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RVRC receives Bicycle Friendly Business

designation from League of American Bicyclists

The League of American Bicyclists recognized the River Valley Regional Commission with a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business award. RVRC joins more than 1,100 visionary businesses from across the country and becomes the third Bicycle Friendly Business in Columbus, alongside Midtown Medical Center and the Columbus Civic Center. This is an important component of the city of Columbus’ designation as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community in June 2015. Click here to read the full press release. Photos from the February 19 press conference are available on the RVRC Facebook page.


Martin Luther King Jr. Audio/Visual History project

The River Valley Regional Commission’s Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Committee is working with Dr. Gary Sprayberry and Dr. Fred Gordon of Columbus State University on a Martin Luther King Jr. audio/video history project. The intent of this endeavor is to record the events that so many of our citizens in the River Valley area experienced during Dr. King’s time and the civil rights era.

Once completed, the audio/video will be shared with the State of Georgia and the State Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council for their archives and will be made available to libraries and other entities as requested.

We have had much success in identifying individuals who are willing to take part in this project but we continue to seek out other local individuals in our 16-county region who might be interested in participating. Please contact Sarah Walls at (706) 256-2910 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with individuals’ contact information.

(Posted January 28, 2016)






Coming in 2018. New Medicare cards with new numbers. ARE YOU READY?



River Valley AAA administers the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) which is a part of GeorgiaCares


This program helps people with Medicare understand their choices and enroll in a Medicare plan that meets their needs.  GeorgiaCares can help you understand Medicare and get the most out of your healthcare benefits. 


GeorgiaCares provides individual one-on-one counseling, community education and outreach regarding:


• Original Medicare

• Medicare Supplement Insurance

• Medicare Advantage Plans

• Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

• Medicare Appeals and Grievances

• Healthcare Rights and Protections

• Georgia Long-Term Care Partnership

• Prescription Assistance

• Healthcare Fraud

Consumer Protection

• Volunteer Opportunities



For more information contact Cheryl Maddox, SMP Representative, or Eboni Morris, Volunteer Coordinator, at 1-866-552-4464 (Option 4).


Link: http://www.mygeorgiacares.org/




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Fight Fraud by Guarding Your Medicare Number


Health care fraud drives up costs for everyone in the health care system.  One way to protect against such fraud is to guard your Medicare number.  Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting hold of people’s Medicare numbers, so treat your number as you would a credit card. 

Follow these important steps to protect yourself from fraud:


  • Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email, or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance.  Medicare will NEVER contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information.


  • Tell your friends and neighbors to guard their Medicare number.


  • Don’t ever let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.


  • Review your Medicare Summary Notice to be sure you and Medicare are only being charged for actual services.


  • Be wary of salespeople who knock on your door or call you uninvited and try to sell you a product or service.


  • Don’t accept items received through the mail that you didn’t order.  You should refuse the delivery and/or return it to the sender.  Keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items.


  • Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you about Medicare plans unless you gave them permission.


  • There are no “early bird discounts” or “limited time offers.”


  • Don’t let anyone rush you to enroll by claiming you need to “act now for the best deal.”


  • Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds “too good to be true” – especially if you need to hand over your Medicare number in order to receive these items or deals. Decline politely but firmly. 


  • By law, any promotional items you’re offered to enroll in a plan must be worth no more than $15, and these items can’t be given on the condition that you enroll in a plan.


Georgia Cares offsite counseling services - 



And if you’re looking to enroll in a Medicare plan:

Call 1-800-MEDICARE to report suspected fraud.  Learn more about protecting yourself from health care fraud by visiting www.Medicare.gov/fraud or by contacting your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP).  To find the SMP in your state, go to the SMP Locator at www.smpresource.org.


This information prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



Medicare Matters Open Enrollment

Click here to learn more




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Digital Economy recognized with

Best Plan Implementation Award

The Georgia Planning Association presented the Planning Department an award for Best Plan Implementation at the Fall 2015 GPA conference in Savannah. The award was for work stemming from the Digital Economy Plan, which included a suggestion for the creation of a makerspace in Columbus. ColumbusMakesIt is now up and running and is one of the largest makerspaces in the south. The makerspace is located in the warehouse section of the new RVRC building located on Front Avenue in Columbus. Community and Economic Development Director Jim Livingston was on hand to receive the award on behalf of the RVRC.





Columbus named Bicycle Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists announced on June 10, 2015, that Columbus was among the 42 new and renewing communities to achieve the Bicycle Friendly Community status. There are now 350 communities across the country that are improving health, safety, and the quality of life for their citizens through the BFC program. Columbus was recognized as a bronze-level community. The RVRC assisted the City of Columbus and Bicycle Columbus with preparing the BFC application. Click here to learn more.



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Columbus Civic Center designated as

Bicycle Friendly Business

The League of American Bicyclists recognized the Columbus Civic Center with a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award on April 22, joining more than 950 visionary businesses from across the country.


The Civic Center currently offers patrons using bicycles as alternative transportation covered bike parking, staff assisted bike repairs, free skate rentals, free popcorn at arena events, shower facilities, courtesy bike patrols, and will be adding more elements in the near future.


Moving forward, the Civic Center will have access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more bicycle-friendly, and building on this announcement the Mayor’s Bicycle Committee will have more momentum towards the goal of becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community. Click here to learn more. 


RVRC Receives 2014 NADO Transportation Awards

The River Valley Regional Commission received two 2014 Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the River Valley Regional Transit System and the Tour de Farm cycling event.

When an adjacent region’s transit service was discontinuing its service, RVRC recognized the impacts such a service gap could have on the people who relied on the service to access jobs, meals, medical treatment, and other services. RVRC’s existing transit service stepped in to fill the service gap by doubling its service area from eight counties to 16 and tripled the number of trips it provided.


The Tour de Farm uses cycling to promote the region’s growing sustainable agriculture industry. RVRC partnered with Café Campesino, Georgia Organics, and Sumter Cycling to create a unique two-day bicycle adventure through the River Valley countryside that showcases the offerings of local farms.

According to NADO President Terry Bobrowski, executive director of the East Tennessee Development District in Alcoa, TN, “The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards highlight the important results of programs and projects like the Tour de Farm and the River Valley Regional Transit System. Such initiatives are central to fostering quality of place and facilitating economic vitality in our nation’s communities by promoting effective transportation networks.”

NADO is a Washington, DC-based association that promotes programs and policies to strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards showcase organizations for noteworthy projects and practices in rural and small metropolitan transportation planning, program delivery, and special initiatives.  Award winners received national recognition at the 2014 National Rural Transportation Peer Learning Conference, December 3 – 5 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For more information about these projects, contact the River Valley Regional Commission at (706) 256-2910.




 RVRC receives two 2016 NADO Excellence in Regional Transportation Award

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) presented RVRC two 2016 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award for the Fair on the Square Bicycle Adventure and the DHS Transit project. Funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation, these projects seek to reduce to increase bicycle tourism in Stewart County and provide adequate transportation to senior citizens. 


RVRC receives Health Promotion and Wellness Incentive Grant 

The River Valley Regional Commission received an Employee Health Promotion and Wellness Grant awarded by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) to enhance the health and wellness of its employees.

Wellness programs have a demonstrated track record of improving employee health and quality of life while reducing medical claims and improving workplace morale.

“We are pleased GMA recognized our interest in health and wellness and in managing our health care cost,” said Patti Cullen, executive director of the River Valley Regional Commission. “This grant will allow us to provide new wellness screenings and programs for our staff.”

River Valley Regional Commission employees will be offered a confidential health assessment with blood pressure screening and health improvement feedback as one of its scheduled programs.

Area Agency on Aging

Workforce Innovation

Active Valley

Visit our regional bicycle and pedestrian website at www.activevalley.org
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© 2014 River Valley Regional Commission