Health care can be a difficult puzzle. We work as one to put the pieces
together for Chatham County and for you.

Who We Are

Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council is a county-wide planning body of key stakeholders, including providers, government representatives, advocates, funders, academics and consumers. Our goal is to strengthen the health care infrastructure for primary and behavioral health care and build capacity within our community’s safety net system, improving access to affordable care and the quality of that care for the uninsured and underinsured. Ultimately, we strive to improve health outcomes in Chatham County by working together on common problems.

Our Mission

The mission of the Planning Council is to develop an infrastructure to maximize access and utilization of health services and to leverage available resources to assure improved health status for our residents.

Our History

In 2004, the Chatham County Safety Net Planning (Planning Council) was created to assist the Chatham County Commission in better meeting the health care needs of uninsured and underinsured residents. Under the organizational leadership of the Chatham County Health Department, the group was asked to gain a better understanding of the health care needs of low income uninsured citizens in Chatham County, explore existing resources to meet their needs and to find opportunities to maximize the use of these resources.

Program development has been funded by Chatham County, National League of Cities, United Way, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Georgia Department of Community Health, Southeast Georgia Cancer Alliance, Health Resources and Services Administration, Georgia Department of Behaviorial Health and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and partner donations. This funding has helped support projects including the Campaign for Healthy Kids, Prevent Suicide Today, community Care Navigator program, expanded prescription assistance, a community-approach to adopting Electronic Health Records (EHR), building a county/regional Health Information Exchange (HIE), ad hoc street medicine clinics for the homeless and behavioral health work for children and youth. Today the Planning Council has grown to be a free-standing non-profit organization and a trusted leader in finding effective and efficient ways to address health care challenges in Chatham County.


What we do

Connect People to Health Insurance

Health Information Exchange (HIE)

Annual Evaluation: The Planning Council members share results. Once a year, all providers submit a set of data to the Evaluation Committee. The annual evaluation compares key metrics across previous years so we can document our progress, measure our successes, better understand new issues and challenges, and get an idea of what key areas that need to be addressed. Click here to view past Evaluations

Council Meetings: The partners and members meet every other month to improve the entire range of health care for the uninsured and underinsured. We believe that working together will lead to a better system of prevention, health education, care and treatment. To us, working together means communicating and sharing ideas to find better ways to provide health care to more people for less money. Click here to view upcoming meetings.


Elisabeth HayesLisa Hayes

Executive Director, Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council
Executive Director, ChathamHealthLink

Lisa Hayes has over 15 years of experience in program and financial management in the non-profit, academic, and private sectors along with extensive experience building effective partnerships. Prior to her most recent work as an independent consultant, she served as a Senior Program Director with the Task Force for Global Health. During that time, she co-authored the book, “Real Collaboration: What it Takes for Global Health to Succeed.” Hayes is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and received her Master of Business Administration degree from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in 2000. She is a Fellow of the 11th class of the Liberty Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.  Presently, she is part of a four-member team from Georgia participating in the Anne E. Casey Foundation’s leadership development program, the National Children’s Leadership Network (CHLN).  CHLN works to advance leaders in the field of children’s health and well-being policy.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is made up of the following representatives:

  • Dr. Mark Johnson, CEO, Gateway Behavioral Health Services, Chair
  • Albert Grandy, CEO, Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Treasurer
  • Adam Walker, Director of Operations, Mission Services, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Vice Chair
  • Jennifer Wright, Director, Public Policy, Memorial Health University Medical Center
  • Brandon Gaffney, CEO, J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center
  • Sr. Pat Baber, Executive Director, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System’s St. Mary’s Community Center and Good Samaritan Clinic
  • Lawton C. Davis, MD, District Health Director, Coastal Health District

Our Staff

Left to Right: Eva Elmer (Director of Outreach and Communications), Tamara Solomon, (Outreach and Enrollment Specialist, Coastal Campaign), Vira Salzburn (Manager, Prevent Suicide Today Program and Special Projects, Chatham County Safety Net), Lisa Hayes (Executive Director, Chatham County Safety Net), Yahira Heraldez (Bilingual Outreach and Enrollment Specialist, Coastal Campaign), LaToya Brannen (Lead Enrollment Assistor and Technical Expert, Coastal Campaign), Sarah Dobra (Program Manager, Behavioral Health)