Knowledge Network

UGA Archway Partnership Addresses Health Care Needs in Rural Georgia

Award Category: Place
Project Site: UGA Archway Partnership Addresses Health Care Needs in Rural Georgia
Submitted By: The University of Georgia
Contact: Michelle Elliott, 478.697.4522

Case Study

Rural hospitals are in crisis as the complex health care landscape continues to change. Nationally, 83 rural hospitals have closed since 2010.  Georgia has experienced six such closures in that time period and many other rural hospitals have had to eliminate emergency care or other services. Taylor Regional Hospital in Pulaski County, GA, was once on the precipice of closure. Hospital leadership credits the strong community bonds created through the community’s participation in the UGA Archway Partnership program as a key factor in the hospital’s ability to not only stay open, but expand services at a time when similar hospitals are shutting their doors. Embedded faculty from UGA work side-by-side with local stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities and garner appropriate university expertise to support community goals. Through the community’s involvement in the Archway Partnership, faculty and students from the College of Public Health evaluated health data, conducted surveys and hosted focus groups to conduct a mandated Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) on behalf of the hospital. Feedback received through the CHNA process led to the establishment of an urgent care clinic.  The clinic, known as Taylor Express Care, has been key to the hospital’s ability to survive.  Performance results delivered by this innovative partnership have led to a thriving urgent care clinic seeing, on average, 18 patients per day and a reduction in non-emergent use of the emergency room, decreasing emergency room volume by nearly 10% since the clinic opened.

Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Milwaukee on October 22 and 23, 2018. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.