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Introducing J.Brandon Gaffney, New CEO of J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center

“He brings a wealth of community health center knowledge and experience to this position along with a proven track record of success.” Read more

Safety Net News

CMO Open Enrollment for Children’s Medicaid/PeachCare March 1-31st!

February 15, 2017 - Beginning July 1, 2017, the Georgia Families® program will provide members a choice of four Care Management Organizations (CMOs): Amerigroup, CareSource, Peach... Continue Reading

CCSNPC Recognizes Andrea Huisa as Outstanding Partner Enroller

January 26, 2017 - Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council is pleased to recognize Andrea Huisa, Public Benefits Specialist at Step Up Savannah, for her high quality work performed as a... Continue Reading

Agnes Cannella Receives 2016 High Flyer Award

December 12, 2016 - Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council is honored to present the 2016 High Flyer Award to Ms. Agnes Cannella, Mission Services Director at... Continue Reading

J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center Announces J. Brandon Gaffney as New CEO

November 10, 2016 - SAVANNAH, Ga. – J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center and its board of directors are pleased to announce J. Brandon Gaffney has... Continue Reading

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Safety Net Spotlight

The NaSJCHS_St. Mary's Clinicncy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion implements successful nurse-managed Hepatitis C program at St. Mary’s Health Center and Good Samaritan Clinic

Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) is a significant cause of liver cancer infecting millions of individuals unaware of the presence of the SJCHS_St.Mary's Clinic_Doctordisease. HCV shows a higher prevalence in those with less education and individuals of a lower socio-economic status, presenting a challenge for affordable screening, diagnosis and care.
Traditionally, persons who are well-insured have the greatest access to hepatitis treatment; however alternate models for care are necessary to meet the needs of Chatham County populations with HCV disparities, especially the uninsured. For example, the increased numbers of newly diagnosed baby boomers alone will eventually outpace the capacity of specialists to treat these patients. Programs that increase primary care providers’ capacity to screen, link, and treat HCV infection are crucial. One such program has been implemented at St. Joseph’s/Candler in the system’s two safety net clinics, St. Mary’s Health Center and the Good Samaritan Clinic through the Nancy N and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion’s (LCRP) cancer prevention program.
SJCHS_St. Mary's Clinic_ConsultThe LCRP is a Community Cancer Center in Coastal Georgia. LCRP disparities efforts focus on cancer prevention, screening, and facilitating access to cancer care for two nurse-managed clinics for uninsured, low-income, predominately African American and Hispanic populations. In 2014, the LCRP began implementing Centers for Disease Control (CDC) HCV testing guidelines as a cancer prevention strategy at these clinics.
As HCV patients at St. Joseph’s/Candler safety net clinics were identified, it became clear that disease specific protocols needed to be developed. The development of these protocols focused on overcoming obstacles and barriers including a general lack of CDC clinical testing guidelines resulting in inaccurate diagnosis, secondary prevention and treatment resulting in non-evidence-based clinical care, the perception that expensive HCV treatment is inaccessible for uninsured patients, and finally the statewide under-utilization of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and other data tracking tools.
The LCRP worked with the clinics to address these obstacles and identified community and statewide educational resources, physician champions, and technical assistance along with providing program implementation, and data monitoring support. A multi-disciplinary team developed secondary prevention protocols while a clinical team implemented testing and treatment algorithms resulting in a 60% increase in testing and diagnosis. Secondary prevention activities are focused on to prevent further liver damage including vaccination, and referrals for alcohol and/or substance abuse counseling.
In 2014, no HCV+ individuals had been treated at St. Joseph’s/Candler two safety net clinics. In 2015, three HCV+ individuals were treated using medication provided through MedBank, a pharmaceutical assistance program, and using a nurse-practitioner co-management treatment model supported by an internal medicine physician specializing in HCV treatment. The use of EMRs allowed improved patient tracking and evidence-based care. LCRP hopes the results of this program will provide a model for traditionally difficult to access preventive care and treatment for high risk populations.
For more information, please contact Sarah Dobra, Disparities Program Manager, at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at 912-819-8636 or For more information on LCRP cancer programs visit,