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Georgia Health Leader Honored at National Conference

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Bethesda, MD – The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has honored Dr. Michael Brooks, MBA, President and CEO of The Family Health Centers of Georgia, Inc. (FHCGA) in Atlanta, GA, with the Health Innovation Award. The award honors health center leaders who exemplify excellence in health care innovation. It was presented at the 45th annual NACHC Community Health Institute & EXPO (CHI) in San Diego, CA, a national conference attended by nearly 2,000 community health leaders from across the country.

In his role as President & CEO, Dr. Brooks led The Family Health Centers of Georgia in becoming the first community health center in Georgia, and the second in the Southeast, to earn the Joint Commission accreditation as a Primary Care Medical Home. In 2013, FHCGA earned Joint Commission Level 3 NCQA certification. Under Brooks’ leadership, the organization established the first school-based health center for Fulton County Schools. Most recently, FHCGA became the first community health center in the 30-year history of Title X to receive federal funding ($23.4 million) to administer statewide family planning services. The Family Health Centers of Georgia provides health care services to more than 22,000 patients annually and generates more than 50,000 patient visits.

Dr. Brooks received his medical degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, and completed his internal medicine internship and residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Brooks also earned a Masters of Business Administration from Emory University, in Atlanta, GA.

In presenting the award, NACHC Board Chair Gary Wiltz, MD, noted Dr. Brooks’ many accomplishments in expanding care to the medically underserved while overseeing the health center’s growth, financial sustainability and impressive array of services. “Dr. Brooks continues to lead the organization in increasing access to affordable healthcare and in achieving positive health outcomes,” said Dr. Wiltz.

America’s health centers are local, non-profit, community-directed and federally supported organizations that provide quality health care to over 22 million people in more than 9,000 locations. One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, health centers have been in existence for nearly 50 years and have compiled a significant record of success by reducing income and ethnic health disparities nationwide, even in the poorest and most challenged communities. Health centers also generate $24 billion in annual health system savings by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the ER.

To find out more about the mission and accomplishments of health centers please visit www.nachc.org. You can also follow the NACHC CHI on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nachc. Look for the conference #NACHCchi14 hashtag.

Commitment to Quality Healthcare Access Prompts GE to Expand National Initiative in Atlanta

Monday, June 9th, 2014

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE}–In Georgia, home of the GE Energy business and 5,400 GE employees, nearly one in four individuals of working age are without health insurance, making access to quality healthcare an urgent issue in the state. To help improve healthcare access to underserved communities the GE Foundation- the philanthropic organization of GE- has selected two non-profit community health centers in metro Atlanta to receive a total of $1 million in grants through the GE Developing HealthTM program.
“Building on the success of the Developing Health program over the past year, we are thrilled that the GE Foundation is doubling the funding to help provide access to quality healthcare nationwide.”

The two centers, West End Medical Centers, Inc. and Southside Medical Center, Inc., will each receive $500,000 in grants over two years as well as the support of a GE employee volunteer partnership, which will provide skill-based volunteer support to the centers.

“Atlanta is ranked fifth in the nation for its number of uninsured residents – this alone is certainly cause for concern,” explained John Rice, vice chairman, GE. “Taking into account that about 1.67 million Atlantans are without health insurance, the importance of community health centers such as West End and Southside Medical are critical to many Atlanta residents. These facilities provide essential services and we are proud to partner with them to meet the growing demand and touch so many in the community.”

Developing Health Nationwide: GE Doubles Commitment to Expand Access to Primary Care

Recognizing the positive impact these grants have on local medical centers and patients, the GE Foundation also announced today that it will double its investment in the Developing Health program from $25 million to $50 million. This increase will expand the program to enable access to primary care for underserved Americans across the nation.

“GE is acutely aware of the healthcare needs in underserved communities in Atlanta and across the U.S. as a whole,” said Rice. “Building on the success of the Developing Health program over the past year, we are thrilled that the GE Foundation is doubling the funding to help provide access to quality healthcare nationwide.”

Developing Health is a 3-year program that aims to improve access to primary care in targeted underserved communities across the United States. The program is modeled after GE’s successful philanthropic program Developing Health Globally™ and is a partnership between GE’s Corporate Citizenship and Diversity Council organizations.

“The response to Developing Health this past year has been overwhelming,” said Bob Corcoran, president and chairman of the GE Foundation. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to double the program, enabling us to engage even more employees and reach more of the population in critical need of quality access to healthcare in the United States.”

Including Atlanta, Developing Health has partnered with 37 non-profit community health centers in eight cities, including:
• New York City- In October 2009, awarded $1 million in grants to four health centers
• Milwaukee -In March 2010, awarded $1 million in grants to four local health centers, enabling the centers to expand basic, preventative care to thousands
• Houston -In April 2010, awarded $1.25 million in grants across five partner community health centers, the second largest grant to date under the program
• Louisville – In August 2010, awarded $1 million to five health centers
• Cincinnati- In June 2010, awarded $750,000 in grants across three partner community health centers
• New Orleans – In August, awarded $2 million to Louisiana Public Health Institute to expand access to preventive, primary care, and primary mental health services for adolescents in the area
• Baltimore – In September 2010, awarded $500,000 to two health centers

“Our goal of bringing better health and improved care to more people- GE’s healthymagination strategy- has been brought to life through the Developing Health program and the volunteers supporting it,” said Mike Barber, vice president GE healthymagination. “By partnering with these clinics to improve access to healthcare and individual health, we are working directly with the clinics and community towards healthier, more vital local communities.”

GE Volunteers Partner with Community Clinics to Share Best Practices
GE volunteer teams are a critical component of the Developing Health program. Through the program, GE employees work with the health centers to address specific needs, ranging from marketing communications to process improvements, and offer their business skills and experience to drive improvements that benefit patients and workflows.

Developing Health enables health centers to work directly with GE’s Affinity Networks and employee groups, which include: the Asian Pacific American Forum, Women’s Network, Hispanic Forum, African American Forum, Veteran’s Network and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance.

The Affinity Networks and employee groups partner with non-profit health centers and offer volunteer support and business best practice sharing in order to help the clinics with their mission to reach underserved populations and enable access to primary care.

“Through our work with the GE Affinity Networks, we have seen first-hand that access to quality healthcare is an issue that affects all cultures and backgrounds,” said Deborah Elam, vice president and chief diversity officer, GE. “We are proud to use our collaborative resources to champion the Developing Health program to provide access to primary healthcare and other vital personal development opportunities to the underserved populations in Atlanta and across the United States.”

For more information on the Developing Health program in North America visit: http://www.ge.com/foundation/developing_health.jsp.

For more information on the Developing Health Globally™ program, visit: http://www.ge.com/citizenship/programs-activities/philanthropy/developin …

About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2009, the entire GE family- including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation- contributed more than an estimated $220 million to community and educational programs, including more than $100 million from GE Foundation. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ge.com. Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Healthymagination is a $6 billion commitment that was launched in May 2009.

The GE Atlanta Veterans Network and West End Medical Centers, Inc. Host First Annual Event to Support Local Veterans

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

ATLANTA – Sept. 21, 2013 – The GE Veterans Network and West End Medical Centers Inc. (WEMC) today kicked off a celebration in support of local veterans to provide valuable healthcare, housing and employment opportunities.

The veterans’ event will take place Saturday, Sept. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m. at the Family Health Center in Bolton Village located at 2011 Bolton Road in Atlanta. There will be free health screenings, food, music and fun for the entire family. All veterans are encouraged to represent their respective branches of the military. City and county officials are scheduled to speak, including Atlanta City Council members Felicia Moore, District 9 and C.T. Martin, District 10. West End Medical Centers will announce its new partnership with Veterans Evaluation Services (VES). This will be the first time that VES will be working with an organization in Georgia.

More than 2,000 Veterans reside on the streets of Atlanta according to Veterans Empowerment Organization. The partnership established with WEMC and VES supports the needs-of the local veteran population that requires resources or additional assistance to succeed despite facing adversity. With an estimated 2,000 additional veterans returning to Georgia from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next several years, the number of veterans in urgent need of housing and other support to keep them off the streets will substantially increase.

“At GE, we value the leadership, loyalty, integrity, and commitment to excellence instilled through military service. We are demonstrating our commitment to veterans by partnering with West End Medical Centers to reach out to veterans in the greater Atlanta community. The GE Atlanta Veterans Network is proud to sponsor this event and connect local GE businesses with WEMC, an initiative of GE Developing Health™,” stated Denise Cullen, vice president of GE Capital.

GE chose WEMC as one of its “Healthymagination” partners, solidifying its commitment to aid uninsured populations receive access to health care with a financial contribution of $850,000. Equally important, GE employees are dedicated to working in the community to provide hands-on support and outreach to medically underserved populations.

Additional event partners include Goodwill of North Georgia Veteran Success Program, Walmart Hire Veterans Program, VA Benefit Resources and the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. “We could not think of a better way to celebrate our veterans than to provide free health screenings and affordable access to quality healthcare for them and their family,” stated Dr. Theresa Jacobs, vice president and chief health officer for West End Medical Centers.

For more information about WEMC, visit www.wemc.org.

West End Medical Centers Inc.
Providing comprehensive preventive health care since 1976, WEMC is a non-profit, 501(c)3, federally qualified community health center. Services include adult medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, OB/GYN, and dental. WEMC operates nine locations in Fulton and Cobb counties, including The Family Health Center at Bolton Village. In 2012, WEMC provided health care services to 22, 477 patients. For more information about WEMC, visit www.wemc.org

GE Veterans Network
The GE Veterans Network (GEVN) is a new addition to GE’s group of affinity networks and employee groups that supports, develops and promotes the unique characteristics of military veterans throughout GE’s businesses and local communities and also focuses on fostering a culture inside the company that recruits, transitions, develops and retains veterans as an essential leadership pipeline at GE. GE currently recruits military veterans through its Junior Officer leadership Program (JOLP), as well as through hiring programs that target those finished with their active duty commitments. The vision of the GE Veterans Network is to make GE the employer of choice for veterans, reservists, and guardsmen while creating aGE community of veterans and veteran leaders to support and encourage the career development and growth of all its members while also serving the veteran community nationwide through national and local community service events. For more information about GE Veterans Network, visit http://www.ge.com/careers/culture/diversity/veterans-network.

Veterans Evaluation Services
Veterans Evaluation Services (VES) was started by veterans to honor and serve America’s veterans and active-duty claimants by providing quality and timely reports through fair and objective evaluations performed by trained professionals in a respectful and hospitable environment. VES is fully compliant with the Privacy Act of 1974 with Veterans Association (VA) inspected and approved facilities for secure records and information storage and processing. VES Team Members are required to undergo a thorough background investigation, obtain Federal NACI security clearance, and pass cyber awareness and military procedure training. All Veterans Evaluation Services physicians must pass rigorous credentialing verified through the NPDB and HIPDB and are trained on the VA claims process and veteran sensitivity before being released to perform compensation and pension examinations. For more information about VES, visit http://www.vesservices.com.

Toyota Donates Tundra Pickup to Haul Critical Medical Supplies for The Family Health Centers of Georgia

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Pickup trucks in Georgia usually haul firewood, red-clay dirt and the occasional football fan. However, a new Toyota Tundra pickup will deliver critical medical supplies bound for underserved residents in Fulton and Cobb Counties.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., and its local dealer, AutoNation Toyota Thornton Road, presented a 2014 Tundra pickup to The Family Health Centers of Georgia (FHCGA) today. The truck will transport time-sensitive pharmaceuticals and critical medical equipment and supplies. The donation is a part of a partnership that also included a $25,000 contribution to the Center’s youth wellness program.

The Family Health Centers of Georgia (formerly West End Medical Centers) provides affordable and accessible quality healthcare services to at-risk residents in Fulton and Cobb counties. AutoNation Toyota donated the 2014 Tundra SR5, with an estimated MSRP starting at $29,745, to FHCGA to help transport much-needed supplies to its facilities and patients among the seven centers it serves. The Tundra also will support the organization’s mobile medical and dental unit. Until now, FHGCA would utilize personal staff vehicles, which sometimes meant making multiple trips or slower delivery.

‘The work at Family Health Centers is critically important and invaluable to the patients served by its locations,” said J.L. Armstrong, national manager, External Affairs, Toyota Motor Sales. “Without FHCGA, many residents would be denied access to quality affordable healthcare. We are proud to partner with FHCGA and support their efforts to help improve the lives of the people who live in the communities we serve.”

“We are pleased to take part in making our community and its residents healthier and stronger,” said Mike Williams, general manager of AutoNation Toyota Thornton Road. “With this new Toyota Tundra, FHCGA can more efficiently deliver services and supplies to support its many center locations.”

FHCGA serves approximately 250 patients a day and more than 22,000 people annually. Established 37 years ago, it is the first community health center in Georgia and the second in the Southeast to be accredited by The Joint Commission as a Primary Care Medical Home. The community health center provides comprehensive healthcare services, including adult medicine, pediatrics, 08/GYN, dental and behavioral health. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) designated FHCGA as a surge site, certified to handle the walking-wounded in the event of a man-made or natural disaster.

Toyota recently supported FHCGA and its youth wellness program to help address youth weight reduction. The automaker contributed $25,000 for FHCGA to recruit new patients for the program, coordinate exercise programs, and provide educational classes and nutritional counseling. A total of 137 enrollees were involved in the program. “Toyota has once again demonstrated their concern for the health and well-being of the residents in metro Atlanta,” said Dr. Michael Brooks, president and chief executive officer of The Family Health Centers of Georgia. “Their generous donations will help us to improve health outcomes in under-served communities.”