Hospital Services Program

The Georgia State Office of Rural Health’s Hospital Services Program provides resources and technical assistance to support small rural, critical access, and rural emergency hospitals in improving healthcare access, quality, and cost-effectiveness for all Georgians.

Blue and white hospital sign on dirt road

The initiatives include:


Director, Rural Hospital Services Dawn Waldrip

Visit: (details)

502 S 7th Street
Cordele, GA 31015-1443
United States

The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Grant Program – The Flex program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to enable state Flex programs to support critical access hospitals to improve performance, operations, financial viability, address quality improvement issues, improve population health, improve networks, and implement innovative models of care, all to enhance and ensure health care access.

Hospital Services develops, implements programming, and measures impact and improvement within four Flex program areas:

  1. CAH Quality Improvement (required)
    • Including the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP)
  2. CAH Operational and Financial Improvement (required)
  3. CAH Population Health Improvement (optional)
  4. CAH Designation

Currently, the Flex Program supports 30 critical access hospitals in Georgia.

Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) Grant – The SHIP Program is also a cooperative agreement funded by the HRSA FORHP. SHIP provides support to Georgia’s 55 eligible small rural and critical access hospitals in meeting value-based payment and care goals for their respective organizations, through purchases of hardware, software, and training. SHIP also enables small rural hospitals to:

  • Become or join accountable care organizations (ACOs);
  • Participate in shared savings programs; and
  • Purchase health information technology (hardware and software), equipment, and/or training to comply with quality improvement activities, such as advancing patient care information, promoting interoperability, and payment bundling.

SHIP funds assist eligible small rural hospitals that are essential access points for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Eligible small rural hospitals are non-federal, short-term general acute care facilities located in a rural area that staff 49 beds or less.

Other Rural Grant OpportunitiesThe Hospital Services Program develops and provides oversight to other innovative state funded and legislatively directed grants as needs are identified and funding becomes available. These projects share the common goal of providing access or improving health care in Georgia’s underserved rural areas.

Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program (RHTC) – Hospital Services Director provides technical assistance to hospitals in completing their Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program Donation and Expenditure Reports and prepares the annual Donation and Expenditure Summary Report for the Commissioner’s office.

The SORH Short Rows Newsletter - The Hospital Services Program staff serves as editor of the SORH newsletter, The SORH Short Rows. The quarterly publication features the latest activities from each SORH program section, a “Sight for SORH Eyes” feature highlighting SORH staff site visits or collaborations, and a “You Might Be Rural If…” section featuring a rural photo of a subject one would only find in a rural area.

Flex MBQIP 2025 Core Measure Set:

CAH Community of Practice:

Flex Health Equity Improvement Project:

Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program:

SORH Short Rows Newsletters: