• About Georgia Health Decisions

  • History and Accomplishments

  • History and Accomplishments

    Georgia Health Decisions was founded in 1991 by a group of individuals concerned about the rising cost and lack of access to affordable health services. Members pledged to come together as unbiased individuals, leaving professional and institutional affiliations aside, to form Georgia Health Decisions as a non-profit, non-partisan organization designed strictly to reflect the voices of the people of Georgia regarding health related issues.

    Believing that Georgians’ values should be the basis for shaping our health care system, Georgia Health Decisions undertook a three-year project to identify and understand those values. This multi-faceted initiative, which was funded by contributions from more than 20 Georgia-based charitable foundations and corporations, included the establishment of 13 regional collaboratives to direct the statewide activities of the organization. In order to raise public awareness about the issues of access and high health care costs, GHD spearheaded a media campaign that engaged the leading print and broadcast media in Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Columbus, and Albany. The regional collaboratives conducted 259 public discussions that engaged 5,620 Georgians in conversations on health care values. These community forums utilized discussion tools that allowed small groups to talk about issues and find resolution.

    To ensure that the opinions of all Georgians were heard, Georgia Health Decisions conducted qualitative research using a psycho-graphic sampling technique to conduct more than 50 focus groups resulting in 3,500 pages of transcript that were then read and analyzed. Citizen panels were used to find the common ground amid the differing attitudes and opinions of Georgians. Results from the community forums and qualitative research were presented in a comprehensive report entitled Georgians Speak Out on Health Care.

    In 1994, Georgia Health Decisions helped to facilitate the creation of the Georgia Coalition for Health, a collaborative effort by business, government, health care providers, and the public (represented by GHD) to address health care issues in the state. Central to the work of the Georgia Coalition for Health was the formation of the Georgia Health Policy Center to provide credible, non-biased information to the deliberations of the Coalition. During the next three years Georgia Health Decisions supported the work of the coalition by utilizing its integrated approach of structured research and open public discussion. Georgians’ Views on Health Care Services provides insights into the health care services that Georgians thought should be covered in a standard insurance benefits package. Georgians’ Views on Medicaid reports their attitudes and opinions about who and what should be covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

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