ALBANY, Ga. — In the most recent grant cycle for a Georgia foundation, two entities serving Southwest Georgia awarded funds as a means to better meet the health care needs of the region.
Healthcare Georgia Foundation announced earlier this week that $1.3 million in grant awards would go to 29 organizations and programs whose goals are to meet the health needs of Georgians.
The awards reflect the foundation’s goal of better aligning resources across its priority areas and streamlining its grant application process through cycle-based funding, officials with the foundation say. The inaugural grants, totaling $550,000, were awarded to 13 Georgia-based health nonprofits.
In addition to the 13 awards given out as part of the foundation’s new cycle-based grantmaking strategy were grants catered to the evaluation and bolstering of health services in Georgia’s public health system through the state’s underserved communities.
The two organizations in Southwest Georgia to receive grants were the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia and the Southwest Public Health District, both based in Albany.
The Cancer Coalition received a $50,000 grant for support to develop a strategic plan, to enhance information technology infrastructure and conduct professional development activities for staff.
“We are honored to be chosen as one of the recipients of the Healthcare Georgia grants this year,” said Denise Ballard, vice president of cancer prevention and control for the Cancer Coalition. “The funding will help us enhance our strategic planning efforts and provide staff continuing education to keep us abreast of the latest advances in each of our program areas. Both activities will help us more effectively deliver on our mission, which is to conduct cancer education, early detection and research across our 32-county region.”
The health district received a $17,000 grant for support to conduct an evaluation of the Dougherty County Health Department’s Centering Pregnancy program.
“Once we can do a more robust evaluation on various aspects or outcomes, we will be in a better position to go after larger grants,” said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, director for the health district. “We know Centering has had some very good outcomes. ... We’d like to look deeply into other aspects.”
Specifically, Grant said officials were hoping to eventually compile a database using a control group to compare results of expectant mothers in the program with those who are not, based on factors such as preterm birth rate.
A $150,000 grant from the March of Dimes has outrun its course, so officials with the health district are currently looking at other possible grants for which to apply.
“We are looking forward to receiving this funding,” Grant said. “The Healthcare Georgia Foundation didn’t have to give us this money. We are very appreciative for the money to do the evaluation.”
In addition, the foundation continued its support of the recently launched Evaluation Resource Center, a program that offers evaluation tools and services tailored to help nonprofits achieve better outcomes.
“Healthcare Georgia Foundation is strongly committed, both internally and externally, to achieving better outcomes,” said Gary D. Nelson, president of the foundation, in a news release. “Our new grantmaking approach, coupled with the launch of the ERC, will help ensure that we leverage our limited resources for maximum impact.”
Athens Nurses Clinic, Blue Ridge Area Health Education Center, Prevent Blindness Georgia, Georgia Center for Nonprofits and the Whitefoord Community Program were among the other organizations in the state to receive funding through the foundation’s most recent grant cycle.