Georgia County Government - October 2008 - (Page 73)

Feature Preventative Medical Program Succeeds in Chatham A n innovative new program in Chatham County is finding traction in one of the most pervasive health care crises around: the use of emer- gency rooms as primary care providers to patients without adequate health insurance. By drawing on community resources more effectively, Chatham County has been able to provide health care services to its uninsured and underinsured populations at a fraction of the cost of primary care delivered in an emergency room. Healthcare Georgia Foundation released, “A Case for Health: Community Health Mission,” a case study highlighting the strengths and successes of the health “safety net” structure that has been developed to serve low-income individuals and families in Chatham County, regardless of their ability to pay for health care services. Healthcare Georgia Foundation commissioned a case study to highlight the work of Chatham County’s Safety Net Planning Council, focusing on the positive results that this model of care brings to residents through the work g of Community Health Mission, a local clinic and active Council member. The case study highlights necessary components of a safety net structure as well as challenges to consider when using the l model. d “The story of Community Health Th Mission and the Chatham County Safety s Net Planning Council demonstrates how leadership at the individual, organizational and community level can make a tangible difference in the lives of people in need of care,” said Dr. Gary e Nelson, Healthcare Georgia Foundation president. i Chatham County’s success lies in its creation of a multi-disciplinary “safety t net” including local hospitals, community and nonprofit organizations, and social service agencies that work togethal er to provide support for low-income and uninsured residents. Some key attributes of the safety net include the following: • Volunteer Networks and Partnerships. Community Health Mission provides free health care services to nearly 6,000 uninsured and low-income residents in the Savannah area. Understanding the importance of collaboration in providing care to people, the clinic not only utilizes a network of more than 100 volunteers – including physicians and other health care professionals – to provide care, but it relies on other members of the Safety Net Council to fi ll gaps in services. Partnerships developed with local hospitals have led to equipment and service donations, such as mammogram and cancer screenings, as well as strong relationships with specialty care providers, enabling patients to get the care they need at a fraction of the cost. The average cost of care at Community Health Mission is $50 for a primary care visit compared to $260 for a primary care visit in a Chatham County hospital emergency room. • Prevention Emphasis. Through its wellness program, Community Health Mission educates patients on basic chronic disease prevention including diabetes management and smok smoking cessation. In 2007, more than 400 patients participated in disease prevention wellness programs; more than 1,100 breast and cervical cancer screenings were conducted; and exercise levels and vegetable consumption increased among diabetes management program participants. • Results Measurement. To measure progress, the Council implemented uniform metrics that each safety net member reports against. Members like Community Hea lth Mission can see the true difference they are making individually as well as collectively as part of the Council. Results can be used to strengthen the safety net as members seek support and funding, HEALTHCARE GEORGIA continued on page 74 OCTOBER 2008 73

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - October 2008

Georgia County Government - October 2008
President's Message
County Matters
South Georgia's Agricultural Heartland Welcomes Economic Diversity, High-Tech Research
What Do You Know About the State's 2008 Constitutional Amendments?
Union County's New Hope Clinic
Counties and the Law: U.S. Supreme Court Increases Burden on Defending Age Claims
Cyber Security Awareness
Are Animal Control Costs Out of Control?
Dave Wills Joins ACCG Staff
Executive DRIVE is the Pinnacle of Gwinnett's Leadership Institute
Preventative Medical Program Succeeds in Chatham County
DCA's Planning & Quality Growth Office Reveals New Regional Planning Approach
Implementation of Georgia's Security & Immigration Compliance Act
The Roundabout: Glynn County's Newest Approach to Traffic Management
Governor Urges Preparation for Digital TV Transition
The Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership
Wharton Named Program Director for Georgia Centers for Innovation
Army Ranger Turned Police Officer Attends CDP Training
ACCG Staff Attends National Conference of State Legislatures Summit
ACCG Editor, Forsyth County PIO Garner NACIO Awards
GDEcD News: Tourism Grants; Scan-Tech to Expand
Benefit News: GEBCorp Marks Eight Years of Retirement Benefits
Georgia's Courthouses and the American Renaissance
Extension News: Georgia 4-H Impacts Student Achievement, Leadership
Research Center: Best Methods for Creating Ordinances in Your County
CCAP Corner: Walter F. Rosso, Cusseta-Chattahoochee County
NACo News: Association Sponsors 'Green' Competitions
Beth Bradley Joins ACCG Staff
County Parade
Index of Advertising

Georgia County Government - October 2008