Rural Health Care Providers Reach Two Million Georgians

November 13, 2015

State Celebrates National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 19

Atlanta – (November 13, 2015) – On Thursday, November 19, Georgia will join the nation to celebrate the fifth annual National Rural Health Day. This annual commemoration recognizes the contributions of physicians, health care providers and hospitals who provide critical health care to more than two million Georgians. The program is being sponsored by the National Organization of State Rural Health Offices.

“Thanks to the partnership between Georgia’s rural health care providers and the State Office of Rural Health, we are overcoming many of the critical challenges facing our rural health community today. Through thoughtful collaboration, we will continue to make progress towards stabilizing the current rural health care delivery system,” said DCH Commissioner Clyde L. Reese III, Esq.

With a budget of more than $15.6 million provided from federal and state funds, the Georgia Department of Community Health’s (DCH) State Office of Rural Health (SORH) spearheads Georgia’s efforts to provide financial assistance and technical support to Georgia’s 109 counties that have populations of less than 35,000. SORH provides leadership and capacity to collaboratively design and implement viable solutions in order to help stabilize and strengthen struggling rural health care systems across the state.

“We’d like to thank Governor Deal and our state legislature for their continued efforts to address rural health care needs. Access to care continues to be a major issue affecting our rural communities. Through the work of the Rural Hospital Stabilization program, we are forming positive solutions to help meet the needs of two million residents who choose to call rural Georgia home. We are excited to join our state’s leadership in recognizing the many contributions of our rural health care providers,” said Patricia Whaley, Executive Director of SORH.

This year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and iVantage ( have recognized 33 Georgia hospitals for reaching top quartile performance status in Quality, Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction and Financial Strength compared to all acute care hospitals in the nation.

Six rural hospitals have been recognized for Excellence in Quality:

•     Coffee Regional Medical Center

•     Gordon Hospital

•     Higgins General Hospital

•     Miller County Hospital

•     Mountain Lakes Medical Center

•     Pioneer Community Hospital of Early

20 rural hospitals have been recognized for Excellence in Outcomes:

•     Bleckley Memorial Hospital

•     Brooks County Hospital

•     Chestatee Regional Hospital

•     Cook Medical Center

•     Donalsonville Hospital

•     Elbert Memorial Hospital

•     Evans Memorial Hospital

•     Gordon Hospital

•     Irwin County Hospital

•     Jasper Memorial Hospital

•     Jefferson Hospital

•     Mountain Lakes Medical Center

•     Phoebe Worth Medical Center

•     Putnam General Hospital

•     SGMC Berrien Campus

•     Sylvan Grove Hospital

•     The Medical Center of Peach County

•     Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center

•     Warm Springs Medical Center

•     Wayne Memorial Hospital

Six rural hospitals have been recognized for Excellence in Patient Satisfaction:

•     Bacon County Hospital

•     Chatuge Regional Hospital

•     Clinch Memorial Hospital

•     Gordon Hospital

•     Meadows Regional Medical Center

•     Union General Hospital

Seven rural hospitals have been recognized for Excellence in Financial Strength:

•     Gordon Hospital

•     Grady General Hospital

•     Higgins General Hospital

•     Optim Medical Center – Tattnall

•     Southeast Georgia Health System – Camden

•     Union General Hospital

•     Upson Regional Medical Center

About SORH

Georgia’s State Office of Rural Health (SORH) works to improve access to health care in rural and underserved areas and to reduce health status disparities. SORH provides funding for institutional framework that links small rural communities with state and federal resources to help develop long-term solutions to rural health problems. SORH empowers communities to strengthen and maintain the best possible health care using existing resources; provides up-to-date health systems information and technical assistance and builds strong partnerships to meet local and regional needs. SORH is located in Cordele, GA.

About the Georgia Department of Community Health

Through effective planning, purchasing and oversight, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) provides access to affordable, quality health care to millions of Georgians, including some of the state’s uninsured and most vulnerable populations.

DCH is responsible for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids®, the State Health Benefit Plan, Healthcare Facility Regulation and Health Information Technology in Georgia.

Clyde L. Reese III, Esq., serves as Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health.

To learn more about DCH and its dedication to A Healthy Georgia, visit



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Contact Information: 
Jeremy Arieh -