Garden Party Returns, Host Registration Now Open

Garden Party Returns, Host Registration Now Open

The Health Initiative will host their annual fundraiser, the Garden Party, on Sunday, May 18th, 4pm-7pm, at the newly renovated Phillip Rush Center, located at 1530 Dekalb Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.  The Healing Angel Award will be presented to Jeff Graham, and Legacy Awards will honor Dr. Kimball Johnson and Dorothy Galloway. The Garden Party is the Health Initiative’s primary community celebration and fundraiser. Host Committee registration is now open and individual tickets will be available beginning April 1st.

The annual Healing Angel Award recognizes a community or healthcare leader who has made a positive and significant difference in the lives and health of the LGBTQ community. Jeff Graham, Executive Director, Georgia Equality, is a founding board member of Georgians for Healthy Future, and serves in a leadership role in Cover Georgia, a collective of advocates working to for state Medicaid expansion. Since his early involvement in the AIDS crisis through ACT UP!, Graham has applied his skills in building partnerships and coalitions across communities by advocating for HIV/AIDS services and funding, raising awareness about transgender health needs, and helping the Health Initiative provide Affordable Care Act education throughout the state. Previous Healing Angel awardees include Anne “Sarge” Barr, Atlanta Feminist Women’s Health Center, and the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Legacy Awards, non-annual awards being presented for the first time this year, recognize longstanding contributions and a commitment to ensuring every one has access to healthcare. The 2014 recipients are:

– Kimball Johnson, MD, practiced Internal Medicine, HIV Medicine, and Sports Medicine in Atlanta for 23 years and was the founder and Medical Director of the Jobri Center for Integrative Health. The center has taken a holistic approach to care, offering patients a wider range of services to address conditions, such as HIV and cancer. Dr. Johnson was an early board member of the organization under its original name, the Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative.

– Dorothy Galloway, RN, a nurse practitioner, recently retired after 20 years of service at the Family Health Enterprise she founded in 1994. Serving approximately 4,000 patients per year, the clinic provided healthcare to underserved populations regardless of ability to pay. Galloway’s clinic was the first to be involved with the Community Health Fund and continued to provide services to individuals using the fund until the closing of the clinic this past February.


The Garden Party Host Committee is co-chaired by Sheila Merritt and Tony Kearney. Sheila and Tony each have an extensive history of community work and are long time supporters of the Health Initiative. Host Committee members enjoy a variety of benefits connected to the party and their contributions help provide dozens of LGBTQ Georgians with access to services that they otherwise could not afford. To learn more or to join the Host Committee, visit:




The Health Initiative

James Parker Sheffield, Director of Organizational Development

404-688-2524 ext.114 /




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.


Recognizing that access to care is a significant risk factor—one that disproportionately affects the entire LGBTQ community – The Health Initiative in 2013 conducted over 65 ACA/Open Enrollment community education events throughout the state of Georgia, provided LGBTQ-inclusive training to over 500 providers and serviced nearly 110 Community Health Fund requests for those in need of healthcare-related assistance.


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: / 404-688-2524 /