The NGHP Celebrates Twenty-Five Years and Counting

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Anniversaries are special times. For the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership (NGHP), 2017 marks a very exciting one: our twenty-fifth.

We are looking forward to celebrating our past, our present, and our much-anticipated future over the coming year. One way in which this milestone – 25 years – will be celebrated is through a “new look” – a modernized logo and tag line which better reflect our current mission and vision. Soon, you’ll be seeing an updated logo along with the tagline: “A Regional Center of Health Solutions.”

We’re very proud to say that the Partnership is broadening its footprint to a true Northwest Georgia’ to advance in 2017, not only with new partnerships and programming, but also with an updated look. We’ve grown from a small localized organization in Dalton to a regionally-recognized center of health solutions throughout Northwest Georgia, and our new look will reflect that change.

A quarter century of change and growth began when local leaders created the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership in 1992 with a community-oriented collaborative focus. From its inception, the leadership vowed that the organization would not be driven by just one or two local entities, but would be united in its goals of improving the overall health status of the community while controlling costs; improving accessibility to healthcare; promoting high quality healthcare; and empowering local citizens to shape health care in our community.

Over the past 25 years, our scope has grown immensely. Just a few of our sustainable solutions that are fully supported by the community are the development of the Boys & Girls Club, the initiation of a local school nurse program, the creation of MedBank, and the opening of the Partnership Health Clinic at Georgia Mountains Health.

Other signature programs include the work of our Promotoras, bi-lingual community health workers who serve as case management workers and who offer health and wellness classes, cancer support groups, mammography funding, and prenatal care services. Our child health advocate also serves the underserved and uninsured among us, helping qualifying families in our area enroll their children in PeachCare for Kids or Medicaid.

In 2016-2017, the Partnership has added the following expansions to our programming: Affordable Care Act Navigation; Downtown Dalton Farmers Market; Developmental Disability/Autism Support; AmeriCorps VISTA Program; and Readers to Leaders.

Countless resources and grant funding from outside of the community have been made available to the NGHP, largely due to the efforts and shared vision among our 30-member core group – a fully-committed board of directors and a dedicated staff.

In which direction will we go in the future? With healthcare issues weighing heavily on everyone’s minds these days, it can become a challenge to know just where we, as NGHP staff and board members, should focus our efforts for the next 25 years. We strive to be adaptable. But one principle that we’ve relied on heavily in recent years is that four primary concerns seem to remain continually on our radar screen. Those concerns include healthy lifestyles, access to healthcare, chronic disease management and prevention, and senior living.  We fully expect to continue to concentrate our efforts on these concerns in the decades to come.

A healthier community is a win for everyone. The Partnership recognizes the benefits of providing long-term, sustainable solutions that meet the needs of all area residents.  Looking ahead to serving the community for the next 25 years will be of the utmost importance to the Partnership.

Ali Harp, Director of Health Initiatives

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