Many states exhibit disparities in rural health vs. healthcare and Georgia is no exception. Georgia has
108/159 counties (68%) defined as “rural.” Most would agree that health should not be determined by
one’s residence or zip code, yet many healthcare challenges are unique to rural settings such as:
community infrastructure, poverty, education, and transportation.
Geographically, Georgia has many “Medical Deserts” where access is severely compromised. There are 54 rural hospitals in GA and many are financially vulnerable. GA’s rural health communities may be losing the capacity to deliver the right care at the right time at the right place.
Conversely, due to these rural healthcare challenges, Georgia has also become an incubator for new policies, programs and collaborative partnerships designed to help decrease healthcare disparities.
Chris Denson, MPH, Director of Advisory Services, HomeTown Health