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 April 2018
- 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 March 2018
- Need: In the 11 rural southeast Georgia counties, high-risk pregnant women 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 women 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 2018
- 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 provides 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 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.
Added September 2015
- Need: To provide diabetes education services to the people of rural southeast Georgia.
- Intervention: A telehealth diabetes education program was implemented in the Georgia counties of Candler, Emanuel, Tattnall, and Toombs.
- Results: Participants showed improved control of diabetes and BMI.
Other Project Examples
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.
Updated/reviewed March 2018
- Need: Lack of dental healthcare access for rural northwest Georgians with lower incomes/no insurance.
- Intervention: A dental clinic accepting Medicaid, PeachCare (Georgia's low income child health insurance program), and private pay started through collaboration of a local medical center, dental college, and county health department.
- Results: From 2015 through current June 2017 totals, the Floyd Dental Clinic provided quality oral healthcare to nearly 6000 low-income patients.
Added December 2017
- Need: The North Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) of Ellijay, Georgia had been losing money and patients. Many residents living in Ellijay were seeking hospital care elsewhere, leaving NGMC treating an average of only 6 patients 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. Medical services were again made available for patients in Ellijay and surrounding areas.
- Results: Within the first 6 months of operation, over 5,000 emergency visits were made to the freestanding ED, an average of 30 patients per day.
Updated/reviewed July 2017
- Need: Rural Georgia hospitals experiencing the crush of expenses in addition to limited investment capital for resources.
- Intervention: Hospitals, health care systems, and physicians came together to create an alliance of healthcare providers that focused on value-based healthcare delivery, rather than fee-for-service care, with the goal of developing a clinically integrated network.
- Results: Now sharing resources and best practices, Stratus Network members are working to reduce excessive or duplicate services, reduce costs of services, and show performance improvements.
Added July 2017
- Need: To increase access to specialty care for rural veterans with HIV.
- Intervention: The Telehealth Collaborative Care (TCC) study connects these patients with HIV specialists via telehealth and works to create shared care relationships with primary care teams in rural areas.
- Results: TCC provides HIV specialty care to 600 rural veterans in Georgia and Texas.
Updated/reviewed September 2016
- Need: To provide diabetes care and education services to those in rural, southeast Georgia.
- Intervention: Diabetes outreach screening, education, and clinical care services were provided to participants in Toombs, Tattnall, and Montgomery counties.
- Results: Patients successfully learned self-management skills to lower their blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Added February 2016
- Need: Rural communities in Florida often lack enough financial and technical support to fully implement health information technology (HIT) within their healthcare practices.
- Intervention: The Rural Health Partnership of North Central Florida founded an organization that helps rural providers understand the benefits, risks, and opportunities of HIT while providing the means to invest in HIT programs.
- Results: Through the efforts of CommunityHealth IT, 65% of rural hospitals served have achieved Meaningful Use.
Last Updated: 6/4/2018