From Special Reports

Piedmont Healthcare’s community benefit grant program, which aims to improve the health and well-being of the community through direct service grants, is now accepting grants through 5 p.m. on Oct. 12. In Fiscal Year 2018 (ending June 30, 2018), Piedmont provided an estimated $141 million in charity care.

The grant program, which extends financial support to organizations providing specific health-related services and programs for at-risk and underserved populations, focuses on community health education and wellness, access to primary and specialty care, community-based health support services and social determinants of health.

According to Piedmont Healthcare’s website, three local agencies are 2018 Grant Recipients to date – Coweta County Extension 4H, Coweta Samaritan Clinic and Meals on Wheels of Coweta.

“Our goal is to make a positive difference in every life we touch and our community benefit grant program allows us to touch even more lives,” said Thomas Worthy, vice president of government and external affairs at Piedmont Healthcare. “The program has helped us to make significant strides toward improving the health of our communities, including the most vulnerable populations. With the addition of Piedmont Rockdale, Piedmont Walton and Piedmont Columbus in the past fiscal year, these programs will enable our system to have even more of a state-wide reach.”

The grant program supports implementation strategies crafted to address prioritized needs identified in Piedmont’s 2016 community health needs assessment findings. This year, Piedmont, which is the largest healthcare system in Georgia, treating 2 million patients annually, will fund up to $25,000 per organization for programs that eliminate barriers to affordable, appropriate care. According to U.S. Census Bureau data released earlier this month, the uninsured rate in Georgia is 13.4 percent, the fourth-highest in the United States.

Priority areas are:

· Increase access to appropriate and affordable care for low- and no-income patients
· Reduce preventable readmissions and emergency department re-encounters
· Increase access to and awareness of cancer-related programming
· Reduce obesity rates and obesity-related diseases, such as Type II diabetes
· Reduce preventable instances of heart disease, hypertension and stroke
· Support maternal and child health
· Support senior health

Piedmont’s community benefit grant program supported 30 organizations in calendar year 2018. Among the programs funded were:

· Three that work to curb instances of preventable readmissions and emergency department encounters
· Eleven that increase access to care
· Twelve that aim to prevent heart disease, hypertensions, stroke and/or obesity

Grants are limited to not-for-profit, community-based organizations. Grant recipients will be notified in November.

For more information about Piedmont’s community benefit grant program, visit https://www.piedmont.org/about-piedmont-healthcare/community-benefit/grants.