THA receives competitive grant funds

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 8, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Using funds from a competitive grant, the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority is partnering with four other facilities to implement the Delta Rural Access Program.

THA was awarded $1.1 million from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resource and Service Administration to implement the program, which is focused on providing access to healthcare in rural areas.

The four partners for the grant are West Alabama Mental Health, Health and Wellness Center of Sumter County, Washington County Hospital and Monroe County Hospital; which all received $18,250 in grant funds.

The two focus areas of the DRAP program are providing preventative care for at-risk individuals for chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity; and increasing access to prescription drugs for the medically indigent, including those who benefit from Medicare and Medicaid.

According to Loretta Smith, program coordinator, the program will provide primary services such as the necessary training to do basic first aid, CPR, blood pressure and diabetic checks in addition to assistance with areas developing their own health care program.

The counties who will benefit from the program include Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Washington and Wilcox.

Smith said these counties are the focus of the program because they are medically underserved and rank among the poorest in both the state and the nation. Furthermore, the prevalence of chronic health disorders are higher and the access to healthcare is limited due to unavailability of public transportation, limited or no health insurance, low education and unavailable employment.