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“…in everything we do, behind everything we say, as the basis for every decision we make, we are willing to see the faces.”
– William H. Foege, MD, MPH

Program Priority Areas

Partnerships with nonprofit health organizations are key to our mission to advancing the quality of healthcare and achieving health equity for all Georgians. As the largest healthcare foundation in Georgia, we are helping Georgians achieve access to quality healthcare and achieve health equity through strategic grantmaking support and work in the following four priority areas: 

Addressing Health Disparities

The health of Georgians is influenced not only by each individual’s knowledge of health risks, by access to and quality of health care they receive, and by their own personal health behavior; but also by where they live, the jobs they hold, and the income they receive. Achieving long-term, population-wide health improvements will require traditional and unconventional approaches with participation from many sectors. This is especially true for Georgia’s vulnerable population, those individuals and families at greater risk for poor health outcomes.

An array of data shows profound disparities in Georgia health outcomes. These differences start before birth, extend through adolescence, and continue into adulthood. Through strategic grantmaking and direct charitable activities, Healthcare Georgia Foundation seeks to reduce health disparities and achieve greater health equity among Georgians. Addressing Health Disparities is the Foundation’s strategic response to unequal access and outcomes among vulnerable populations.

The Health Resources and Services Administration defines disparities as population specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health. According to Healthy People 2020, “Health equity is achieving the highest level of health for all people.” It is the absence of disparities. Armed with best practices and driven by values of social justice, the Foundation is committed to identifying health inequities and taking action to reduce or eliminate them.

Within this priority area, the following goals will be considered. Awarded grants will aim to:

  • Intervene in prevalent and modifiable health disparities among Georgia’s vulnerable populations
  • Increase awareness of the magnitude and impact of highly disparate health conditions as well as increase the understanding of the broad determinants of health and health inequities
  • Improve cultural and linguistic competency as well as diversity of Georgia’s health care workforce
  • Monitor health disparities and assess intervention effectiveness
  • Promote policies and environmental supports that reduce disparities and advance health equity
  • Contribute to the identification, adoption, and dissemination of evidenced-based policies and programs that reduce disparities


Expanding Access to Affordable Quality Health Care Services

Expanding access to affordable quality health care services is one of four identified priority areas for the Foundation in pursuit of its philanthropic mission. Within this priority area, the Foundation’s focus is on primary health care and the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) for underserved individuals and communities.

Primary care is the provision of integrated, accessible health services by clinicians responsible for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs. It entails developing sustained partnerships with patients and practicing in the context of family and community. The PCMH is an approach to providing comprehensive, coordinated and integrated primary care for children, youth, and adults in a health care setting that facilitates partnerships among individual patients, their personal clinicians, and the patient’s family.

The primary care provider and the health care team guide underserved individuals through the health care delivery system and facilitate informed decision-making about health and health care. Among underserved individuals and within disadvantaged communities, this approach is essential to reducing health disparities attributed to unequal access.

Within this priority area, the Foundation’s philanthropic investments will focus on improvements in primary care and establishment of medical homes where health care is: accessible, acceptable, accountable, comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous.

Within this priority area, the following goals will be considered. Awarded grants will aim to:

  • Establish patient-centered primary health care homes within the health safety net
  • Promote community-based systems of health care services and supports that are comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, seamless, and culturally appropriate
  • Facilitate health policy development, research, analysis, and public engagement
  • Develop a clearinghouse for health information and technical resources
  • Improve the effectiveness of health care systems, programs, and services within underserved communities
  • Contribute to the identification, adoption, and dissemination of evidenced-based programs


Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

Through strategic grantmaking and direct charitable activities, Healthcare Georgia Foundation seeks to promote health and prevent disease among all Georgians. As one of the Foundation’s four grantmaking priority areas, this priority area will direct resources to community-based population health improvements with an emphasis on vulnerable and underserved individuals and communities.

Georgians need to live and work in environments where they can engage in healthy behaviors and obtain accessible quality health care. Yet, within any Georgia community, there are also social, cultural, and environmental conditions that impact residents’ health. Creating healthy environments for all Georgians will require active involvement by all segments of our communities, including businesses, health providers, schools, government, and the faith-based community.

Health promotion is the process of enabling individuals and communities to increase control over the determinants of health and thereby improve health. Health promotion not only embraces actions directed at strengthening the skills and capabilities of individuals, but also actions directed towards changing the social, environmental, and economic conditions so as to alleviate impact on the health of individuals and populations. Disease prevention refers not only to preventing the occurrence of disease (e.g. reducing risk factors), but also to slowing progression and reducing the consequences of disease. Primary prevention is directed at preventing the initial occurrence of a disorder; secondary and tertiary preventions seek to arrest or manage existing disease and its effects through early detection, appropriate treatment, or rehabilitation.

The Healthy People 2020 Objectives and The Guide to Community Preventive Services inform the Foundation’s strategic approach in this priority grantmaking area. Each of these initiatives advocates for:

  • promoting quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across the life span;
  • achieving health equity and the elimination of health disparities;
  • creating social and physical environments that promote good health; and
  • attaining a high quality, longer life free of preventable disease, disability, and premature death

The goals of this grantmaking priority area are as follows:

  • Promote healthy communities and neighborhoods
  • Reduce behavioral and environmental risk factors among vulnerable populations
  • Incorporate health in all local policies, regulations, and decisions
  • Advance health literacy and consumer health education
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health, disease and disability and the opportunities for improvement
  • Engage multiple sectors of the community in actions to promote health and prevent disease


Strengthening and Sustaining Health Nonprofit Organizations, Programs, and Workforce

Healthcare Georgia Foundation is committed to building effective nonprofit health organizations that have the capacity to develop, deliver, and sustain high-impact health programs, services, and supports. The Foundation firmly believes that high-performing organizations delivering effective programs will achieve better health outcomes for clients, consumers, and patients.

Health nonprofit organizations address underserved/vulnerable populations with the aim of reducing disparities and achieving greater health equity. The Foundation’s disciplined approach to strengthening health nonprofits, their programs/services, and their workforce is our philanthropic response to building accountable, transparent, and effective health nonprofit organizations throughout Georgia. Strengthening and sustaining health nonprofits is one of four grantmaking paths the Foundation follows to improve the health of all Georgians and expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities.

Within this priority area, grantmaking addresses the critical organizational factors that affect access, cost, and quality of health and health care services. The Foundation recognizes that these structural/operational elements of nonprofit organizations weigh heavily on outcomes, yet they are rarely the intended focus of philanthropic support. The organizational lifecycle model provides the Foundation with an understanding of each organization’s developmental needs, assets, and types of support required.

The Foundation’s strategic approach in this priority area will include opportunities for health nonprofits to benefit from direct funding as well as direct technical support programs and services available regardless of funding status. Participation by an organization in the Foundation’s capacity building services may be determined through a competitive application process.

The goals of this grantmaking priority area are as follows:

  • Enhance health nonprofit organizational effectiveness
  • Strengthen and sustain high-impact health programs, services, and supports
  • Build Georgia’s health workforce capacity

For questions about the Foundation’s funding priority areas contact:
Lisa Medellin, Director of Programs: 
Andrea Young Kellum, Program Officer:  
phone: 404.653.0990

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