The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Awards $40,000 in First Cycle Community Health Grants to Support Good Works of GAFP Members

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) awarded eight Community Health Grant Award applicants $40,000 in first cycle 2020 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 2020 awards is May 14, 2020.

Visit  for more information or to download the application. The 2020 first cycle grant recipients are:

Grace Gate Clinic “Flu Prevention for Habersham” Donald Fordham, MD – $5,000     

Grace Gate Clinic exists to provide quality free healthcare to medically underserved patients in Habersham County, Georgia.  Grace Gate currently has 302 patients with chronic health problems who would benefit from flu vaccination and who are otherwise unable to afford the vaccine. There are currently no other resources in the county that provide discounted or free flu vaccines. The grant in the amount of $5000 would allow Grace Gate to provide flu vaccines for all 302 patients.

Emory University “Eagle Food Co-Op Project”, Ava Voss, Medical Student– $5,000      

The Eagle Food Co-op is an open pantry for Emory University students in need. It is housed and managed by Bread Coffeehouse/Emory Christian Campus Fellowship, a free coffeehouse and campus ministry. The Eagle Food Co-op is a resource available for the 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students at Emory University and is specifically intended for the approximately 60% of them that are struggling with food insecurity.  Food insecurity is a growing problem on college campuses nationwide, and Emory University is no exception. We were gratefully able to serve almost 200 students in the previous school year and are on track to serve slightly more in this school year. Grant funds would be used to purchase a deep freezer stocked fully with frozen meats, vegetables, fruits, and bread as well as nonperishable items and hygiene products.

Wellstar Kennestone FM Clinic “Let’s Get Moving Project” Rebecca Kim, MD$5,000     

The growing obesity and hyperlipidemia problem in the United States is not slowing down. In Georgia, we are known as the “stroke belt” given the increased rates of unhealthy lifestyle habits. In this family medicine clinic alone, approximately 46.8% of patients were known to have BMI >30. In addition, approximately 970 patients had abnormalities in their lipid panel (18.8% LDL, 11.1% Triglycerides, 12.1% Total Cholesterol). Patients participating in the project will get BMI/Lipid measurements as well as a questionnaire asking their exercise/activity level and desires to exercise. During each monthly visit, patients will be asked to fill out a questionnaire asking them the same questions about exercise/activity level and desire and front office staff will check/log their steps.

Al-Farooq Clinic “Electronic Health Record Project” Omar Hayek, Med Student $5,000  

The Al-Farooq Free Health Clinic is a free health clinic that provides medical care and services to the underserved population of the greater Atlanta area regardless of their insurance status. The clinic opens weekly on Sundays from 12-2 PM in the Al-Farooq Mosque and provides treatment for hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, heart conditions, lung conditions and several other chronic medical conditions. We conduct blood sugar testing and basic Lab Corp blood work. The clinic also provides select medication at no cost to patients. A large network of volunteers triage the patients, do blood work, and handle the office and managerial side of the clinic. On average, the Al-Farooq clinic serves 15-20 patients weekly, many of whom are returning patients. Grant funds will set up an electronic health records (EHR) system.

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

PCC is the oldest and largest volunteer led charitable clinic serving residents of DeKalb County and provides services to 1,183 enrolled patients. Many PCC patients suffer from chronic disease requiring ongoing primary care and management. In 2019, 44% had high blood pressure, 19% high cholesterol, and 26% of our patients were diabetic.  The clinic’s Chronic Disease and Diabetes Management Program is the only organized medical 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 testing strips and glucometers to monitor 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.

Mercer School of Medicine “Student Run Clinic” Nicole Mette, Med Student$4,973  

Macon Volunteer Clinic provides primary healthcare to residents of Macon-Bibb County who are ages 18-64, employed, uninsured, and earn less than 200% of the Federal Poverty level.  In 2019 Macon Volunteer Clinic served 778 individual patients.  Of these 70% were female, 92% had an annual income of less than $25,000, 66% were African American, and 20% were diabetic. Macon Bibb County is one of the top 10 unhealthiest metro areas in the United States, and its health outcomes are ranked #135 out of 159 counties with the highest rate of diabetes among Georgia cities.  Macon Volunteer Clinic has over 350 dedicated volunteers including dentists, physicians, nurses, administrative, nurse practitioners, hygienists, and medical students from Mercer University School of Medicine.  Mercer USM students provide valuable services to our patients, while receiving hands-on learning opportunities. Once each month Macon Volunteer Clinic has Student-Run Saturday Clinic, where Mercer School of Medicine students, with their physician instructor, provide initial screening appointments for new patients. In this Clinic, they learn to chart, take patient vitals, review and discuss labs, provide valuable patient education about chronic multiple medical conditions.

Clarkston Health Center, “Breast Health Initiative” Patrice Shongo, MD – $5,000

Clarkston Health Center’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. As of December 2019, 168 women received screening mammograms. Our goal is to reach an additional 132 women with screening mammograms by the end of 2020. Of the 168 women, 67 had benign results, 26 were submitted for follow-up, 8 biopsy orders were sent, 5 ultrasound-guided biopsies were completed, 4 genetic orders sent, 14 unilateral diagnostic mammograms completed, and 1 bilateral diagnostic mammogram was completed.  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. GHFA grant funds will be used to provide mammograms to 37 women.

Rome Free Clinic “Telemedicine- Rural Communities” Leonard Reeves, MD $5,000

The Free Clinic of Rome is a not-for-profit organization that for 17 years has served low-income, uninsured patients with no primary medical home. Last year the clinic revised boundaries drawn for three counties and widened its outreach to “the greater Rome area” in order to reach more patients even when patients could not necessarily reach us. As a provider to low-income uninsured patients, data has shown us appointment cancellations and no-shows by patients outside a 3 – 5-mile radius of the clinic or in areas without access to the local public transit, are notably related to transportation issues.  Lack of a vehicle, insurance, gas money, vehicle dependability and daylight savings time (ability to drive in the dark/working headlights) all play a great part in a patient’s ability to come to appointments as scheduled. An evaluation of our patients in a rural County shows a round trip to an appointment for some to be over 80 miles. The ability for a remote Telemedicine Clinic to provide routine follow-up appointments in a geographically convenient location that eliminates time and travel issues should decrease appointment cancellations, increase the quality and continuity of care we can provide our patients, and make it much simpler for new patients to have access to us in the future.