On Thursday, December 9, 2021 the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center began its Community Health Reporter Program with a Virtual Orientation & Kick-Off. Dr. Kedrick Williams, Program Coordinator, welcomed 30 Community Health Reporters who will serve as Reporters in rural Georgia beginning this month. This group was formally welcomed and charged by Dr. Jean Sumner, Dean, Mercer University School of Medicine, to exhibit commitment and tenacity in representing the Center as Ambassadors across rural Georgia. The virtual session also utilized interactive educational activities to engage the new Community Health Reporters and equip them with tools of communication and technology to support them as they serve in this role.
Director of Special Projects Chris Scoggins and Rural Health Representatives Jay Burton, Davis Perkins, Janice Stanford, and Mason Thornton participated in the orientation program highlighting Data Collection and Rural Health Reflections. Scoggins’ overview on Data Collection provided the Community Health Reporters with the electronic survey tool and instructions by which to collect data for the program. The Rural Health Representatives reflected on their personal experiences serving rural communities to give the Community Health Reporters insight into the mission and values of the Center. To close the orientation, Glenda Grant, Executive Director, encouraged the Community Health Reporters to stay energetic, engaged, and equipped at all times to uphold high standards in helping the Center enhance community outreach and build a comprehensive database and directory of the health care providers, sites, and resources available to citizens of rural Georgia.