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Kaiser Permanente donation aids underserved in Rockdale

Kaiser Permanente donation aids Rockdale poor

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia donated $150,000 to United Way of Greater Atlanta to support the Healthy Communities initiative, which helps underserved people in Rockdale County gain better access to primary health care. Other counties benefiting from Kaiser Permanente's support include Butts, Cherokee, Coweta, Douglas and Fayette counties.

The donation enabled United Way to give Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families, located in Conyers, a $25,000 grant to help coordinate the medical and dental needs of about 100 uninsured and underserved individuals in Rockdale County. The coalition also works with clinics, including Mercy Heart and Oakhurst Medical Center, to provide health care services at little to no cost.

Since 2011, the annual grant has provided the Rockdale Coalition with a total of $87,000.

Healthy Communities is part of a larger partnership between United Way and Kaiser Permanente to identify areas where access to care is a major concern and work with local community partners and advocates to create solutions. This is the fourth year of the partnership.

"With our Healthy Communities initiative, we are working hand in hand with counties to remove roadblocks to quality care for the uninsured and underinsured," says Milton J. Little Jr., president and CEO of United Way, in a press release. "Our goals within the health care space are aligned with Kaiser Permanente's mission for community benefit -- supporting long-term, sustainable health improvement for those with limited incomes and resources,"

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia's Director of Community Benefit Madelyn Adams said, in the release, "We strive to improve the health of all people in the communities we serve, including our members as well as the uninsured and underinsured who live and work in those communities."

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than three-quarters of the uninsured are in low- or moderate-income families.

Over the last four years, Healthy Communities projects have helped to create new access points for the uninsured and increased access for more than 7,700 patients. The programs typically focus on creating new services that do not exist in a county or expanding existing services to meet emerging needs.

In Rockdale, the grant helps pay for a health safety net coordinator and for health services provided directly to clients.