Founded in 1975, the Family Health Centers of Georgia (FHCGA) has a record of more than forty years of expanding access to health care for low-income individuals and families. Since 2014, FHCGA has served as the Title X grant to implement a family planning program throughout the state of Georgia through the Georgia Family Planning System (GFPS). The GFPS is the largest and most ambitious effort in the nation integrating Title X family planning services into primary care health centers. The GFPS is comprised of a network of 25 sub-recipient agencies, of which the vast majority are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The remaining non-FQHC sub-recipients, Grady Health System, Clay County Community Health Center, and Empowerment Resource Center, are each community-based non-profits with expertise in healthcare delivery to the target population. The GFPS has had extraordinary success addressing the challenges of integrating quality family planning and primary care in the state. In 2020, the GFPS provided Title X services to 160,837 clients, an increase of 11.3% since 2018 (Title X Family Planning Annual Report [FPAR], FHCGA, 2018, 2020). Title X funds for the upcoming project period will be used to build on the successes of the GFPS and will result in the delivery of high quality, fully integrated family planning services to the low-income, underserved women, men, and adolescents residing in each of Georgia’s 159 counties.
The need for comprehensive family planning and preventive health services offered by Title X providers is substantial. In Georgia, an estimated 41.0% of pregnancies are unintended, the 6th highest percentage in the US (Data Center, Guttmacher Institute, 2021). Women in Georgia experience higher breast cancer mortality and higher rates of preterm births and low birth weight births than the US average. The infant mortality rate of 7.0 per 1,000 live births is higher than the national rate of 5.5 (WONDER, CDC, 2019; OASIS, GA Department of Public Health, 2020). An estimated 741,940 women are in need of publicly supported family planning services in the state, a 14% increase since 2010 (Data Center, Guttmacher Institute, 2021).
Since 2014, FHCGA has built a robust family planning project which is responsive to statewide need. In the current project period, the GFPS will continue its upward trajectory. By the end of Project Year 5, the GFPS will have expanded fully integrated Title X and primary care services in rural and underserved areas through telehealth, mHealth, mobile units, and direct family planning services to ensure access for residents of every county in Georgia. The GFPS will have improved integration between family planning and behavioral health services; used program data to improve pregnancy outcomes for patients with co-morbidities; and continued FHCGA’s rigorous oversight and management of the GFPS project, including regular site visits, data monitoring, technical assistance and training to assure high quality services and compliance with all Title X requirements. By Project Year 5 (04/01/2022-03/31/2027), the GFPS anticipates providing Title X family planning services to 174,271 patients, at least 75% of whom will have incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.