The Partnership for Southern Equity's Just Health Special Project (PSE) is actively working to strengthen both internal and external capacity to address health inequities. This includes ensuring our ecosystem model is deeply rooted in the principles of social justice; and that our organizational culture supports both staff and our community partners to be courageous, innovative, creative, passionate and accountable.
The Health Equity Not Toolkit was designed in collaboration with the Healthcare Georgia Foundation (HGF) to provide health equity tools and resources to build capacity and support The Two Georgias Initiative (TGI) coalition; and communities around the state of Georgia and American South.
PSE received a multi-year grant from HGF to provide health equity expertise and technical assistance for 11 rural counties participating in TGI. The team's work is deeply grounded in encouraging residents and community partner to be courageous, innovative, creative, passionate, and accountable.
The Just Health Special Project is pleased to be a member of the TGI Management Team in rural Georgia where they have conducted PSE’s signature training on "Why Health Equity Matters?", a training module designed to advance health equity and strengthen rural engagement in Appling, Chattooga, Clay, Cook, Decatur, Early, Elbert, Hancock, Haralson, Lumpkin, and Miller counties. In the last two years, the team has had the opportunity to meet and build relationships with the local partnerships and coalitions working to improve access to healthcare and resources. The team also provides health equity expertise to inform the Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP) – plans developed by each of the rural partnerships and communities – implementation process; community outreach and engagement strategies; and technical support for the eleven rural partnerships and communities.
PSE understands lasting change to the prevailing systems of disparity and inequity will not occur through one program, one initiative, but by a deep, intentional and long-term engagement with communities and residents who can envision the changes they would like to see. Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s The Two Georgias Initiative is an example of long-term investment in rural communities. TGI affords residents an opportunity to plan, develop, and implement strategies to improve access to healthcare and resources; where too often there are either limited resources, or none at all.
PSE, TGI, residents and organizations in rural communities are committed to bringing people together who have similar interests to create and sustain partnerships and coalitions; people who want to improve access to healthcare and resources; and people willing to engage in health equity conversations that lead to developing strategies and actions to minimize health inequities. We applaud the more than 400 rural residents who have joined us in health equity conversations. These conversations that are not always easy to have, but can be eye opening, a learning opportunity, and in some cases even life changing.
"Advancing health equity at the local level always begins with people. We will realize the changes we would like to see when communities and residents learn more about how equity impacts our lives, become more confident taking action; when residents participate in The Two Georgias Initiative, and join PSE as we grow and develop the Just Health Special Project,"
– Nathaniel Smith, founder and chief equity officer of PSE.
“We understand people have different views and they are going to say what they believe. The workshop helped our partners see the work that’s involved,”
– Chet Ballard, educator, Cook County Family Connection
“We’re also having the difficult conversations necessary to address the health inequities among rural Georgians,”
– Gwen Houston, Early (County) Cares coalition member
“Every voice, every story, every community has value when we work to advance health equity,”
– Arlene Parker Goldson, Just Health director at PSE