Ga. HEART program has been a winner for hospital, taxpayers

Over the last four years, Clinch Memorial Hospital has received over $900,000 through the Georgia HEART tax credit program. As the deadline for taxes approaches, hospital leaders are hoping more people will take advantage of the program – which offsets state tax liabilty to benefit rural hospitals in Georgia. 

The Georgia General Assembly created the Georgia HEART (Helping Enhance Access to Rural Treatment) tax credit program which allows Georgia taxpayers to receive a state income tax credit for 100% of the amount they contribute to qualified rural hospitals.

Clinch Memorial’s Lily James can help taxpayers interested in contributing to CMH through the Georgia HEART Tax Credit Program.

“By donating to Clinch Memorial Hospital, you are making an in our community and its future,” said CMH Authority Chairman Robert Varnedoe. “A thriving hospital helps all of us prosper and thrive.  Schools, residents, and businesses all benefit from access to quality emergency medicine and other hospital services.  I’m particularly grateful for our hospital and its great staff for all that they’ve done to serve us during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This program is a win-win; it costs you nothing and Georgia tax dollars go straight to our hospital.  I encourage everyone to use this program for their future tax filings. ”

The Georgia HEART program helps rural and critical-access hospitals to increase their funding and their ability to provide for the health care needs of thousands of Georgians. For many years, due to demographic, economic and health care industry challenges, Georgia’s rural hospitals have been facing a financial crisis jeopardizing the access of rural Georgians to adequate health care.

In the past two years, donors from all over the state of Georgia have chosen to donate to Clinch Memorial Hospital through the Georgia HEART tax credit program.   This has contributed to a strong growth in funds raised by Clinch Memorial through this program. Here are the totals CMH has received over the past four years through the HEART program: 

• 2020: (to date) $77,477.00

• 2019: $249,419.00

• 2018: $507,391.14

• 2017: $66,912.72

In turn, Clinch Memorial has been able to utilize HEART program funds to offer more services. Here are a few of the uses of the Georgia HEART funds over the past two years: 

• Launching Clinch Memorial Family Practic, headed by Dr. Igor Ancor, which opened in July of 2019. 

The mission of this primary care practice is to provide high quality and convenient healthcare to Clinch County and surrounding areas. Clinch Family Practice is proud to improve the care of the community through preventative care measures.

• Ventilation Services added to Swing Bed Program.

 Swing Bed Services help patients transition from hospital to home with Physical Therapy and other skilled nursing services in a caring and comfortable environment. With the addition of Ventilation Services to the program, the hospital is able to care for an underserved population while allowing them to be close to home. Due to the growth of popularity for this program, the Swing Bed Program has helped stabilize the hospital financially.

• New Medical Carts. 

These new medical carts are more in compli¬ance as they have a digital lock to protect the medications inside. These medical carts allow team members to stay organized and minimize the chance of medical errors.

• Baxter Spectrum IQ Smart IV Pumps.

 Clinch Memorial Hospital was able to purchase 50 Baxter Spectrum IQ IV Pumps and 40 poles to go along with the pumps. The new Spectrum IQ IV pumps have helped improve the overall patient care at Clinch Memorial Hospital. They offer a standardized user expe¬rience to help reduce human programming errors. The Spectrum IQ Infusion System simplifies Electronic Medical Records integration with key features including on-screen bar code technology, a broad range of auto-programming workflows and feature sets to help drive consistent compliance; intuitive workflows to confirm IV infusion tasks to help increase successful pump association and automatically document infu¬sion data.

• Pharmacy Upgrade.

 The Georgia HEART Tax Credit Program also enabled an improvement in the pharmacy with the acquisition of new Omnicell automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs). The Omnicell ADCs increase medication safety and security 24/7. The ADCs allow the pharmacy to increase efficiency by managing inventory solu¬tions and saving time dispensing medications. They’re also improving efficiency for the nursing staff and reducing medication errors for improved care. These Omnicell ADCs are making improvements possible for the pharmacy as well as the hospital while increasing quality and efficiency.

Here are some possible uses of funds for this 2020 Georgia donations: 

• New hospital beds  ($7,000-$10,000 each, 25 beds in the hospital).

• Replacing recliners  (current ones are cloth and hard to clean).

Expand the nurse call system (increases security measures). 

“This year’s pandemic has been hard on our hospital, as we’ve been required to temporarily close elective services. Your donation to Clinch Memorial Hospital through the Georgia HEART Tax Credit helps us to make some much needed improvements and investments,” said Clinch Memorial CEO Angela Ammons.  “With donations we’ve received, we’ve been able to upgrade antiquated medical equipment, recruit and hire a physician and a nurse practitioner, open Clinch Memorial Family Practice, improve benefits for our employees, create new positions which contribute to the economy of Clinch County, and expand our service lines to become a thriving hospital.”  

 Applying for a Georgia HEART tax credit is easy. Simply go to www.georgiaheart.org. and follow the instructions.   Clinch Memorial Hospital’s Lily James is available to answer all your questions about the Georgia HEART program and help you with the process.  Please email or call her at [email protected] or 912-487-4235.  

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