Healthcare Georgia Foundation today announced the 2012 recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award. The announcements took place during a special ceremony at the opening of Connections 2012: Because Results Matter, the Foundation’s fifth statewide convening of nonprofit grantees, partners, and community leaders.
“On behalf of the Board and staff of Healthcare Georgia Foundation, we salute the 2012 recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award,” said Gary D. Nelson, PhD, president, Healthcare Georgia Foundation. “Through the dedication and tireless efforts of these heroes for health, Georgians today and tomorrow will benefit greatly from their legacy of servant leadership.”
According to Nelson, “The honorees epitomize the meaning of charity captured in an old proverb, ‘the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.’ Communities flourish as a result of the efforts of these five individuals and one collaborative and their unselfish service in the promotion of better health and healthcare for underserved individuals and communities.”
The 2012 recipients are:
Paul Bucynsky, MD
Volunteer Organization: Mercy Health Center
Dr. Paul Bucynsky co-founded Mercy Health Center in 2001 for the specific mission of “providing quality healthcare in a Christ-centered environment, to our uninsured neighbors.” As the Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Buczynsky volunteers at least ten hours per week providing leadership for the organization, consulting the medical needs of patients, seeing patients during scheduled evening clinics, and coordinating the schedules of volunteer medical providers. Through Dr. Buczynsky’s vision and service, Mercy Health Center conducted more than 9,000 patient visits in 2011 (completely free of charge), to patients in Athens and the surrounding communities.
Karen Carter, MD
Volunteer Organization: Special Olympics Georgia
Dr. Karen Carter has spent the past 12 years volunteering her time helping to make sure the athletes at Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) are fit to compete. A passionate supporter of the disability community, Dr. Karen (as she likes to be called) has served as the Medical Director for the State Indoor Winter Games. She also volunteers as one of the medical personnel at the State Summer Games, and is available on call 24/7 to handle injuries and incidents that may arise during the Games. Dr. Karen’s service stands out among SOGA’s 22,000 volunteers. Not only does she help more than 5,600 athletes compete in the Games, she inspires them to improve their physical fitness, participate in social activities, and gain the confidence they need to shine.
Charles G. Johnson, MD
Volunteer Organization: Good Shepherd Clinic
During the early years of Dr. Johnson’s private practice, volunteerism was defined as good
neighbors taking care of one another. After 47 years in private practice in Clayton County, Dr. Johnson retired for a year and quickly became restless. When asked to volunteer at the Good Shepherd Clinic, he agreed immediately and without hesitation. Now 87 years young and the Clinic’s Medical Director, Dr. Johnson regularly uses his humor along with his caring nature to provide Clayton County’s uninsured residents with access to primary healthcare. In the years since he joined the Clinic, it has grown from 1,000 to 3,000 patients served annually, all of whom have been touched by his strength, expertise, humor, and passion for helping others.
Mary Lynch, MD
Volunteer Organization: Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation
Dr. Mary Lynch is an ophthalmologist who began volunteering at Georgia Lions Lighthouse
Foundation in 2008. Since that time, she has provided more than 400 full eye exams to low-income clients, a critical service which often falls through the cracks. Dr. Lynch’s volunteer work with Lions Lighthouse extends far beyond the vision care she provides for her patients. She was instrumental in the creation of the Lighthouse’s first medical committee, which helped navigate the creation of 22 statewide vision clinic sites. Through her work, Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation was able to serve more than 4,000 Georgians in 2011 – helping countless clients perform better at work and feel more optimistic about their futures.
Janice and Tolbert Morris
Volunteer Organization: Helping Hands Outreach Clinic
Janice and Tolbert Morris founded the Helping Hands Outreach Clinic in 2001, fulfilling a dream to serve the unmet basic healthcare needs of indigent and uninsured residents in Rockdale County. Soaring demand for the Clinic’s services has resulted in more than 7,000 patient visits over the past 11 years. Together with volunteers, minimal staff, partnerships with medical providers, and donations from local businesses, the Clinic provides a wide range of services, including basic healthcare services, preventive and patient education, referrals, health fairs, prescription assistance, and diagnostics.The Clinic has become a beacon in its community and a model for success for Georgia’s free clinics.
Coordinated Collaborative Care (C3)
The Coordinated Care Collaborative (C3) was established in 2010 to serve the Fayette County
Population. The collaborative is comprised of a lead organization and five partner agencies that work together to provide a wide range of coordinated health and social services. After years of working together informally, the partner organizations began to discuss formalizing the relationship to better serve shared target populations and streamline health and social services already in place. The collaborative takes a holistic approach to healthcare, providing the citizens of Fayette County with access to a network of providers that might otherwise be unavailable to them. This unique network is able to maintain patient confidentiality while providing coordinated care that serves and monitors the needs of the patient. Those treated within the collaborative are able to receive a high level of care that is comparable to those with access to mainstream health and wellness care, which makes C3 an outstanding
model for a nonprofit collaborative approach to healthcare delivery.
Abour Joseph D. Greene
In his 2005 memoir, From Cotton Fields to Board Rooms, Joseph D. Greene recounted leaving his home in rural Georgia in 1959 with his high school diploma and just $35 he had earned from picking cotton. The years that followed were decorated with success and achievements, as he elevated himself from the cotton fields of his youth to become a revered public leader. As a founding Healthcare Georgia Foundation board member, Mr. Greene helped steward the organization from its inception in 1999 through his retirement as board chair in 2006. In November 2007, the Foundation lost an inspirational leader when this gentle soul lost his battle with cancer. In 2008, Healthcare Georgia Foundation dedicated its community service award program in his honor, naming it the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award.
About Healthcare Georgia Foundation
Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, private independent foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. Through its strategic grantmaking, Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports organizations that drive positive change, promotes programs that improve health and healthcare among underserved individuals and communities, and connects people, partners and resources across Georgia. For more information, please visit the Foundation online at: www.healthcaregeorgia.org.