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Helping To Piece Together the Health Care Puzzle

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

We are a county-wide planning body of key stakeholders interested in health care for the uninsured. The Council includes providers, government representatives, advocates, funders, and consumers. Our goal is to strengthen the health care infrastructure for primary care, build capacity within our community’s safety net system, improve access to health care and link the uninsured and underinsured to a medical home. Ultimately we strive to improve health outcomes in Chatham County by working together on common problems.

The CCSNPC partners are the providers of care to the uninsured and underinsured, including the Chatham County Health Department, two federally qualified health centers: Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care and the J. C. Lewis Health Center; volunteer medicine clinics: Community Health Mission and the two clinics associated with St. Joseph’s/Candler Mission Services- St. Mary’s Health Center and Good Samaritan. Both hospital systems, Memorial Health University Medical Center and St. Joseph’s/Candler Health Systems, participate as partners. In addition, there are other community agencies who participate including MedBank, Department of Family and Children Services, United Way, StepUp Savannah, the Southeast Georgia Cancer Alliance, plus a number of local business and community organizations and representatives from city and county government.

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 Council (CCSNPC) 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. CCSNPC also became the health care action team for StepUp, the Savannah Poverty reduction initiative. This allowed the Council to find out how to put existing programs and services together to wipe out the root causes of poverty, a key element in not having health insurance, having a hard time finding health care services and not having a medical home.

Program development has been funded by United Way, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the Georgia Department of Community Health, Southeast Georgia Cancer Alliance, the Health Resources and Services Administration and partner donations. This funding has supported projects including development of a community Care Navigator program, expanded prescription assistance, a community approach to adopting Electronic Health Records (EHR) and building a modern system of Health Information Exchange (HIE). Today CCSNPC 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

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.

The CCSNPC members also share results. Once a year, all providers submit a set of data to the Evaluation Committee of the CCSNPC. With the assistance of Health Sciences Faculty at Armstrong Atlantic State University, all data is put together into a report which is compared to the information from previous years. In this way we can document our progress, measure our successes, better understand new issues and challenges, and get an idea of what still needs to be done.

Click here to view our annual meeting schedule.

Minutes from council meetings are available upon request.

Who leads the Council?


Dr. Diane Weems, the Health Director for the Coastal Health District, has chaired the CCSNPC since its beginning. She is assisted by the CCSNPC Executive Committee, its officers and the Chairs of the Council Committees.

Elisabeth Hayes

The Council’s Executive Director, Lisa Hayes, is responsible for organizing and carrying out all day-to-day activities of the CCSNPC. This leadership, along with the entire CCSNPC, continuously seeks and applies for grant funding from federal, state and private sources to meet priorities and needs identified through its ongoing evaluation and planning process. Learn more by visiting our Leadership page.

Visit our Reports page to view our reports and evaluations.

Now available for download: