TUCKER, GA, September 19th – The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) has awarded State Senator Steve Gooch of Dahlonega its 2018 Family Medicine Legislative Champion of the Year Award, for his leadership in advancing legislation to provide reliable and affordable broadband Internet access to Georgia’s rural communities.
“This is a gesture of our appreciation for your efforts to assist family physicians and our patients in Georgia,” said Loy D. “Chip” Cowart, MD President of GAFP, in presenting the award. “Your commitment to supporting the passage of Achieving Connectivity Elsewhere and your dedication helping our members serve their patients elevated you above all others considered for this award. We are sincerely thankful for your service.”
The Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) Act, formerly known as SB 402, was sponsored by State Senator Gooch this past session of the General Assembly. The bill, passed unanimously in its first reading, authorizes state and local governments to create a rural broadband infrastructure. Funding for this infrastructure will come through public and private sector programs. Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 402 into law with immediate effect on May 7, 2018.
Since his election to the State Senate in 2010, Steve Gooch, a Republican, has represented the 51st District—consisting of Fannin, Union, Gilmer, White, Dawson, his home county Lumpkin, and parts of Pickens and Forsyth counties—in northern Georgia. He was elected Majority Whip in 2014. He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and Secretary of the Senate Appropriations Committee. With his duties in the State Senate, Gooch is also the Executive Director of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County. Prior to his election in 2010 he served as the sole Commissioner of Lumpkin County.
Mr. Gooch graduated from North Georgia College and State University, now the University of North Georgia, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration followed by a Master’s in Public Administration.
Established in 1947, the GAFP is a member chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. GAFP strives to promote the health of the citizens of Georgia by advancing the specialty of Family Medicine through education, advocacy and service to family physicians in the State of Georgia. Boasting a membership of 3,100 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students, the organization supports those who aspire to achieve excellence and who are committed to delivering it. For more information, please visit us at gafp.org or call (404) 321-7445.