skip to Main Content



CONTACTRachael Dempsey
Phone: 404.653.0990

Healthcare Georgia Foundation Announces 2022 Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award to Six Georgia Recipients
Five individuals and one collaborative are recognized for their volunteer service to advance the health and healthcare of Georgians

Atlanta, GA – March 30, 2022 – The 2022 recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award were announced by Healthcare Georgia Foundation at Connections 2022: Health Equity: From Conversation to Action on March 28, 2022.  Five individual recipients and one community collaborative in Georgia were recognized during an awards ceremony at the Foundation’s ninth statewide convening of nonprofit grantees, partners, and community leaders.

“It is the Foundation’s honor and privilege to recognize and uplift these health heroes and the important work they accomplish within their communities,” said Gary D. Nelson, PhD, president, Healthcare Georgia Foundation. “Their dedication, passion, and selflessness in this work is a true inspiration, and we thank them for their tireless efforts.”

Individual Recipients:

Shirley E. “Bella” Borghi
Volunteer Organization: Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia
Alpharetta, GA
View Recipient Video

Shirley E. “Bella” Borghi serves as the Executive Director and Vice-Chairman of the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia. Shirley’s achievements at HHCGA have been numerous including, introducing and launching “The Ambassador Program” as a major strategic and pro-active effort that provided quality COVID-19 vaccine information, access to vaccination, and collecting accurate data relative to vaccine hesitancy and vaccine uptake. Her work in promoting the Promotores Coalition is critical to ensure effective deployment and networking, as well as culturally and linguistically appropriate education programs and materials, and has become an increasingly important factor in building trust and sustainability of action that leads to better health outcomes. It is Shirley’s untiring efforts to secure equitable access to healthcare on behalf of the Hispanic and underserved communities that speaks loudly and eloquently to her life’s purpose and passion.


Darcy Gunter
Volunteer Organization: Living Bridges Ministry
Valdosta, GA
View Recipient Video

Darcy Gunter serves as the Director of Adult and Children’s ministries at Living Bridges Ministry and is the epitome of the Living Bridges vision statement; to love God, to love people, and to share their faith through serving others. In 2014, Darcy and her husband began Living Bridges Ministry borrowing space from a local charter school and Park Avenue Methodist Church. They established programs ranging from food/grocery delivery service to a community garden. Living Bridges Ministry has cemented itself as a trusted community staple, located in Valdosta, GA, with a mission of empowering individuals while serving our community in faith by bridging the gap between poverty and prosperity through transformative education and connection to resources.


Felix Maher, D.M.D.
Volunteer Organization: Savannah Volunteer Dental Clinic
Savannah, GA
View Recipient Video

Dr. Felix Maher founded the Savannah Volunteer Dental Clinic in May 2008 as a free dental clinic after the Chatham County Health Department closed its children’s dental clinic the prior year. The historical mission of the Savannah Volunteer Dental Clinic (SVDC) has been to provide regular quality dental care to the most vulnerable populations, children of low-income working families, at no cost to the family. Focusing on free preventative and selected restorative services, SVDC provides children with a stable dental home, helping them to establish good oral hygiene health that will last a lifetime. All services are provided free of charge to the children’s family and without billing to any third parties.


Ruth McCaffrey
Volunteer Organization: Community Helping Place, Inc.
Dahlonega, GA
View Recipient Video

Ruth McCaffrey serves as a Nurse Practitioner at the Community Helping Place, Inc. free clinic, and has been described as one of the most selfless individuals you could ever know. She is a community volunteer, advocate for marginalized communities, and a creative, open-minded good Samaritan who thinks outside the box. She loves with actions, and not just words. She wants her clients to be healthy and whole, and she offers a wealth of resources and understanding to solve the root of problems in a positive, healing atmosphere. Ruth was instrumental with Community Helping Place starting their Mobile Medical Initiative in the rural North Georgia mountains.

Sharnell Myles, PSY.D.
Volunteer Organization: The Social Justice Café for Girls, Inc.
College Park, GA
View Recipient Video

Sharnell Myles founded The Social Justice Café for Girls, Inc. and has volunteered thousands of hours to Atlanta’s most vulnerable youth. The Social Justice Café for Girls (SJC4G) is a prevention program dedicated to serving girls in the areas of social justice, wellness, sex trafficking prevention, and girl empowerment. The program provides girls with a consistent safe space to address issues that impact their lives such as bullying, inequality, education, and relationships. Sharnell had been a pioneering servant leader in the Atlanta community for over two decades. In 2016, she was recognized by President Barack Obama for volunteer service. She has an untiring passion to serve underrepresented populations and address some of the most inequitable issues that afflict youth.


Collaborative Recipient:
Cook County Family Connection
Sparks, GA
View Recipient Video

Cook County Family Connections was formed in 1997 by a small group of 10 non-profit leaders interested in community collaboration. They recognized that a combined effort to improve the community would be better than individuals working separately. By 1999, they had secured funding to hire a collaborative director who could focus on engaging diverse sectors of the community in a collective effort to identify, understand, and address local needs. The collaborative work is based upon a community-driven participatory process where every diverse voice carries equal value in a shared decision-making process across 60 local, regional, and state-level partners.


About Joseph D. Greene 
A personal hero and mentor to many, Joseph D. Greene served on the board of several major organizations, including the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. A native Georgian, Mr. Greene was the first African American elected to public office in McDuffie County and the first to serve on a number of community and state boards in an era when racial tensions were high and integration was in its early stages. As a founding Healthcare Georgia Foundation board member, Mr. Greene helped steward the organization from its inception in 1999 through his retirement from the board in 2006. In 2008, Healthcare Georgia Foundation dedicated its community service award program in his honor, naming it the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award. 


About Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, charitable organization with a vision of health equity in Georgia where all people attain their fullest potential for health and well-being. Through strategic grantmaking, our mission is to enable, improve, and advance the health and well-being of all Georgians. For more information, visit


Back To Top