Since 1991, Georgia Health Decisions, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, has been working across Georgia to give public voice to the health values and viewpoints of citizens. Distinct from other grassroots groups that address health issues from advocacy and consumer oriented perspectives, Georgia Health Decisions attempts to elicit a self-consciously “civic” or citizenship outlook on health issues. Georgia Health Decisions seeks to educate Georgians about health care issues, stimulate discussions that activate a sense of community responsibility for health care, and listen to citizens in order to communicate their voices to policy makers. Georgia Health Decisions draws on a wide range of methodologies to accomplish these goals. Approaches to creating public dialogue include community forums, workshops and regional conferences. Educational elements range from traditional distribution of printed, audio and video materials to speakers’ bureaus and full-scale media campaigns. Methodologies of a more structured research approach include surveys, focus groups and citizen panels.
Georgia Health Decisions was part of the group that founded the Georgia Health Policy Center in 1995. In 2005, Georgia Health Decisions solidified its relationship when it relocated to the Center. In this partnership, Georgia Health Decisions supports Georgia Health Policy Center projects while continuing to be responsible for its own staff oversight, accounting and other administrative duties.