Horizons Community Solutions, Inc.

Coming Together. Changing Lives.

Albany, GA   |


Strengthening communities and empowering people to lead healthy and productive lives.

Ruling year info



Mrs. Cynthia Merchant

Main address

2332 Lake Park Drive

Albany, GA 31707 USA

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Formerly known as

Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition

Cancer Coalition of South Georgia



NTEE code info

Cancer (G30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Cancer Screening Program

This nationally-recognized program promotes breast, cervical, prostate and colorectal cancer screening among patients of local federally-qualified Community Health Centers (CHC).

In corporation with healthcare partners, the Cancer Coalition employs Community Health Navigators. These Navigators coordinate and facilitate cancer screening services for uninsured and underinsured residents of south Georgia. The Navigators work in cooperation with CHC clinics and local health departments serving rural communities to identify and care for patients in need of cancer screening services.

Each Navigator provides one-on-one education and assists patients in getting access to free or low-cost screening services. The program provides for mammograms (breast cancer screening), Pap tests (cervical cancer screening), prostate cancer screening, and colonoscopies (colon and rectal cancer screening) for eligible residents.

Population(s) Served

Provides gas cards to eligible cancer patients so they may travel to cancer treatment at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Tift Regional Medical Center.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work


Community Partnership Award 2013

Mutual of America Community Partnership Award

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is strengthening communities and empowering people to lead healthy and productive lives. We aim to accomplish this goal of improving overall health and quality of life for residents within our communities by working with the community to identify some of the underlying causes of poor health. Then, we create and carry out a plan to address the causes, such as limited education and workforce training, obesity, poor housing conditions, lack of healthcare access, etc. Our vision is have a culture of wellness that achieves optimal health for everyone. Long term, we aim to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality while improving population health and reducing disparities. We also aim to always be fiscally sound and transparent, acting with the highest integrity as stewards of all funds entrusted to us.

At Horizons Community Solutions, we apply proven, evidence-based practices as our strategies. Our strategies include, but are not limited to, the following: Individualized health navigation; facilitation of access to cancer screenings, primary healthcare and other medical care; targeted education to adults and young people regarding living healthier lives and reducing risks of cancer and other illnesses; leading and sustaining collaboration among stakeholders to increase community capacity to improve social determinants of health; community-based research regarding risk reduction and health promotion (e.g., tobacco use cessation, obesity prevention/reduction) as well as contributions to basic science research (e.g., accruals to the regional biobank and to a new colorectal cancer screening test); assessment of and assistance with critical needs of patients in cancer treatment as well as cancer survivors; and community transformation projects. Our overall strategy is to engage and collaborate with myriad entities in order to increase our impact and use limited resources most effectively. In addition, we operate in a culturally sensitive manner that respects the populations with whom we work.

We have excellent capabilities for implementing our strategies and accomplishing our goals. Our capacity includes our leadership and staff expertise, comprising decades of experience in program design and delivery, nonprofit and fiscal management, evaluation, health promotion and education, development/fundraising, and relationship building/stakeholder engagement, among other skills. Staff members also excel in their academic credentials as well as their unwavering dedication to our mission. Our Board of Directors is diverse, experienced and equally committed to accomplishing the organization's goals. Our capacity also includes our established and broad networks of partners, including healthcare centers/hospitals, healthcare providers, civic groups, school systems/colleges/universities, public health agencies, businesses/corporations/industry, government agencies and legislators, faith-based organizations, professional associations, advocacy and survivor groups, and others. Horizons Community Solutions is responsive and flexible, allowing us to evolve and remain successful despite economic challenges and the rapidly changing healthcare landscape. As further evidence of our capabilities, we are able to regularly create and/or act upon new opportunities to further our mission. We are a highly trusted and respected organization whose expertise and involvement is regularly sought after by other organizations throughout our region, the state, and nationally.

Selected accomplishments include: The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia has created a coordinated and highly effective system of care known as the Community Cancer Screening Program TM (CCSP). The CCSP has achieved national recognition by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Cancer Institute, Mutual of America Foundation, and Cable News Network (CNN) and was adopted as Georgia's statewide model. From its inception in 2006 through 2015, nearly 5,000 men and women have been served by this program, demonstrating great success in reaching an acutely underserved, mostly rural, high minority population with vital health navigation and care. By finding cancer early – or preventing it – the CCSP also has saved and continues to save healthcare dollars and reduce the region's heavy healthcare burden. We are responsible for four school districts adopting the strictest 100% tobacco-free policies, with numerous businesses, colleges/universities, city governments and other entities following suit. In collaboration with Emory University, we completed a groundbreaking ten-year research study on preventing and reducing obesity. The project not only assisted thousands of families in understanding and improving their health-related choices, but it also significantly contributed to the professional literature. We have conducted more than 30 research studies on topics ranging from decision-making among treatment options and risk factors to attitudes toward emerging tobacco products. We also regularly conduct community assessments and use the information obtained to develop and implement programs that directly meet our communities' most urgent needs. We have designed and implemented a Cancer Patient Assistance Program that provides indigent patients with financial assistance for critical needs such as transportation to treatment, groceries, and medical equipment. Each year, we educate thousands of individuals to reduce their risks of cancer and other diseases and improve their overall health. To continue accomplishing our mission, we have grown and evolved dramatically since our start in 2002. Horizons Community Solutions has earned the highest “Four Star" rating by Charity Navigator recognizing our accountability, transparency and quantifiable results. We continue to work toward accomplishing broad, long-term, sustainable community health across our region. We plan to engage more employers in directly supporting community health. We also are continually working to accomplish reductions in cancer incidence and mortality as well as measurable reductions in all health-related disparities throughout our entire service area.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve


Horizons Community Solutions, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Horizons Community Solutions, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Bruce Austin

General Manager, WALB

Term: 2021 -

Clay Banks

Equity Group Georgia Division, LLC

Cynthia Merchant

Horizons Community Solutions

James A. Hotz

Albany Area Primary Health Care

Richard Royal

Georgia State Representative, Retired

Matt Reed

Georgia CEO

Chirag Jani

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Apurva Shah

Tift Regional Medical Center

Bruce Austin


Tommy Clark

Colony Bank

Adam Jones

Radiation Oncology Associates

Linda Taylor

Scott Steiner

Phoebe Putney Health System

Cader Cox, III

Marion Fedrick

Albany State University

Derek Heard, MD

Phoebe Putney Health System

Dorothy Hubbard

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.