Atlanta – Governor Brian P. Kemp this week announced grant awards totaling $6 million to 13 Georgia rural hospitals as part of the Dual Track Rural Hospital Support program. Administered through the Department of Community Health's (DCH) State Office of Rural Health (SORH), program awardees have the option of choosing between funding new or existing graduate medical education (GME) programs or direct hospital support through a single application process.

“Since I took office, my administration has worked to deliver on the promise that we would work with state and local partners to develop Georgia's rural communities, including efforts to improve our rural healthcare systems," said Governor Brian P. Kemp. "These awards will provide further support to those hospitals that serve rural Georgians and communities in need.”

Graduate medical education funds are used to support existing or new GME programs that provide additional training for physicians who have completed medical school and are interested in learning more about a particular specialty of medicine. Direct hospital support funds can be used to increase access to healthcare, ensure adequate staffing, and make financial and operational improvements. The selected hospitals were awarded between $250,000 and $1 million each to further strengthen access to quality care for Georgia’s rural communities.

“Proactively working to address healthcare disparities within rural communities continues to be a priority for the agency,” said DCH Commissioner Russel Carlson. “This grant is just one way we are strengthening healthcare access in underserved regions, and investing in Georgia’s healthcare workforce.”

The Dual Track Rural Hospital Support Grant is funded through the state’s Rural Hospital Stabilization Grant, which was established in 2014, and has awarded more than $40 million in grant funding for Georgia rural hospitals since its inception.

“These grant awards reflect our commitment to addressing the healthcare needs of rural hospitals and providing effective solutions,” said Joel Presley, executive director of the State Office of Rural Health. “These funds will provide support to initiatives that address critical needs for both Georgia’s rural hospitals and citizens. I’m excited to see how these grants will help drive quality healthcare in these communities.”

Since taking office, Governor Kemp has worked with the Georgia General Assembly to take significant steps to improve healthcare access and affordability in Georgia, particularly in rural areas and underserved communities, including: 

  • Passing the Patients First Act: Since the passage of the Patients First Act in 2019, insurance premiums statewide have dropped by an average of 11 percent while the number of carriers has increased from four to 10. Marketplace enrollment has also increased from approximately 458K to 1.3 million Georgians.
  • Expanding Rural Physician Tax Credit: HB 82 signed into law earlier this year expanded the Rural Physician Tax Credit to include dentists, allowing qualifying healthcare professionals to receive a tax credit of $5,000 for each 12-month period of employment for up to 5 years. This aims to attract more doctors and dentists to serve rural communities.
  • Student Loan Forgiveness for Rural Healthcare Professionals: HB 872, also signed into law earlier this year, provides service cancelable loans for dental students who agree to practice in rural areas. Dental students actively enrolled in accredited dental education programs in the United States can benefit from this program.

The 2024 Dual Track Rural Hospital Support Grant recipients are:

Graduate Medical Education Funding
• John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital (Thomasville, GA) - $1M
• Colquitt Regional Medical Center (Moultrie, GA) - $1M
• Coffee Regional Medical Center (Douglas, GA) - $250,000
• Memorial Health Meadows Hospital (Vidalia, GA) - $250,000
• Fairview Park Hospital (Dublin, GA) - $250,000

Hospital Support Funding
• Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin (Milledgeville, GA) - $500,000
• Emanuel Medical Center (Swainsboro, GA) - $500,000
• Effingham Health System (Springfield, GA) - $500,000
• Putnam General Hospital (Eatonton, GA) - $500,000
• Washington County Regional Medical Center (Sandersville, GA) - $500,000
• Jefferson Hospital (Louisville, GA) - $250,000
• Upson Regional Medical Center (Thomaston, GA) - $250,000
• Union General Hospital (Blairsville, GA) - $250,000

For additional information regarding the announcement, please visit the grants announcement page here.



Press Secretary Garrison Douglas


Deputy Press Secretary Carter Chapman


DCH Press Secretary Fiona Roberts