The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced recently in a press release that it has made an $ 810,000, three-year grant to the Rural Alabama Prevention Center (RAPC) based in Greene County.
The grant is part of a larger $10 million DRA program to reduce chronic diseases that disproportionately affect the region. The funds will support collaborative efforts among health care providers to use an evidence-based model to address diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, stroke and behavioral health.
Other program recipients are in the other states in the Mississippi River Delta Region served by DRA, a Federal and state collaboration directed at low income areas in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and the western Alabama ‘Black Belt’ region.
The Delta States Rural Development Network Grant Program requires that local health providers work together across counties and parishes to share resources and expertise, with a focus on strengthening the knowledge of Delta region communities about health risks and disease management. Funded projects are tailored from programs showing evidence of effectiveness in addressing gaps and needs in a community setting and improvements in the health status of individuals. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funds these grants.
Since 2002, HRSA has partnered with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to implement the program. The DRA leverages federal funding to improve lives and spur economic development in the Delta region.
The Rural Alabama Prevention Center, established as a non-profit corporation in 2012, is based in Boligee at 1118 County Road 150, where it operates an Intermediate Care Facility, according to its listing on the Internet.
Loretta Webb is listed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Alabama Prevention Center. Five other persons are listed as principals of the corporation: Wynell Gardner from Sawyerville AL, Lashun Henley from Eutaw AL, Dr. Sandral Hullett from Eutaw AL, Gloria Mobley from Eutaw AL, and Kenya Turner from Boligee AL.
Ms. Webb currently serves as the Administrator of Hill Hospital in York (Sumter County), Alabama and serves on the Board of Directors of the Greene County Health System, which includes the Greene County Hospital, Nursing Home and Physicians Clinic. Prior to the funding announcement, the GCHS was not involved in the planning of the proposed program.
At a recent GCHS Board meeting, Ms. Webb announced the RAPC program and said that after getting some clarifications from DRA, RAPC would be back to negotiate an agreement to involve the Greene County Health System in the newly funded program.
“Our Delta communities exhibit some of the greatest need in the U.S. for public health and access to quality, affordable health care,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-chairman of the DRA. “Investments from this program are an important complement to local, state, and DRA efforts to improve health outcomes and worker productivity in the Delta.”