GHFA Awards $25,000 in Third Cycle 2023 Community Health Grants To Support Local Health Projects

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) awarded Community Health Grant applicants $25,000 in third cycle grants bringing the total amount awarded in 2023 to $100,000. Grant awards were made to GAFP member-affiliated community organizations that support GHFA program priorities including underserved populations and projects that promote healthy practices. Third cycle 2023 Community Health Grant recipients are:

Musculoskeletal Student Clinic Establishment and Supplies, Augusta
GAFP Member Sponsor – Medical Student Hima Nesbit  

The Musculoskeletal Student Clinic is a medical student-run clinic that aims to provide musculoskeletal and bone-related care to patients that are uninsured, underinsured, and 200% below the poverty level. Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of disability in the U.S, and joint pain and osteoarthritis are one of the most common reasons patients seek care from a physician. If conditions are left untreated, mobility and dexterity can be hindered, along with severe influences on the heart, circulation, and lungs.

This new clinic creates availability for new patients at other student-run clinics with long waitlists, where one of the most prominent chief complaints is muscle and joint pain. As a new clinic, significant supplies are needed to provide the best appropriate care for uninsured and underinsured patients. Supplies needed include soft wraps, ace wraps, knee immobilizers, wrist and ankle braces, and crutches to help stabilize joints for patients that may have undergone a bone displacement or injury. General clinic supplies will also be required to effectively assess patients, such as blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, gloves, reflex hammers, etc. Long-term funding of these supplies will allow replenishment when needed and ability to maximize services to all patients.  Grant funding will be used for the purchase of a Point of Care Ultrasound System (average cost is $8,000), creating telehealth events, and addressing transportation and food access.

Healthcare Workforce Development in Vulnerable Communities: Implementing High School Pipeline Programs Serving Minority Communities, Atlanta
GAFP Member Sponsor – Jose Villalon-Gomez, MD, MPH

 The Health Career Collaborative (HCC) is a rewarding and innovative association between high school students and teaching partners in health and medicine, public health, and other allied health sources. The HCC is meant to advance the possibilities of further studies and careers in medicine and other allied health sciences for underrepresented, low-income high school students. The program is an opportunity to build meaningful relationships between a cohort of high school students at an early stage in their development and a team of dedicated older students and health care professionals who are immersed in the practice of delivering medical care and health services. The Health Career Collaborative model is over three years (10th-12th grade high school students) and offers an approach to capture students and spark excitement in the tenth grade, deepen specific knowledge and insights in the eleventh grade, and then apply the experience and understanding in community health leadership roles in the twelfth grade.

Medical students from Emory University School of Medicine implement the Health Careers Academy program with Benjamin E. Mays High School. The student enrollment is 1,244; graduation rate is 78%; Black or African American students enrolled are 98%; 97% eligible for free lunch, 3% for reduced lunch. Currently, Mays High School ranks in the bottom 50% of all schools in Georgia for overall test scores, including math and reading proficiency. The mission of the Health Careers Academy is to provide mentorship, engagement with health curriculums, and exposure to health careers to high school students from low-income, underrepresented minority communities. Approximately 20-40 high school students (from 10th and 11th grade) will participate in a twelve-session curriculum of project-based learning modules. Grant funds will be used for student transportation to meetings, program materials and meeting supplies including graduation ceremony and certificates.

Hearts and Hands Medical Clinic Lab Tests, Statesboro
GAFP Member Sponsor – Brian DeLoach, MD

The Hearts & Hands Clinic provides free medical and dental care to Bulloch County residents who are uninsured, ineligible for Medicaid and Medicare, and who live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. The clinic sees approximately 600 patients per year. Seventeen percent of Bulloch County’s 77,296 residents aged under 65 years do not have health insurance and 24.6% live in poverty, twice the national average of poverty (12.3%) ( A considerable number of the clinic’s patients are out of work due to health-related issues, have been laid off and are searching for employment, or are working low-wage jobs that do not offer insurance or provide enough income to cover medical expenses.

Each new patient requires basic lab tests which are repeated on an annual basis. Many patients require follow-up tests to determine their diagnosis and course of care. Because of this, lab fees comprise a considerable percentage of the clinic’s budget. This project will provide 100 new patients with four lab tests (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), Complete Blood Count (CBC), Lipid Panel, Hemoglobin A1C) and 50 current diabetic patients with four lab tests performed annually (CMP, CBC, Lipid Panel, Hemoglobin A1C). The grant will also provide 50 current patients with hypertension with three lab tests performed annually (CMP, CBC, Lipid Panel) and other specialized lab tests.

Ujima Way Homeless Assistance Project, Clayton County
GAFP Member Sponsor – Antonio Williams, MD

The Project Breakthrough Homeless Assistance Project is Ujima Way’s targeted and strategic approach to meet the medical, mental health, and substance abuse needs of chronically homeless individuals in Clayton County.  In June of this year, Ujima Way reached the milestone of assisting 100 persons exiting homelessness since March of 2020 at the onset of the pandemic.  While continuing to make significant progress in terms of getting people off of the streets and also linking them to appropriate medical, mental health, dental, and substance abuse care, the need for health outreach services is growing daily.

Clayton County is witnessing a spike in newly homeless individuals, who were recently evicted. Many of these individuals are seniors on fixed income, who more often than not, have chronic health conditions. In addition, chronically homeless individuals in Atlanta are being routed by ambulance to Southern Regional Hospital in Clayton County.  Upon discharge, many end up in front of the hospital at the Marta bus stop with no money to return to Atlanta.  This influx of chronically homeless individuals is putting a strain on Clayton County as it lacks capacity and infrastructure to manage significant spikes in the homeless population. GHFA funds will be used for clinic fees, emergency hotel vouchers, prescriptions, medical supplies, Uber rides to and from appointments as well as non-emergency transportation services.

Healthy Life Skills Packets for Families in North Georgia Project, Habersham County                                                                                            
GAFP Member Sponsor – Donald Fordham, MD                                                                                                   

The Family Resource Center of Northeast Georgia (FRC) serves families in Northeast Georgia. Participating families are considered “at-risk” as 95% live under the Georgia poverty rate. This project will provide information concerning health topics including Life Skills Classes, Parent Support Groups, Teen Mom Support Groups, In-Home Visitation, First Steps Program and Parenting Classes.

Additional information topics include: Danger of Substance Abuse, Family Nutrition, Nutrition Needs of Children, Dangers of Obesity, Dangers of Smoking, Dangers of Vaping, Safe Sleep for Babies, Nurturing Children, Child Development, Basic First Aid items for home, Personal Hygiene, Information on ACE’s, Signs of Post Partum Depression, and Mental Health- signs of depression, importance of self-care and making positive choices. Information will be delivered in a multitude of ways: packets through First Steps Program, Sessions in Support Groups for teen moms, Support group for fathers, Support group for new moms, and parenting sessions through in Home Visitation. The project will consist of gathering information, purchasing supplies for the project, purchasing of concrete supports to go along with the lessons including nutritional items, diapers, items for childcare and personal hygiene items.

Even if you do not have a community project that could benefit from a grant, please consider contributing so that the Alliance can continue to support these vital community projects. All donations are tax-deductible. Alliance contributions can be made easily online at or by contacting Kara Sinkule at