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Local News

Fellowship Aims to Bridge Gaps in Georgia’s Health-Care System

Credit: iStock

Trimmel Gomes

Navigating the complex maze of health insurance can be daunting even for seasoned professionals. In Georgia, one woman is hoping to make the process easier, especially for single parents.

Cassenda Nelson, a single mother of four, said she’s had her fair share of health complications. She said her kids are healthy for the most part, but after one daughter contracted COVID-19, her blood pressure skyrocketed – and the insulin coverage from their insurer was gone without explanation.

Now, as part of a fellowship in a program through Voices for a Healthy Georgia, Nelson travels to underserved communities in places such as Albany to steer others toward the help they need.

“Advocating is something that I do,” she said. “I like to be a voice for those that don’t have a voice or don’t know how to execute what they need.”

Voices for a Healthy Georgia is part of the New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter-registration group founded by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. The organization is facing an ethics complaint about its spending, which its leaders say is politically motivated heading into the November elections against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Peach State has the third-highest uninsured rate in the nation – an estimated 1.4 million Georgians without health coverage. Nelson said health care is important for all, and it’s part of why she is committed to helping anyone and everyone navigate their way through the system, “and reach out to whomever we need to touch bases with – to get things started, to get things changed, to come up with a resolution that will suit more than one. Just one person, one family, one child.”

Nelson said most of her work involves listening, and that Voices for a Healthy Georgia is committed to finding ways to help communities that are negatively affected by health inequities and health disparities.


Voices for a Healthy Georgia New Georgia Project 2021
Health-insurance coverage data Kaiser Family Foundation 2019

This story was written by Trimmel Gomes, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.