Mom and daughter share snacks

Children’s is the only healthcare system in Georgia solely dedicated to kids.

  • In 2023, Children’s cared for patients from all 159 counties in Georgia, including all 120 rural counties.
  • In 2022, we provided $20.2 million in unreimbursed Medicaid and charity care to patients from rural Georgia, addressing the majority of the rural patients we served.
  • Our Medicaid payor mix of 57% is one of the largest of any hospital system in the state. In rural Georgia, our Medicaid payor mix is more than 58%.

We are working with Mercer University School of Medicine and the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center to launch a major initiative focused on improving access to pediatric healthcare in rural Georgia.

  • Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) and Children’s announced in 2023 a major initiative focused on improving pediatric healthcare in rural Georgia. The affiliation is funded by a dedicated and long-term sustainable fund of $200 million that the Children’s Board of Trustees allocated in 2022.
  • Rural Pediatrician Pipeline Support: Given the identified need for more pediatricians throughout Georgia, Children’s has committed to funding scholarships through a program at Mercer University School of Medicine for medical students specializing in pediatrics who commit to serving in rural Georgia for at least four years after residency.
  • Children’s has made a significant financial pledge commitment to Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities to allow them to further their mission of nurturing the health and well-being of children and families and providing a home away from home for those who must travel to Atlanta for healthcare.

Our Work in Rural Communities

We are actively working to address the current and future needs for families in rural Georgia.

Rural Health Report

Children’s is supporting Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) and the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center as they establish pilot programs with rural hospitals and pediatricians with the aim of improving access to pediatric care closer to home.

Rural Hospital Support

Rural hospitals currently face a challenge in their ability to treat and keep pediatric patients in their communities. Through the “Kids Alliance for Better Care” (KidsABC) rural hospitals receive the training and support needed to better respond to pediatric patients in their emergency departments. Participating sites undergo a process that includes an initial assessment to assess staff competency, facility readiness, and the presence of pediatric focused clinical guidelines. In the pilot’s inaugural year, the project included eight rural hospitals.

Rural Pediatrician Support

Rural pediatricians are often isolated with little access to subspecialty support, after-hours support, and regular clinical updates. This initiative provides physician-to-physician telehealth support and offer provider training. MUSM conducts a needs assessment to determine core training needs. This project initially involves five rural pediatricians.

Behavioral and Mental Health Support

Behavioral and mental health support continues to be identified as an urgent need across the country, with a specific need to create access points for rural providers and schools to connect to mental health professionals. MUSM and Children’s work with schools, pediatricians and hospitals to develop a comprehensive approach to pediatric mental health, initially in two communities with virtual mental health services and a focus on suicide awareness and prevention.

Rural Access Line Pilot

In 2023, Children’s implemented a direct line for rural providers participating in the KidsABC to seek consultative support from Children’s pediatric specialists.

Children’s has been dedicated to providing the best possible care to sick and injured children and to helping kids stay healthy through our prevention and advocacy programs across Georgia.

Our clinical reach in rural Georgia

Rural patients sought care at Children’s for emergencies, surgeries, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, hematology/oncology and a variety of other treatments.

Our prevention reach in rural Georgia

Our prevention programs reach 103 rural counties, offering a variety of services, trainings and resources to support children in our state.

  • Children’s serves as a resource for school health services across Georgia and our regional school nurse coordinator serves as a contact for school health professionals.
  • Children’s is the lead agency for Safe Kids Georgia.
  • Through Strong4Life, the prevention arm of Children’s, we provide training and resources to families, local schools, early care centers and community organizations. This includes programs for early care and education centers, for providers, and school nutrition programs.
  • Marcus Autism Center provides consultations, trainings, and professional development for school systems to effectively serve students with educational needs and behavioral challenges, especially those diagnosed with autism and other behavioral health disorders.
  • Project S.A.V.E. hosts professional CPR/AED trainings across Georgia.