Greenwood Leflore Hospital Awarded $313,107.00 to Drive Down Chronic Diseases in Leflore, Holmes, and Tallahatchie Counties.

Program aims to improve health and reduce health disparities

Today Greenwood Leflore Hospital was awarded a grant of $313,107.00 for a program to increase opportunities for chronic disease prevention, risk reduction and disease management through clinical and community linkages.

The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) award is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will administer the grants, which will run for 3 years, subject to availability of funds.

Overall, HHS awarded $35 million in new grant awards to 49 local health agencies. REACH, a CDC program that began in 1999, focuses on racial and ethnic communities experiencing health disparities. Awardees include local governmental agencies, community-based nongovernmental organizations, tribes and tribal organizations, Urban Indian Health Programs, and tribal and intertribal consortia. They will use public health strategies to reduce tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities.

Seventeen organizations are receiving funds for basic implementation activities; 32 additional organizations are receiving funds to immediately expand their scope of work to improve health and reduce health disparities. REACH is financed in part by the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act.

“The communities served by the Greenwood Leflore Hospital are in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. The Mississippi Delta has some of the highest levels of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity in the nation. This grant will allow us to create a community framework to address the issues of access to care and disease management to our population who are disproportionately affected by these chronic diseases. We want to provide health equity to our priority population. Health equity means that every person has an opportunity to achieve optimal health. This is the goal of our hospital’s REACH project,” said Dodie McElmurray, Principal Investigator for REACH and Chief Operations Officer of Greenwood Leflore Hospital.
Specifically, the work that Greenwood Leflore Hospital will be doing includes:

  • Creating a framework on which to build a lasting initiative to increase opportunities for chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and disease management through clinical and community linkages
  • Assessing the health disparities of our priority population by identifying gaps and underutilization of access to care
  • Creating multi-disciplinary teams to impact our population with evidence-based policy, system, and environmental strategies to maximize opportunities for chronic disease prevention and optimal disease management

“The cost of managing chronic diseases in the area served by Greenwood Leflore Hospital is in excess of $40 million dollars and growing,” said Jim Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Leflore Hospital. “In this country, chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer are the leading causes of death, disability, and health care costs, accounting for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year, and more than 80 percent of the $2.7 trillion our nation spends annually on medical care.”