Delta Health Alliance receives grant to fund diabetes project

Delta Health Alliance receives grant to fund diabetes project

Stoneville, MS – The Delta Health Alliance (DHA) has received a federal grant of $631,235 which will fund a new initiative called TEAM (Training, Education, Access and Management) Sugar-Free, which builds upon previous work done in the region.  The project provides funding through 2013 for services in twenty-one rural counties of Mississippi. (Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, Grenada, Holmes, Lafayette, Leflore, Marshall, Montgomery, Quitman, Panola, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Union, Washington, and Yalobusha)  “Receiving this grant means the DHA and its partners will be able to increase access to care and expand programs that provide prevention education for diabetes,” according to Karen C. Fox, president and CEO of Delta Health Alliance.

In the United States, approximately 23.6 Americans suffer from diagnosed cases of diabetes resulting in an estimated $174 billion impact on the U.S. economy.  In the Mississippi Delta, the percentage of the population with diabetes is 11.7 compared to the national average 7.7 percent.  For African Americans, the reality of diabetes is much more serious as the rate of diabetes prevalence is 37.1 percent compared to 12.3 percent nationally. Diabetes mellitus is the seventh leading cause of death in the nation and the fifth leading cause of death for African Americans over age 45.  Its impact on our communities is profound, leading to a lower quality of life, blindness, lack of mobility and death.

The primary goal of the TEAM Sugar-Free program is to develop, implement and support a comprehensive and sustainable diabetes management and prevention across the Mississippi Delta region.  Local communities, local providers, local hospitals, and local universities are the key alliances to address the high rate of diabetes in the Delta.  The DHA, in partnership with Northwest Regional Medical Center Diabetes and Metabolic Clinic, the Delta AHEC (Area Health Education Center) located at the Delta State University School of Nursing, University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, Mississippi State Department of Health, University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Clinic, and local clinics, have formed a consortium to address the gaps for access to care for Delta residents with diabetes.

The goals of TEAM Sugar-free are  to provide disease monitoring and prevention education through Mississippi Department of Health; install and develop interfaces for eye cameras for diabetic retinopathy eye screening through University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute; provide medication therapy management by University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy by tracking medications resulting in a change in A1c levels for patients; provide diabetes education programs for children and recruit nursing students from Delta State University to deliver community-based education through the Delta AHEC; provide access to clinic-based diabetes programs for Delta residents through Northwest MS Regional Medical Center Diabetes & Metabolic Center in Clarksdale; and expand clinical services to six clinics to provide primary care to residents.  The pilot clinics for the project are Aaron Henry Clinic, Clarksdale, Greenville Clinic, Kosciusko Medical Center, Indianola Family Medical Group, and additional locations to be determined will be added at a later date.

The Delta Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that supports community-based health care initiatives that target critical health and wellness issues in the Mississippi Delta. Located in Stoneville, MS, the Delta Health Alliance currently funds 35 community-based programs that are spread throughout the Delta region.