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Georgia Selected to Participate in National Governors Association Task Force on Community-Based Care Options

Thursday, July 15, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Georgia has been selected by the National Governors Association (NGA) to participate in Rebalancing Long-Term Care Systems Toward Quality Community Living and Healthy Aging, a new policy academy.  Other teams selected to participate include Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Vermont, and Virginia.  NGA experts will work with the state teams to build "best practices" and strategies to increase community-living options and decrease the need for institutional care.

"We are very pleased that Georgia will be working with specialists in this arena to improve the quality and broaden the choices of community-based care for the aging," said Governor Sonny Perdue.  "My desire is that all Georgians have access to innovative and affordable care so they may live healthier and safer lives in their homes and communities."

In August, the teams will begin the process of designing state-specific plans to create more balanced health care delivery systems.  The intent is to help states maximize consumer choice, improve access to home and community-based services and programs, and reduce long-term costs.  The teams will also examine strategies to enhance community infrastructure by developing and organizing community care system services, addressing mental health and substance abuse issues, and promoting healthy aging.

Trey Childress, Policy Director for Governor Perdue, will lead the Georgia team.  Other members include Maria Greene, Director, DHR Division of Aging Services; Gwen Skinner, Director, DHR Division of Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases; Carie Summers, CFO, Department of Community Health; Harold Sims, President, Georgia Association of Community Care Providers; Ronnie Rollins, President, Community Health Systems, Inc; State Senator Dan Moody; and State Representative Sharon Cooper.           

States will be encouraged to apply for a $48,000 grant to help defray the costs of implementing the plan in 2005.  The U.S. Administration on Aging, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are funding the academy. 

The NGA Center for Best Practices helps governors and their policy advisors develop and implement effective solutions to governance and policy challenges facing their states.