Soon, the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership will be extending its outreach beyond Whitfield and Murray Counties, thanks to a generous grant from one of our funding partners.
With additional resources, the NGHP will begin offering services and programs in Gordon County and will expand existing services within Murray County, extending the work of its community health workers (CHWs) and providing additional health resources and health education opportunities to all those it serves.
We are truly excited about the chance to bring services offered by our community health workers, also known as Promotoras de Salud, to Gordon County. These community health workers serve as liaisons between many of the uninsured and underinsured in our communities and area health care providers.
For those who aren’t familiar with them, Promotoras are trusted bilingual individuals who are culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically representative of the Northwest Georgia communities they serve. Their “mission” is to serve as leaders within their communities to whom others can turn for advice and support, particularly when it comes to matters of health.
These individuals receive training on the specific health issues being addressed, and reach out to their community members through “on the ground” contacts with neighbors, friends, and their families, distributing educational materials and contact information to fellow community residents.
One of their primary emphases is breast cancer, as many women in the Northwest Georgia region delay breast screenings and mammograms because of language deficiencies, transportation issues, and/or lack of family support. Statistics have shown that women who are screened for and diagnosed at Stage I of the disease have a much higher success rate than those who present in later staging.
Our efforts in Whitfield and Murray Counties to shepherd women to health clinics, doctors’ offices, and diagnostic centers are really beginning to pay off, as more and more women in this targeted population are receiving the health care they need and deserve.
So we are very pleased that in the coming months, additional Promotoras de Salud will be hired to serve those in need in Gordon County and to expand the work of the CHWs in Murray County.
But that’s not the only good news on the horizon. While not yet ready for a “full court press,” we will soon be joining with some very impressive partners to administer a new research program in our region aimed at determining the impact that the use of technological devices may have on the management of diabetes.
Specifically, we will be the first “rural community” to aid in a nationwide study of the link between technology and the management of this disease, a study that looks at what impact the use of modern technology apps and tablets has in helping patients better manage their Type II diabetes.
All of this dovetails into the NGHP’s mission, which is to improve community health by identifying sustainable solutions to significant health issues through innovation, benchmarking, and application of best practices.
The Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership aims to improve the overall health status of the community while controlling costs; improve accessibility to health care; promote high-quality health care; and empower local citizens to shape health care in the local communities it serves.
In Good Health,