions, special appearances by well-known guests, and healthy prizes for the top teams!

We have taken this event fully virtual to protect the health of all event attendees, but this won’t be another boring Zoom meeting. GHF’s dynamic trivia hosts will provide the music, fun, and entertainment that you expect from an in-person event! RSVP today and invite your friends to join your team!

Sponsorship opportunities are available

 

Celebrating 55 years of Medicaid!

 

Join us in celebrating the 55th anniversary of Medicaid!

 

Thursday, July 30, 2020 marks the 55th anniversary of Medicaid! The public health insurance program covers half of Georgia kids, half of births in the state, and three out of four Georgians in long-term care (like nursing homes). Without Medicaid, low-income Georgia families would have almost no way to enroll in health coverage. Now, the program is proving even more important as our state battles the coronavirus. Medicaid is key to Georgia’s COVID-19 response because it is one of the fastest ways for the federal government to send resources to Georgia and health care providers struggling to meet the needs of Georgia patients and families.

Here are four ways you can celebrate with us and support Medicaid on its 55th birthday:

 

Welcome!

 

GHF welcomes new Story Collection Coordinator

 

Last month, GHF welcomed Lois Hairston as its new Story Collection Coordinator. In this role, Lois will work to collect, develop, and amplify the stories of Georgia individuals and families so that their voices are heard as state leaders make decisions that impact their health. We are so pleased to have Lois join the GHF team. You can visit our website for more on Lois and for her contact information.

 

Welcome Lois by sharing your health story!

 

Your story is one of the most powerful tools available as we advocate for the health and wellness of Georgians. Sharing your real life experiences can shape the decisions made by Georgia’s leaders about the state’s response to COVID-19 and the economic recovery, Medicaid expansion, and a host of other health issues. If you are uninsured, recently lost your insurance, have sought COVID-19 testing or treatment, are caring for a loved one who is sick, or have another health care story to share, tell us a little bit about your experience here. Then Lois will get in touch to learn more. Thank you for your generous input!

 

Thank you for speaking up!

 

511 comments made about Gov. Kemp’s plan to dismantle healthcare.gov

 

Three times now, we have asked you to be a health care hero by telling officials what you think of Governor Kemp’s plans to forgo Medicaid expansion and to erode consumer protections in private insurance. And once again you came through! By last Thursday’s deadline, 511 Georgians told health officials that they do not support Gov. Kemp’s plan to dismantle healthcare.gov and leave consumers at the mercy of for-profit insurance companies. Thank you for speaking up!

Governor Kemp’s health care plan will now be sent to federal health officials who will ask for your input at least once more in the coming months.

 

Wrapping up the 2020 Georgia legislative session

 

Legislators join GHF to recap the 2020 Georgia legislative session

 

Following the close of the 2020 legislative session, Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute hosted a wrap-up conversation to highlight the session’s most important health-related outcomes. Special guests Senator Chuck Hufstetler and Representative Kim Schofield joined in to tell us how the legislature’s work will impact your health, health care, and health coverage. If you missed this great discussion, it is available now on GHF’s Facebook page!

 

Governor Kemp signs comprehensive surprise billing legislation

 

After five years of persistent advocacy about the heavy toll of surprise medical bills on consumers, Georgia has adopted comprehensive new protections that safeguard consumers’ wallets and access to care. On July 16th, Governor Kemp signed the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act into law! Georgians for a Healthy Future and our partners at Georgia Watch are proud to have played a role in the adoption of this important consumer policy. Georgia is now the 16th state to adopt comprehensive protections against surprise medical bills, covering an estimated 2.5 million Georgia residents.

 

Updated weekly: Helping you manage COVID-19

 

GHF has new and updated resources to help you manage during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

GHF is dedicated to helping you understand and navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these links for the most up-to-date information and resources.

 

GHF in the news

 

State Revises Insurance Waiver Request And Pushes Timetable Back
Georgia Health News, WABE | July 15, 2020


Georgia officials put insurance waiver plan on hold
Albany Herald | July 15, 2020


Kemp Signs Maternal Mortality, Surprise Billing Legislation Into Law
WABE | July 17, 2020

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Peach Pulse | Our first annual report, mental health during COVID-19 & community health workers

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting GHF on #GivingTuesdayNow

Earlier this month you helped GHF and other non-profits celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow as we collectively respond to COVID-19! As the voice for Georgia’s health care consumers, GHF advocates for the state policies and systems that are essential for a strong, effective response to the pandemic. GHF will continue our efforts to protect and promote your health and well-being as the pandemic and its economic fallout evolve.

 

If you missed being a part of #GivingTuesdayNow, we hope that you will consider supporting our advocacy today. Donate here and consider making your donation a monthly gift. Thank you for your generosity and partnership!

 


 

Your support in action

The generosity of our donors has already contributed to a healthier, more equitable Georgia! The highlights of GHF’s 2019 work and the difference it makes for Georgia individuals and families is captured in our first-ever annual report! Download the report to find out how your donations mobilized community members, made pressing health issues visible in the media, and fostered collaboration with decision-makers and partner groups to achieve change for all Georgians.


 

Commenters are 9-to-1 opposed to Governor Kemp’s Medicaid Waiver


Outnumbered: Georgians ask for Medicaid expansion

GHF’s new analysis reveals that 9 out of 10 Georgians who commented on Gov. Kemp’s Medicaid plan were opposed to it. Most commenters preferred Medicaid expansion because it would cover more Georgians and makes more financial sense.

During a FaceBook Live conversation about the Outnumbered report last week, nationally-recognized Medicaid expert Joan Alker said, “A state like Georgia is tying one arm behind its back in responding to this pandemic by not picking up the Medicaid expansion because of Medicaid’s role as a first responder…the pandemic has laid bare the urgency and moral imperative with the kind of disparities that are shocking and just ripping our country apart.”

When state leaders reconvene at the state Capitol next month, they have the opportunity to take action on the issue. Ask Gov. Kemp and your state legislators to take swift action to expand Medicaid today!

Share the Outnumbered report with your family, friends, and social networks and ask them to take action for Medicaid expansion today!


Updated weekly: Helping you manage COVID-19

GHF has new and updated resources to help you manage during the COVID-19 pandemic

GHF is dedicated to helping you understand and navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these links for the most up-to-date information and resources.

 

Your story is one of the most powerful tools available as we advocate for the health and wellness of Georgians. Sharing your real-life experiences can shape the decisions made by Georgia’s leaders about the state’s response to this crisis and our economic recovery. If you are uninsured, recently lost your insurance, have sought COVID-19 testing or treatment, are caring for a loved one who is sick, or have another health care story to share, we want to hear from you. Thank you for your generous input!


 

Community health workers, we need you!

Support your CHW peers by joining the Community Advisory Board 

The COVID-19 emergency, particularly the disease’s impact on communities of color, has drawn attention to the unequal health experiences that Community Health Workers (CHWs) encounter daily in their work. As part of the new Community Voices for Health— Georgia (CVHG) project, Georgia Watch, GHF, and our project partners are launching a Community Advisory Board to support CHWs’ efforts to make a difference in their communities through civic engagement and advocacy.

The CVHG project team is seeking five interested CHWs to join the Community Advisory Board. The Board will guide and advise the CVHG project so that it meets the real needs of CHWs and the communities they serve.

You can learn more about CVHG and the Community Advisory Board here.

When you’re ready to apply, complete the online application here.


GHF in the news

Pandemic Pushing Medicaid Numbers Higher As Many Lose Work
Georgia Health News, WABE | May 12, 2020


Commenters pan Kemp’s Medicaid expansion plan as too limited
Georgia Recorder | May 14, 2020


Study: More than 1.4 million Georgians lost health insurance
Valdosta Daily Times | May 20, 2020

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Peach Pulse | Expanded COVID-19 testing, May events, & health advocacy from home

Stay safe, stay home, get tested

Staying home is still the best option

Thank you to everyone who continues to do their part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home! By staying home and following physical distancing guidelines you are actively helping to defeat this disease and protect Georgia’s essential workers. Even as Georgia moves to “re-open,” we encourage you to continue to fight COVID-19 by staying home if you have the option.

 

So that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy, don’t forget about these other healthy habits:

1. Avoid group gatherings and crowded businesses

2. Stay at least 6 feet away from people who do not live with you (That’s about 2 arm lengths!)

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

4. Wash your hands often

5. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow

6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, and phones

7. Do not swallow, eat, or otherwise put any disinfectant or other cleaning product inside your body. If someone you know ingests a cleaning product, call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222


 

Get Tested: Georgia has expanded who qualifies for a COVID-19 test

GHF remains committed to bringing you useable information and resources during this pandemic. Here are a few updates that you may find helpful:

Expanded COVID-19 testing—if you or someone you know meets these criteria, you may qualify for a COVID-19 test:

  • People with symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste and/or smell.
  • Healthcare workers, first responders, and other critical infrastructure workers
  • Persons living in long-term care facilities or other group residential settings
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Household members or caregivers of any of the groups above
  • People with symptoms who are not a part of any of the groups above may also be approved for testing, as capacity allows

You can find a test by contacting your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Please do not show up at a testing site without an appointment.


Join us in May!

Are you in? Giving Tuesday Now is May 5th!

GHF is asking for your support on Giving Tuesday Now! Giving Tuesday Now will take place this Tuesday, May 5, 2020. This exciting and inspiring day aims to support non-profits across the U.S. as they respond to COVID-19. If you can afford to donate, we hope that GHF is among the non-profits that you support this Tuesday!

 

 

Your support of GHF:

        • Provides up-to-date information and resources to Georgians so they know how to stay healthy, and get help with their health, homes, or finances;
        • Activates health advocates across the state in support of policies that promote Georgia’s health and wellness;
        • Sends the stories of Georgia individuals and families, and the best available data, to Georgia leaders to inform their decision making; and
        • Brings together partner groups to collectively advocate for increased testing, strong consumer protections in public and private health insurance, Medicaid expansion, and the many other policies that are necessary to an strong, effective pandemic response.

Donate today to ensure that Georgians for a Healthy Future can remain a strong, responsive voice for all Georgians now and in the future!


 

 

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day: Virtual Edition 

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is May 7th! Join the Georgia Parent Support Network, Voices for Georgia’s Children, GHF, and others to advocate for children’s mental health. As the COVID-19 pandemic strains the mental health of Georgia children and youth and their ability to access behavioral health services, you can advocate for solutions! Be a part of this special day. This year’s event will take place online on Thursday, May 7th, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:30 am and you can register here.

 


 

Be a health care advocate from home

Your story is powerful. Share it with us!

Your story is one of the most powerful tools available as we advocate for the health and wellness of Georgians. Your real life experiences can shape the decisions made by Georgia’s leaders about the state’s response to this crisis and our economic recovery.  If you or a loved one have lost your health insurance; are uninsured; recently lost your insurance; have sought COVID-19 testing or treatment; have other physical or mental health needs that you are trying to address during this time; are working in a job that exposes you to COVID-19; or have another health care story to share, we want to hear from you. You can share your experiences here. Thank you for your generous input!


 

Be an advocacy leader with the Georgia Health Action Network

Join the Georgia Health Action Network (GHAN) for updates, tools, and opportunities for advocacy with GHF! GHAN is a volunteer consumer health advocacy program that aims to develop consumers into effective agents for change. GHF welcomes all who are interested to join our monthly GHAN calls. During these calls, GHF staff share current advocacy opportunities, best practices for engaging with policy makers about timely issues, and answer member questions about organizing for positive change.

Sign up for GHAN action alerts here and email GHF’s Outreach & Education Manager Alyssa Green if you’re interested in participating in the GHAN program!


GHF in the news

What Kemp’s shelter in place order means for Georgians
Georgia Health News, Coastal Courier | April 6, 2020


Staying Home: What Kemp’s Shelter-In-Place Order Will Mean
Georgia Health News, WABE | April 6, 2020

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Peach Pulse | Be a health advocate from home & other COVID-19 updates

Stay safe, stay home

A few ways to spend your #StayHome time

Thank you to everyone who is doing their part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home! As you avoid group gatherings, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently, you are actively helping to defeat this pandemic. The GHF team wants to give you a few other ways that you can be a health advocate while staying at home:

1. Fill out the Census at 2020census.gov (The Spanish language version is available at 2020census.gov/es.)—If you’ve already filled out your Census form, ask a friend if they’ve done theirs.

2. Thank a health care worker—we put together four custom coloring pages to say thank you to Georgia’s health care workers for their work to protect and heal Georgians during this time. Print, color, and share it with your favorite health care worker. If you share it on social media, tag us (@healthyfutureGA) so we can re-share!

3. Ask Gov. Kemp and your state legislators to expand Medicaid so fewer Georgians go untracked and untreated during this pandemic.

4. Keep up with GHF on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We will keep you updated with timely action alerts and Georgia’s health advocacy news.


Your health coverage, health care, and well being

How to access health care & use your health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic

During this pandemic, it is more important than ever that you to have the information and resources you need to navigate the health care and health insurance systems. Last week, we launched this page with information about how to access health care services and what to expect from your health insurance coverage if you need COVID-19 testing and treatment. The page also includes links to mental health resources, financial assistance for mortgage and rent payments, food assistance, and other help that you and your family may need. We will keep this page updated as things change and with links to helpful resources as they become available.

 


GHF is fighting for Georgians

An evidence-based public policy response is essential in fight against COVID-19

Georgians for a Healthy Future believes that our state can successfully overcome the current public health crisis if Georgians adhere to the advice of public health experts and our state’s leaders swiftly adopt evidence-based policies that protect the health and safety of all Georgians. GHF has identified a suite of public policies that we believe Georgia’s elected leaders must adopt in order to:

 

  • Maximize health system capacity and public safety;
  • Increase access to quality, affordable health care for all Georgians;
  • Center equity as part of the public health and economic responses; and
  • Meet the basic needs of Georgians and their families.

In the coming weeks, GHF will track which policies are fully implemented, partially adopted, or not taken up at all, and will provide updates accordingly. Follow along on our blog.


GHF in the news

Struggling rural health care system to get tested by COVID-19 outbreak
Georgia Recorder | March 17, 2020

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