Black Belt Action Commission meeting set for Monday
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 15, 2005
GREENSBORO-After a short delay from Hurricane Dennis the Black Belt Action Commission will hold their meeting on the joint Provider Access and Medicaid/Uninsured groups. The meeting will take place on Monday, July 18th from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Hale County Board of Education in Greensboro.
The groups are two of the three subcommittees of the Health Committee of the Governor’s Black Belt Action Commission. The meeting will focus on the progress of each subcommittee as well as ways that the two subcommittees can work together.
For example, the Medicaid/Uninsured Subcommittee wants the Provider Access Subcommittee to look into things such as the School Nurse Program.
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The Medicaid/Uninsured Subcommittee believes that the program is under-funded and the nurse to student ratio is smaller than it needs to be.
There will also be a discussion about the six focus groups that are going to be held in the Black Belt in the coming weeks. U.S. Representative and Chairman of the Black Belt Action Commission Artur Davis said the purpose of these meetings is assessing the need and finding solutions.
“Pinpointing the number of uninsured in the region and finding ways to provide them with the coverage they need fits directly into the mission of the Black Belt Action Commission ” Davis said. “I look forward to the findings of this report so that we may begin assigning solutions to this particular challenge in the healthcare picture of the Black Belt.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health is taking the lead on this and funding is coming from a federal grant managed by the Health Department.
Focus groups will be made up of small business owners and uninsured working people to find out if insurance is available and barriers employees have in obtaining health insurance. Demopolis and Marion are two of the places where focus groups will be held.
The Governor’s Black Belt Action Commission wants to know how available health insurance is to the people in Black Belt counties of the state and barriers they may have in being able to obtain health insurance.
During the month of August, the Alabama Department of Public Health through its contractor, Southeast Research, will be conducting focus groups in six Black Belt counties to determine barriers residents face in obtaining health insurance.
Focus groups will be made up of small business owners and uninsured working people to find out if insurance is available and barriers employees have in obtaining health insurance. Funding for these activities will be covered through a federal grant managed by the Health Department, “Insurance Directions for Every Alabamian” or the IDEA Project.
Monday’s meeting will kick off a series of other gatherings. The focus groups with small business owners will be in the afternoon on Aug. 2 at the University of West Alabama in Livingston and on Aug. 4 at Gaines Ridge in Camden and on Aug. 11 at Judson College in Marion.
The focus groups with employees will be in the evening on Aug. 2 at the Chamber of Commerce in Demopolis, on Aug. 9 at the Kellogg Conference Center in Tuskegee, and on Aug. 11 at the St. James Hotel in Selma.
State Health Officer Dr. Donald E. Williamson said that the Department has been studying the uninsured in the state since receiving the first IDEA grant in 2002. “We are pleased that the goals of our IDEA grant coincide with goals of the Black Belt Action Commission,” Williamson said. “We hope that the results of our focus groups will provide a better understanding of the availability of health insurance in these counties and any barriers that residents may have in being able to obtain insurance.”
A report on the findings of these focus groups will be available in September through the Alabama Department of Public Health on the IDEA Web site www.adph.org/idea. For more information on the project, please visit the Alabama Department of Public Health Web site at www.adph.org. or contact Gayle Sandlin, with the Alabama Department of Public Health, at(334) 206-5662.