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Rural Programs

The State Office of Rural Health (SORH) provides access to medical services in rural and underserved regions of Georgia to promote health and wellness in needy areas.


What Rural Health Programs Do

For those who need healthcare and cannot afford it, rural health programs provide access to a variety of resources and services. Using integrated care delivery systems, healthcare is provided through local medical professionals and facilities to bring a greater level of care to individuals and families throughout rural Georgia. As people living in rural areas of the state are less healthy than those living in cities, it is essential to reach out and use these resources.

It is also incredibly common for rural Georgians to lack health insurance or have limited coverage. More sparse and less served areas are more prone to obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems, and leave them untreated due to their lack of resources. SORH provides funding programs to help these small rural communities along with State & Federal funds to help create long-term solutions to rural health issues.


Primary Care Programs

The Primary Care Office (PCO) provides healthcare programs to people who do not have access to many medical facilities and doctors. By giving people in need the ability to use a variety services to stay healthy, manage medical conditions, they can help reduce the state’s health disparities one area at a time. Several programs are administered by the PCO, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and Community Health Centers throughout Georgia, rural health clinics, and other services for people who have difficulty getting care either because of finances or the limits that programs like Medicaid place on people who are not legal residents. Anyone in need of preventive care, immunizations, minor services for illness or injury, and even prescriptions and dental services can receive them through one of these centers – for free or a very low cost.


Hospital Programs

There are also many programs for people who are in need of healthcare on a greater level. Hospital programs for low-income and underserved regions and residents of Georgia are set up to help keep Medicaid members and others healthy and cared for. Programs such as the Indigent Care Trust Fund (ICTF) give a greater number of services to Medicaid beneficiaries, sustain providers in rural clinics and other facilities – mainly hospitals serving the medically indigent, and also fund primary care programs for medically indigent. The ICTF funds various programs such as the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program, skilled nursing facility provider costs, and several others. Funding from ICTF is very important, as it makes it possible for Georgians without insurance or Medicaid to receive both primary and hospital care.

Hospital Services gives resources and assistance to hospitals in rural areas of Georgia, and funds many programs to help improve the quality of care and life in such regions. One of their most notable programs, the Critical Access Hospital Program (CAH), offers healthcare services to those without insurance, as well as members of Medicaid, Medicare, and the State Health Benefit Plan. Overall, it allows rural Georgians to receive necessary hospital care that they would not normally be able to access.


Georgia Department of Community Health

Charles F. Owens
Executive Director
Telephone: (229) 401-3093
email: cowens@dch.ga.gov
Tony L. Brown
Deputy Director
Telephone:  (229) 401-3086
email: tbrown@dch.ga.gov