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Hospital Authority accepting grant applications
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The Hospital Authority of Rockdale County announced Friday that it is accepting grant applications for health-related initiates and programs.

"We are very excited to be launching this grants program," said HARC Chairman Ethel Boyle in a written release. "It presents a wonderful opportunity for us to help address the healthcare needs of Conyers-Rockdale community.

The Hospital Authority undertook community needs assessment more than a year ago to determine the healthy-related priorities of the community in order to focus its charitable investments in the most effective manner. Numerous community leader and citizens were interviewed in the process.

Based on the needs assessment, it was determined that HARC would focus it efforts on primary care access/clinics, health screening and prevention, youth health and wellness, and small community projects.

For the moment, HARC is now set to award grants in primary care access/clinics and small community projects. In February, it was announced that HARC would make more than $200,000 in annual grant money available to area health non-profits and projects.

The Authority has about $30 million in restricted funds and $3.1 million in unrestricted funds. It sold Rockdale Medical Hospital to private healthcare company LifePoint in early 2009 for $80 million, with $30 million in new capitol over the next six years. The restricted funds are reserved for any remaining liabilities and in case RMC should ever go back up for sale again and the Authority wanted to exercise its right of first purchase. The unrestricted funds, and any accruing interest, can be used to run and fund a grants program for community health.

HARC is actively soliciting applications from nonprofit healthcare providers who share its commitment to ensuring that all citizens of Conyers and Rockdale County have access to primary care. HARC also will award smaller grants ($5,000 or less) to fund health-related community projects or programs.

Anyone interested in applying for Primary Care Access Grant or for a Small Community Projects Grant should contact Judy Usry at (770) 922-1441 or Applications must be received by June 30, 2010.