The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Awards $30,000 in First Cycle Community Health Grants to Support the Good Works of GAFP Members

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) awarded six Community Health Grant Award applicants $30,000 in first cycle 2019 grants. Grant awards were made to GAFP member affiliated community organizations that support GHFA program priorities including underserved populations and programs that promote healthy practices. The application deadline for second cycle 2019 awards is May 14, 2019.

Visit  for more information or to download the application. The 2019 first cycle Community Health Grant Recipients are:

Grace Village “Refuge Clinic” Project, Scott Keller, DO Clarkston $5,000

Refuge Clinic patients include 54 nationalities 150 ethnic groups and speak 47 languages. Refugees are given only eight months of Medicaid after which most are uninsured with limited income. Each year 1500-2000 new refugees arrive, and many are in ill health. Grace Village Medical Clinic provides free access to doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists and behavioral therapists, prescription medications and laboratory testing for patients. In addition to supporting prescription medication and lab fees, project funds will be used to acquire an EKG machine. Grant funds will also be used to purchase an ultrasound machine for in-house diagnosis as well as to pay for diagnostic imaging including x-rays and mammograms which, will be accomplished by a discount agreement with a local radiology facility.

MPMobile/Athens Free Clinic Lab Project, Suzanne Lester, MD $5,000 

Since March 2018, the Athens Free Clinic’s Mobile Unit has held 17 clinics, had 169 patient encounters, and provided point-of-care testing including HgA1C, rapid strep, dipstick urinalysis, urine pregnancy, glucose, and rapid HIV tests.  One obstacle identified is a lack of access to laboratory studies beyond point-of-care tests (HgA1C, rapid strep, dipstick urinalysis, urine pregnancy, glucose, rapid HIV).  To safely prescribe and dispense necessary medications for common conditions, further lab testing is needed. Clinic patients have multiple barriers to laboratory studies: cost, transportation and, lab hours to name a few. Funding for this project will greatly improve the quality of care for mobile clinic patients by collecting lab specimens in the field and delivering to the lab via a clinic account set up for MPMobile/Athens Free Clinic as costs of tests are greatly reduced in a “bill account” arrangement. Phlebotomy trained staff and the proper equipment will ensure safe specimen collection. Project goals include evaluating and treating up to 300 patients in the project year. Of those patients about 40% will need laboratory testing beyond point-of-care mobile tests.

myTEAM TRIUMPH Triathlon Project, Alice House, MD Columbus $5,000

myTEAM Triumph provides physically limited children, adults, and veterans, termed “Captains,” opportunities to take part in endurance races throughout several communities in Georgia with the assistance of specialized ASTM certified racing chairs and teams of able-bodied runners, termed “Angels.” Last year myTEAM TRIUMPH – Georgia expanded to include biking events and a triathlon. This year’s project will increase the triathlon activities by 3-5 biking/triathlon events in 2019. The aim is simple – increase the number of Captain and Angel participants in these scheduled events for 2019 with 2-3 teams competing in each event this year instead of just one team. Grant funds will buy equipment needed for these expanded activities including specialized boats and harnesses to pull more Captains in the water, specialized life vests for Captains that cannot swim and swim buoys for Captains who can.

Mercy Health Center Athens “Implementing Strategies for Improving Diabetes Control in an Underserved Population” Jonathan Mitchell Cook, DO $5,000

This project focuses on improving the health of the diabetes population at Mercy Health Center. The project includes a one-month pilot study to assess the feasibility of utilizing continuous glucose monitoring in the diabetes patient population. Results will provide information regarding the ease of use of the device, and availability of glycemic control data which allows health care providers to titrate complex insulin regimens more quickly and effectively. Funds will be utilized to purchase diabetes supplies to aid patient population in self-management as well as a Freestyle Pro Libre Reader Kit and Freestyle Libre Pro Patient Sensors. Currently, 24% of Mercy’s patient population is diagnosed with diabetes, and of that population, 47% have attended a pharmacotherapy appointment in the past two years. Despite receiving medication refills and supplies from the MHC pharmacy and accessing care from both a primary care physician and pharmacotherapy clinic, there is a subset of patients who still have poorly controlled diabetes. This lack of glycemic control is likely related to multiple factors, including but not limited to cultural, economic, social, and environmental factors. Continuous glucose monitoring devices have shown benefits in reducing hypoglycemia and improving quality of life markers in adult patients.

Clarkston Health Center, “Breast Health Initiative” Patrice Shongo, MD $5,000 CCHC’s Breast Health Initiative (BHI) aims to decrease the breast cancer mortality rate among uninsured, immigrant and refugee women in DeKalb County and the surrounding region through several activities in collaboration with local health services partners. Through a small grant, in partnership with Emory Decatur Hospital, CCHC has been providing free mammograms and follow-up, diagnostic testing for women age 40 years and older who are patients of the clinic, or eligible women who are referred.  To date 209 women have received mammograms. Project goal is to reach an additional 100 women with screening mammograms by the end of 2019.  Of the 209 women, 41 had abnormal screening mammograms.  Thirty-eight women had diagnostic mammograms and of those, 28 women had diagnostic ultrasounds, and 10 had biopsies performed. Of the 41 women, 31 had benign results, one was referred to Northside Oncology for chemotherapy for a malignancy, one was referred for surgery for a nipple inversion, and eight have been lost to follow-up.  CCHC’s volunteer physicians and nurse practitioners continue to conduct the initial clinical breast exams, identify any risk factors through a detailed medical history, and order the testing. Funds from GHFA will provide mammograms to 50 women towards overall goal of completing screening mammograms for 300 women by the end of 2019.

Physicians’ Care Clinic “Chronic Disease and Diabetes Management Program” Martha Crenshaw, MD Dekalb County, $5,000  

PCC is the oldest and largest volunteer led charitable clinic serving residents of DeKalb County providing services to 1,183 enrolled patients. Many PCC patients suffer from chronic diseases requiring ongoing care and management. In 2018 of the 1,183 enrolled patients 45% had high blood pressure, 23% high cholesterol, and 22% of patients were diabetic.  The clinic’s Chronic Disease and Diabetes Management Program is the only organized clinic program in DeKalb County offering on going prevention and education classes and monitoring supplies. This grant will support eight, two-hour diabetes management classes and scholarships for classes at Emory Decatur Hospital. Funding will be used to purchase test strips and glucometers to check blood sugar levels as well as educational materials used to help patients improve nutrition and lose weight. Passes to attend organized, structured classes offered at Emory Decatur Wellness Center will also be provided to program participants.

These are only a few of the important programs your colleagues are lending their talents and time to statewide. Please consider making a contribution so the Alliance can continue to support important projects like these. All donations are tax deductible. Make your Alliance contribution easily online at or contact Alliance staff at or calling (800) 392-3841.