• About Georgia Health Decisions

  • History and Accomplishments

  • History and Accomplishments

    When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation began their focus on end-of-life care in 1996, they awarded a grant to American Health Decisions to identify Americans’ attitudes, opinions and values about death and dying. Georgia Health Decisions undertook this project on behalf of American Health Decisions. The project encompassed 36 focus groups conducted across the country, resulting in the report entitled The Quest to Die with Dignity.

    Following this nationwide study, Georgia Health Decisions conducted further research in Georgia to support the development of a comprehensive program to educate and assist Georgians in planning for their end-of-life care. The organization raised more than $1.5 million to develop and test the CRITICAL ConditionsSM program in eight pilot communities. Seeking to understand how to improve the end-of-life experiences for Georgians, GHD conducted focus groups with family members of loved ones who had died in 11 hospitals. The resulting report, A Silent Anguish, presented unique insights into the difficulties faced by patients and families during the last months of life. Beginning in 2000, GHD began working with health systems to implement CRITICAL ConditionsSM across the state. Today, more than 100 health organizations and trust/estate professionals utilize the CRITICAL ConditionsSM materials with their patients and in their communities.

    Between 2002 and 2006, Georgia Health Decisions worked with the Georgia Health Policy Center on a major research initiative on health coverage for the uninsured in Georgia. Funded by a grant from the federal Health Services and Resources Administration to the State of Georgia, this project sought both to document the extent of the problem and to explore options for providing coverage. A key element was to understand the perspectives of consumers and small business owners. Again, GHD undertook qualitative research to be able to articulate the views of Georgians on this important challenge. Georgians’ Attitudes in Providing Health Coverage for the Uninsured provides insights into how Georgia consumers feel about access to health care for all Georgians. The View of Small Business Owners Regarding Coverage for the Uninsured delves into the attitudes of small business owners. In addition, forums held in 30 communities across the state provided an opportunity for more public discussion on the issue (Covering the Uninsured: A Community Perspective).

    In 2006, Georgia Health Decisions formalized its long-term relationship with the Georgia Health Policy Center. GHD is now housed within the Georgia Health Policy Center at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. GHD maintains its separate non-profit status and independent Board of Trustees. The two organizations continue in their common goal of providing credible information for making health policy decisions.

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