ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In Georgia, home of the GE Energy business and 5,400 GE employees, nearly one in four individuals of working age are without health insurance, making access to quality healthcare an urgent issue in the state. To help improve healthcare access to underserved communities the GE Foundation ? the philanthropic organization of GE ? has selected two non-profit community health centers in metro Atlanta to receive a total of $1 million in grants through the GE Developing HealthTM program.
?Building on the success of the Developing Health program over the past year, we are thrilled that the GE Foundation is doubling the funding to help provide access to quality healthcare nationwide.?
The two centers, West End Medical Centers, Inc. and Southside Medical Center, Inc., will each receive $500,000 in grants over two years as well as the support of a GE employee volunteer partnership, which will provide skill-based volunteer support to the centers.
?Atlanta is ranked fifth in the nation for its number of uninsured residents – this alone is certainly cause for concern,? explained John Rice, vice chairman, GE. ?Taking into account that about 1.67 million Atlantans are without health insurance, the importance of community health centers such as West End and Southside Medical are critical to many Atlanta residents. These facilities provide essential services and we are proud to partner with them to meet the growing demand and touch so many in the community.?
Developing Health Nationwide: GE Doubles Commitment to Expand Access to Primary Care
Recognizing the positive impact these grants have on local medical centers and patients, the GE Foundation also announced today that it will double its investment in the Developing Health program from $25 million to $50 million. This increase will expand the program to enable access to primary care for underserved Americans across the nation.
?GE is acutely aware of the healthcare needs in underserved communities in Atlanta and across the U.S. as a whole,? said Rice. ?Building on the success of the Developing Health program over the past year, we are thrilled that the GE Foundation is doubling the funding to help provide access to quality healthcare nationwide.?
Developing Health is a 3-year program that aims to improve access to primary care in targeted underserved communities across the United States. The program is modeled after GE?s successful philanthropic program Developing Health Globally? and is a partnership between GE?s Corporate Citizenship and Diversity Council organizations.
?The response to Developing Health this past year has been overwhelming,? said Bob Corcoran, president and chairman of the GE Foundation. ?We are delighted to have the opportunity to double the program, enabling us to engage even more employees and reach more of the population in critical need of quality access to healthcare in the United States.?
Including Atlanta, Developing Health has partnered with 37 non-profit community health centers in eight cities, including:
??? ???? New York City ? In October 2009, awarded $1 million in grants to four health centers
??? ???? Milwaukee ? In March 2010, awarded $1 million in grants to four local health centers, enabling the centers to expand basic, preventative care to thousands
??? ???? Houston ? In April 2010, awarded $1.25 million in grants across five partner community health centers, the second largest grant to date under the program
??? ???? Louisville ? In August 2010, awarded $1 million to five health centers
??? ???? Cincinnati ? In June 2010, awarded $750,000 in grants across three partner community health centers
??? ???? New Orleans ? In August, awarded $2 million to Louisiana Public Health Institute to expand access to preventive, primary care, and primary mental health services for adolescents in the area
??? ???? Baltimore ? In September 2010, awarded $500,000 to two health centers
?Our goal of bringing better health and improved care to more people ? GE?s healthymagination strategy ? has been brought to life through the Developing Health program and the volunteers supporting it,? said Mike Barber, vice president GE healthymagination. ?By partnering with these clinics to improve access to healthcare and individual health, we are working directly with the clinics and community towards healthier, more vital local communities.?
GE Volunteers Partner with Community Clinics to Share Best Practices
GE volunteer teams are a critical component of the Developing Health program. Through the program, GE employees work with the health centers to address specific needs, ranging from marketing communications to process improvements, and offer their business skills and experience to drive improvements that benefit patients and workflows.
Developing Health enables health centers to work directly with GE?s Affinity Networks and employee groups, which include: the Asian Pacific American Forum, Women?s Network, Hispanic Forum, African American Forum, Veteran?s Network and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance.
The Affinity Networks and employee groups partner with non-profit health centers and offer volunteer support and business best practice sharing in order to help the clinics with their mission to reach underserved populations and enable access to primary care.
?Through our work with the GE Affinity Networks, we have seen first-hand that access to quality healthcare is an issue that affects all cultures and backgrounds,? said Deborah Elam, vice president and chief diversity officer, GE. ?We are proud to use our collaborative resources to champion the Developing Health program to provide access to primary healthcare and other vital personal development opportunities to the underserved populations in Atlanta and across the United States.?
For more information on the Developing Health program in North America visit: http://www.ge.com/foundation/developing_health.jsp.
For more information on the Developing Health Globally? program, visit: http://www.ge.com/citizenship/programs-activities/philanthropy/developing-health-globally.html
About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world?s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2009, the entire GE family – including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation – contributed more than an estimated $220 million to community and educational programs, including more than $100 million from GE Foundation. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world?s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ge.com.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Healthymagination is a $6 billion commitment that was launched in May 2009.
Lindsay Theile, 678-844-3798
Taryn Solomon, 404-460-9676