Cagle and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Present Free Health Clinics with $50,000 to Purchase Vaccines

November 27, 2007

Today, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Monye Connolly, president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) presented ten free and volunteer health clinics with a total of $50,000 in grant funding to purchase and administer adult flu and pneumococcal immunizations.

“I commend Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia for their generosity and desire to see that more Georgians have access to these needed vaccinations.  It is a priority of mine to ensure that those in our state who are unable to afford basic healthcare have a way to meet their needs. I believe volunteer and free clinics are a rich and valuable resource that we must support,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.      

“As the flu and pneumonia season approaches, it is important that all Georgians have access to these important vaccines. Through the work of these 10 free clinics, and our work with Lt. Governor Cagle, we are able to reach many adults who may not otherwise get the vaccines,” said Monye Connolly, president of BCBSGa

The clinics which each received $5000 toward vaccines were The Samaritan Clinic in Albany, Mercy Health Center in Athens, Coastal Medical Access Project/Goodwin Community Health Center in Brunswick, The Good News Clinic in Gainesville, Good Samaritan Clinic in Greensboro, Macon Volunteer Clinic in Macon, Compassionate Care Clinic in Milledgeville, the Good Shepherd Clinic in Morrow, Hands of Hope in Stockbridge, and the Houston County Volunteer Medical Clinic in Warner Robins.

Cagle has been actively working to address the uninsured population in Georgia and has encouraged the expansion of free and volunteer clinics.  He introduced the concept of Safety Net clinics, which would act as an alternative to costly emergency room care while meeting the needs of patients who cannot afford health insurance.   BCBSGa was aware of the Lt. Governor’s interest and strong support of free health clinics in our state and worked with him to present this funding to the ten clinics. 

Earlier this month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia announced an initiative – called the State Health Index - to address major health issues in the state. Developed from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Health Index ranks Georgia on comprehensive assessment of 23 measures of health status. 

One of these measures is the number of adults who receive flu and pneumonia vaccines. Currently, Georgia ranks 44th and 39th for Adult Flu and Pneumonia Vaccinations. In an effort to improve these numbers, BCBSGa is donating $50,000 to 10 free and volunteer clinics to purchase and administer adult flu and pneumococcal immunizations.

Photographs of the grant check presentations are available by contacting Jaillene Hunter at 404-656-5030.