In 2018, Georgia lawmakers dedicated special funds to establish a new Rural Health Innovation Center tasked with confronting the complex health care challenges and wellness disparities facing rural communities. Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) was awarded the grant funds in 2019 and formally established the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center (GRHIC) on its Macon campus. MUSM boasts a longstanding commitment to serving rural Georgia’s health needs, with a mission to educate physicians dedicated to tackling the health challenges in rural Georgia.
Legislators identified and established numerous charges for the Center, to include the development of research programs, analyzing significant health system problems, and proposing solutions. The GRHIC partners with rural communities to improve healthcare through reliable research, creative strategies, and sustainable solutions.
The GRHIC has created, and is home to, the Georgia Rural Health Data Hub, a comprehensive source for health information pertinent to rural Georgia, providing interactive reports, charts, and maps. We provide community members, healthcare workers, educators, researchers and young Georgians access to our Data Hub which allows them to do deep dives into Georgia’s health data at their convenience and based on their informational needs.
Informed by the data and community stakeholders, our diverse team develops targeted improvement projects, evaluates rural healthcare delivery systems and their fiscal stability, conducts Rapid Action Assessments based on health risk status of the County, and maintains our rural physician and healthcare access point locator.