Delta Health Alliance Receives Two New Grants

Stoneville, MS- The Delta Health Alliance recently received two federal grants to expand its programs in the Mississippi Delta. One grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Human Services for $313,329. The other grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for $186,200. Both grants will be used for the Delta Health Alliance to bring mental health services to medically underserved areas in the Delta.

Partners with the Delta Health Alliance in these grant programs include community mental health centers in Greenwood and Clarksdale, their satellite sites in Charleston, Indianola, and Belzoni, the Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Both grants allow the Delta Health Alliance to expand the mental health services it is providing to patients in the Delta. According to Dr. Karen Fox, president and CEO, “Because the Delta is so short on medical specialists and because few residents can travel to Jackson or Memphis to receive care, we are bringing those doctors to the Delta, via computer and interactive video connections.” The program began one year ago and allows a patient to come to a community health center in Greenwood or Clarksdale, and talk “live” with a psychiatrist. But the doctor is in Jackson and the conversation takes place over secure video and audio high-speed connections. “These new grants,” according to Fox, “will allow us to include more communities in this network and make more physicians a part of the network.”

The entire Delta region has a shortage of mental health professionals, thus, by providing a tool that expands access to these services and distance learning opportunities, this Delta Health Alliance initiative will enable mental health patients to receive access to quality care that will
allow them to live happier, more productive lives.

“We have been very fortunate to have had the support of the Delta Health Alliance during the past year to initiate mental health services in these community mental health centers and to provide training to their staff”, says Dr. Grayson Norquist, a psychiatrist at the University Medical Center who is helping to manage the program. “With this new funding we can expand our services and improve the continuity of care between the inpatient services at the State Hospital and the outpatient services provided at the Delta centers.”

The Delta Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that supports community-based healthcare 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.