The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals (GACCH) President and CEO, Mr. Monty Veazey, recently encouraged citizens to consider the Georgia HEART program to support rural hospitals in their hour of need.
The GACH is dedicated to furthering the ability of community hospitals to fulfill their primary mission of serving their communities. To this end, the Alliance is a resource to members and a leader in advocating for sound health care policies and regulations. Coffee Regional Medical Center is a member of GACH.
The Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) hospital tax credit program benefits hospitals by allowing taxpayers to direct their state income tax obligations to the approved rural hospital of their choice. The loss of rural hospitals decreases access to healthcare, delays treatment during emergencies and cripples economic development.
“Rural hospitals are major economic engines for their communities and they’re experiencing devastating decreases of revenue due to COVID-19” said Veazey. “This pandemic has brought the needs of rural hospital into immediate focus, and we need members of the community to rally behind our hospitals.”
He further stated, “Local communities depend on community hospitals, and healthcare providers have stepped up to meet higher demand for high-quality care. Ensuring patients have access to high-quality care is our mission and our passion, and we’ll do everything in our power to keep those services available – and save lives. I encourage everyone who is able to reach out to your local hospitals to see what needs they may have.”
As they’ve transitioned to respond to COVID, rural hospitals across the state have burned through their reserves as a result of new costs and postponed elective surgeries. As hospitals work to slow the spread of coronavirus, thousands of hospital beds remain empty.
“At this moment, communities need their hospitals more than ever,” Monty added, “and hospitals need their communities more than ever.”
CRMC President and CEO Mrs. Vicki Lewis states, “I am grateful for GACH and Monty’s leadership and remarks about how challenging the COVID -19 pandemic has been on rural hospitals like CRMC and echo his encouragement of citizens to consider giving through Georgia HEART as a way to make a positive and immediate impact for our hospital.”
In terms of financial need, CRMC is ranked 14 out of the 56 hospitals approved to receive Georgia HEART funding.