Kaiser Permanente awards $600,000 in grants to 10 rural Georgia hospitals

In an effort to address declining access to care in rural Georgia, Kaiser Permanente has donated $60,000 to 10 rural hospitals in the state.

The number of rural hospitals closures has been on the rise across Georgia and around the nation. Since 2010, at least nine rural hospitals in the state have been shuttered. Of Georgia’s 159 counties, 120 are considered rural.

Many rural Georgians are faced with compounding health disparities, such as a lack of job-based medical insurance, long travel times to access medical services and increased rates of chronic conditions, according to Georgians for a Healthy Future.

“At Kaiser Permanente we believe access to proper health care should be available to all Georgians, no matter where you live in our state,” said Pam Shipley, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, in a press release. “These donations are a representation of our ongoing commitment to provide care to more Georgians. Access to quality health care leads to thriving communities.”

The 10 hospitals that receiving $60,000 each are: Candler County Hospital, Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Donalsonville Hospital, Elbert Memorial Hospital, Evans Memorial Hospital, Irwin County Hospital, Jasper Memorial Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Liberty Regional Medical Center Foundation and Wills Memorial Hospital Foundation. All of the hospitals are nonprofit organizations.

Kaiser says the donations will be used to increase primary-care access, limit preventable hospital re-admissions and lower improper emergency room usage.

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