Albany, GA – July 13, 2017 – Healthcare Georgia Foundation has awarded Horizons Community Solutions (formerly the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia) a $70,500 grant to develop and implement a community health improvement plan in Early County.

Funded by Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Two Georgias Initiative, the grant will support the work of the new Early County Partnership for Health.  The Partnership is made up of more than 20 organizations, including Horizons as the lead organization, plus the county’s Board of Commissioners, Chamber of Commerce, Family Connection, School District, and UGA Extension Office, as well as Pioneer Community Hospital, Primary Care of Southwest Georgia, Southwest Georgia Public Health District and many other local businesses, community service and faith-based organizations. Albany State University will assist with program evaluation.

“We are so honored to have been chosen as part of this innovative program,” said Diane Fletcher, chief executive officer of Horizons. “We are fortunate to work with such strong partners and we are all committed to helping the people of Early County improve their health,” Fletcher added.

Gwen Houston, executive director of Early County Family Connection, will work closely with Horizons and other local organizations to develop and carry out a community health improvement plan.  “We’ll review the data, gather input from community residents, and develop a roadmap that will lead us all to good health and a better quality of life,” said Houston.

The Two Georgias Initiative is the Foundation’s multi-year, place-based grantmaking program designed to expand access to quality healthcare and achieve greater health equity among rural Georgians.  Horizons/Early County Partnership for Health is one of only 11 rural partnerships statewide that the Foundation has chosen to fund this year. Each partnership will develop a community health improvement plan during the next 12 months, and if successful, will receive increased funding to implement their plan in 2018.

“No one should be denied access to quality healthcare because of their zip code or place of residence,” said Foundation President Gary D. Nelson, PhD. “We believe this Initiative provides our rural residents the opportunity to benefit from the leadership of these 11 rural collaboratives as they craft innovative solutions to eliminate health disparities and promote economic development in their communities,” Nelson added.

The Foundation hopes its significant financial investment will accelerate the impact of the collaboratives’ collective efforts. Each of the Community Health Partnerships stands to benefit from more than half a million dollars in funding and technical resources through the Initiative to support their work over the next several years, Nelson added.

Fletcher said it will take all segments of the community to make lasting progress, and new partners are welcomed.  “Positive and lasting change happens everywhere that we live, work, worship, and play.  So, we invite all community stakeholders to join us in making Early County one of the healthiest communities in the state,” Fletcher said.

In addition to Horizons Community Solutions/Early County Partnership, the Foundation has funded the following organizations:

  • Appling County Health Department (Appling County)
  • Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition (Chattooga County)
  • Community Helping Place (Lumpkin County)
  • Cook County Family Connection (Cook County)
  • Elbert Memorial Hospital Foundation (Elbert County)
  • Memorial Hospital and Manor Foundation (Decatur County)
  • North Central Health District (Hancock County)
  • Tanner Medical Center (Haralson County)
  • Spring Creek Health Cooperative (Miller County)
  • Southwest Georgia United (Clay County)

Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, private independent foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. Through its strategic grantmaking, Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports organizations that drive positive change, promotes programs that improve health and healthcare among underserved individuals and communities, and connects people, partners and resources across Georgia.

Horizons Community Solutions is a regional, non-profit organization headquartered in Albany, Georgia and serving more than 32 counties across South Georgia and beyond.  Its mission is to create a culture of wellness that achieves optimal health for everyone. For more information visit or call (229) 352-9100.