Georgia Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed February 2021
- Need: In the 11 rural southeast Georgia counties, high-risk pregnant individuals potentially face adverse birth outcomes, including maternal or infant mortality, low birthweight, very low birthweight, or other medical or developmental problems.
- Intervention: An in-home nursing case management program for high-risk pregnant individuals in order to maximize pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their newborns.
- Results: Mothers carry their babies longer and the babies are larger when born, leading to improved health outcomes.
Updated/reviewed January 2021
- Need: Hispanic women have the highest incidence rates of cervical cancer among any ethnicity in the United States.
- Intervention: The development of a lay health worker (promotora) curriculum that provided information on cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine to Hispanic farmworker women living in rural southern Georgia and South Carolina.
- Results: Significant increases in post-test scores relating to cervical cancer knowledge and increases in positive self-efficacy among promotoras.
Updated/reviewed September 2020
- Need: To provide diabetes care and education services to those in rural southeast Georgia.
- Intervention: Diabetes outreach screening, education, and clinical care services are provided to participants in Toombs, Tattnall, and Montgomery counties.
- Results: Patients successfully learn self-management skills to lower their blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Updated/reviewed April 2019
- Need: There is a lack of interventions that addresses teenager behavioral problems, particularly for rural African American adolescents.
- Intervention: Rural, locally trained leaders administered five 2-hour meetings for teenagers and their primary caregivers. Trainings focused on reducing risks that prevent positive development, specifically sexual risk-taking that can lead to HIV and other STIs.
- Results: Teens reported reduced conduct problems, depressive symptoms, and substance abuse. Families were strengthened, and SAAF-T reduced unprotected intercourse and increased condom efficacy.
Updated/reviewed December 2017
- Need: Cancer patients living in the Deep South encounter multiple barriers in accessing regular cancer treatment.
- Intervention: The University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center developed a program that uses lay patient navigators to support and direct patients to appropriate resources to overcome barriers to accessing care.
- Results: The program has become a model for improving cancer care quality, decreasing unnecessary utilization (ER visits and hospitalizations), removing barriers to care, and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed September 2020
- Need: To increase access to specialty care for rural veterans living with HIV.
- Intervention: The Telehealth Collaborative Care (TCC) study connects these patients with HIV specialists via clinical video telehealth or VA video connect and works to create shared care relationships with primary care teams in rural areas.
- Results: TCC provides HIV specialty care access to rural veterans in a sustainable manner with infrastructure, mentorship, and capacity building.
Added December 2019
- Need: In rural Georgia, poor health outcomes and high poverty rates require innovative approaches.
- Intervention: As the only statewide private foundation in Georgia with the sole focus of improving health, Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to do the same.
- Results: With a program related investment from the Foundation, 2 statewide CDFIs and 1 national CDFI are providing low-interest loans and other support to rural healthcare efforts.
Updated/reviewed December 2018
- Need: The North Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) of Ellijay, Georgia had been slowly losing money and patients for years. Many residents living in Ellijay were seeking hospital care elsewhere, leaving NGMC treating an average of only 6 patients per day in the year prior to closing their doors in 2016.
- Intervention: With approval from the state, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital (PMH) leased the space from NGMC and opened the state's first freestanding emergency department (ED). Medical services were again made available for patients in Ellijay and surrounding areas.
- Results: After one year of being open, the freestanding ED continues to average 30 patients per day and has reached over 11,000 emergency room visits.
Updated/reviewed June 2018
- Need: A tangible way for providers to increase patients' access to affordable healthy food.
- Intervention: With Wholesome Rx, a fruit and vegetable prescription program, providers prescribe vouchers for patients to redeem for fruits and vegetables at local healthy food retailers.
- Results: Over 10,000 people have received Wholesome Rx prescriptions in rural and urban areas across 10 states.
Last Updated: 2/5/2021