SOWEGA-AHEC receives grants

ALBANY, Ga. -- There were 13 organizations that recently received funding through the latest round of grants from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, one of them being the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center (SOWEGA-AHEC).

In all, the foundation gave $294,450 during its second quarter grant awards cycle to non-profit health organizations and programs throughout Georgia. The award listing, sent out last week, shows that SOWEGA-AHEC received a $12,000 grant in addition to a $4,300 grant.

The description available for the $12,000 award says that it is to be used to support participation in HealthTecDL -- the statewide distance learning program for health non-profits -- by producing three distance learning programs designed to strengthen Georgia's health care work force and sustain its internal distance learning capabilities. For the $4,300 grant, the listing notes that it is to be used for "support for a Foundation commissioned event for the Southwest region of Georgia."

Attempts to get further comment from SOWEGA-AHEC officials on Friday were unsuccessful.

SOWEGA-AHEC works to improve access to health care for underserved residents and provide training and continuing education opportunities to health professionals in a 38-county region. Among those efforts includes the Pathway to Med School program, which allows prospective medical school students from the area to shadow physicians and conduct research projects over a four-week period to help increase their chances of getting into medical school.

Among the other recent grants from the foundation included $60,000 for the establishment of an annual lectureship at the Georgia State University School of Public Health, with a focus on health equity and health disparities.

"Healthcare Georgia Foundation has awarded more than $8.2 million to nonprofit health organizations as part of our commitment to addressing health disparities. This grant award however, is special in that the lectureship series has been created to honor the careers of Marshall Kreuter, PhD and Martha Katz, MPA -- each of whom are recognized for their national, state, and local contributions to better health and health care for underserved individuals and communities," said Foundation President Gary D. Nelson in a news release. "At the intersection of issues of social justice, effective health policy, and evidence-based programs that improve the health of Georgians, one will find the inspirational leadership of Kreuter and Katz."

"The health of Georgians is influenced not only by each individual's knowledge of health risks, by access to and quality of health care they receive, and by their own personal health behavior, but also by where they live, the jobs they hold and the income they receive. Achieving the highest level of health for all Georgians through the elimination of health inequities should be the priority of all stakeholders in Georgia, and it is our intention that this lecture series will help further that goal."