HomeTown Health Concludes Fourth Hospital Policy Maker Tour of 2014

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HomeTown Health completed its fourth policy maker tour of 2014 on September 16th and 17th. Combined the trips this year have escorted key policy maker personnel to 30 hospitals throughout Georgia as they met with hospital leaders and executives to discuss problems, solutions and financial circumstances of success at various facilities.

Participating in the 4th visit, were policy maker participants Rick Dunn of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and Lynette Rhodes, DCH lawyer and Deputy Director for Medicaid. Together, alongside Jimmy Lewis, HomeTown Health CEO and Kathy Whitmire HomeTown Health Managing Director, they visited Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth, GA, Upson Regional Hospital in Thomaston, GA, Irwin County Hospital in Ocilla, GA and the Office of Rural Health in Cordele, GA. On the second day of the tour, the policy makers and HomeTown Health team visited Dorminy Medical Center in Fitzgerald, GA, Dodge County Hospital in Eastman, GA, and St. Mary’s Good Samaritan in Lake Oconee, GA.

Since the first policy maker trip in June 2014, the HomeTown Health team has traveled almost 2000 miles covering North, Southeast, South Central and South Georgia visiting 30 different rural facilities and bringing 23 different policy makers along for the ride. Each policy maker represented a different agency or department which works in some relation to Georgia healthcare and rural health facilities. “This policy maker tour is vital,” states Jimmy Lewis, “in getting those who are agents of change within their organizations into the real, live circumstances of rural hospitals and facilities in Georgia. It is an up close and personal look into the world of rural healthcare, and it can not be replicated outside of these policy maker tours.”

HomeTown Health has been hosting the summer Policy Maker Tours since 2006, hosting more than 60 policy maker participants. “The purpose as always is to get the message about the dilemma of rural hospitals survival out to key policymakers who at some point may be able to help in a policy decision that can strengthen the position of rural hospitals.” says Lewis.

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Kathy Whitmire
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