Federal Funding Announcement

Federal Funding Announcement

Today, The Health Initiative announced that the organization will receive federal funding to participate in statewide Open Enrollment efforts for the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The announcement comes on the heels of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releasing the list of Navigator Grant Recipients. Two grant proposals were selected for the state of Georgia, including a submission from the Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (Seedco), which included the Health Initiative, in partnership with Georgia Equality, as its arm for LGBTQ outreach. Seedco, whose mission is to advance economic opportunity for people, businesses, and communities in need, assembled more than a dozen community based organizations for this consortium to address a broad spectrum of populations.

“We are excited to start this work and honored to work alongside a group of diverse community organizations,” said Health Initiative executive director, Linda Ellis. She continued, “Throughout this process, Seedco has been dedicated to inclusivity. We feel very good about this relationship and their energy around LGBTQ outreach.” Ellis added, “We are grateful that we will have our longtime partner, Georgia Equality, at our side for this project. Jeff Graham and his staff are a dynamic team and bring an extensive statewide network to the table.”

The Health Initiative and Georgia Equality have a solid history of joint endeavors, most notably the founding and management of the Rush Center.  While this project will take the two organizations around the state, the Rush Center will serve as the home base of operations. “Using the Rush Center as a service hub will allow community members to access health insurance navigation assistance in a location that they already know and trust,” said Georgia Equality executive director, Jeff Graham. The Rush Center is currently undergoing an expansion project, which will allow for the additional space to conduct enrollment events, in person client support, and assistance by phone. “We are excited that when we unveil our completed construction project this fall, we will also be opening the door to new services for the community. This is a perfect example of our efforts being so much more than bricks and mortar,” said Graham.

The final details, including the full scope of work and available resources, will be decided in the coming weeks. “While we know everyone is eager to hear the full extent of our role, we won’t have complete information until the grant contract is finalized with HHS. In the meantime, community members that would like to hear about volunteer opportunities around this project should email us. We will pass along information to interested participants as we receive it.” Ellis said.

Individuals interested in participation should send an email to: info@thehealthinitiative.org with “Open Enrollment” in the subject header. The Health Initiative will continue its other programming, such as the Community Health Fund, provider trainings, SAGE Atlanta, Real Bois Talk, domestic violence support, and Fourth Tuesday, during this time and encourages community members to continue to support those initiatives as well.



About Seedco: http://www.seedco.org/about-us/

HHS Navigator Grant Recipients release: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/Downloads/navigator-list-8-15-2013.pdf

June Health Initiative release regarding Open Enrollment participation: http://thehealthinitiative.org/2013/06/health-initiative-prepares-for-open-enrollment-moves-garden-party-to-spring/


The Health Initiative

James Parker Sheffield, Director of Organizational Development

404-688-2524 ext.114 / james@thehealthinitiative.org 

The Health Initiative is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Georgia’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community through education, support, access to care and advocacy. Previously serving the Atlanta lesbian community, The Health Initiative expanded its focus to include gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender individuals throughout the state.


The Health Initiative trains health care providers to ensure LGBTQ Georgians receive quality, competent care and hosts a variety of community programming, including SAGE Atlanta, Domestic Violence Support, Real Bois Talk, Fourth Tuesday, and health fairs. The Health Initiative’s Community Health Fund provides access to care for uninsured and under insured LGBTQ Georgians.


Community members in need of additional information, support services, programming, or referrals for LGBTQ friendly health service providers may contact The Health Initiative staff via email, phone or our website: info@thehealthinitiative.org / 404-688-2524 / www.thehealthinitiative.org