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Augusta health advocates reach out to underserved

Network to address barriers to care

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Health advocates gathered Thursday to embark on a yearlong series of projects they hope will improve access to better health care for those in need.

The Greater Augusta Healthcare Network, a loose coalition of providers, hospitals and public health advocates, launched four working groups to focus on different barriers to the underserved and uninsured getting care.

Augusta is in need in areas such as obesity, smoking and health insurance, said Dr. Lucy Marion, the dean of Georgia Health Sciences University’s College of Nursing and the secretary for the network.

“Forty-four thousand people don’t have health insurance in our one little county,” she said.

Another major problem in Augusta is a high rate of sexually transmitted diseases. Now, instead of just talking about such challenges, the group is “moving from data to action,” she said.

For instance, there was a need for a centralized collection of information on what help is available out there. United Way’s 2-1-1 service should fit that bill but health providers aren’t using it enough, coordinator Nancy Szocinski said.

“Providers don’t know how valuable 2-1-1 is to them,” she said.

One working group vowed to try to educate more about the service, with speakers and perhaps ads on buses, to get the word out. There is also a need for community groups to partner more, particularly on grant applications, said Kim Blanchard, the executive director of Coordinated Health Services Inc.

“We have got to be in this together,” she said. “Collaboration is key.”

The working groups, which are also looking at funding, health literacy and transportation barriers, will report back to the network every couple of months as a way of maintaining accountability, Marion said.

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soldout 01/20/12 - 12:23 pm
Those problems have a

Those problems have a spiritual root and much easier to fix from the inside out. Most are the result of poor sowing and now they are reaping. We are three parts; spirit, soul and body. Once we are saved we have the spirit of Christ living in us. Then we re-new our mind to the Word and then the spirit and the mind out-number the body 2 to 1 and we win our battles. Life is about math and relationships and we lose 2 to 1 or win 2 to 1. Get a perfect spirit, then re-new your mind and most of your problems will be gone. Get the math working for you instead of against you.

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