This presentation describes the outcomes-driven Coaching and Comprehensive Health Supports (COACHES) Program model that was developed and delivered through a partnership between Amerigroup Georgia, a Medicaid service health care management organization; Families First, a leading human service agency; and the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.

The COACHES Program model employs evidence-based methods to address social determinants of health. COACHES has demonstrated significant cost savings for Medicaid-funded services for youth aging out of foster care in Georgia. COACHES leadership at Amerigroup and Families First leveraged the demonstrated reduced health care spending, improved healthy behaviors, and life-skills data to secure legislative appropriations in Georgia to sustain the practice-based research project. 

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will review the core elements of the COACHES program service delivery and data reporting methods 
  • Participants will be able to describe how COACHES program leadership engaged public health, social service and legislative state-holders to sustain the program’s services 
  • Participants will identify elements of the COACHES model and advocacy methods that may be employed locally 

Presenters: Cassandra Malone, Healthcare Innovation Project Technical Lead-Consultant, Families First; Tanya Chambers-Ashford, Business Change Manager, Senior and Project Lead for the COACHES program, Amerigroup Georgia

Cassandra Malone
Healthcare Innovation Project Technical Lead-Consultant
Families First

Cassandra Malone has more than 20 years’ experience translating federal health and social service programs to local communities. Her work in public health has focused on leading federally-funded health service education training and quality-improvement and research initiatives delivered through collaborations with state and local health departments and community-based providers. Her professional goal is to expand access and improve health outcomes for medically underserved populations. She is the former director of CAI Atlanta, the Atlanta office of New York–based nonprofit CAI - Cicatelli Associates Inc., where she oversaw multiple federally-funded projects related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and reproductive and breast health education services in the southeastern U.S. and nationally. Malone has served as the director of constituent services for U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop of Georgia and the assistant director of educational programs for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's of public health in health policy and management from Emory University and a bachelor's in philosophy from Spelman College.

Tanya Chambers-Ashford
Business Change Manager, Sr. and Project Lead for the COACHES program
Amerigroup Georgia

Tanya Chambers-Ashford serves as the Georgia Families 360° (GF360°) Business Change Manager, Sr. and Project Lead for the COACHES program. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the Medicaid and Managed Care arena, through her previous work with Department of Family and Children Services, the Department of Community Health, and now with Amerigroup. She is the former director of member services with Department of Community Health, where she had oversight of the Georgia Families (Medicaid Managed Care Program) Members Services Division for Georgia. In her current role as the GF 360° Business Change Manager, she helps to run the day to day operations of the GF 360° program; develops and implements new innovation and initiatives that directly impacts the health care needs of the youth in the GF 360° program. 

Amerigroup Community Care is the single care management organization for youth in foster care, adoptive assistance, and certain youth in the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Chambers-Ashford holds a master's of public administration from Troy State University, master's in organizational development from Brenau University, and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from Georgia State University.