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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Friday, August 02, 2013
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$5.4 Million to Fight Chronic Health Diseases in Delta Region

Rural health organizations in eight states of the Delta region have been awarded federal funds to address chronic diseases that disproportionately affect the region. Nearly $5.4 million announced today by Health Resources and Services Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., will be used to improve outcomes in the prevention and care of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Through the Delta States Rural Development Grant Program, local health providers will work together across counties and parishes to implement programs targeting these chronic conditions. The programs will focus on strengthening knowledge and changing attitudes toward health risk and disease management.

“This program is designed to help rural communities partner with each other across county and parish lines to address health problems that cannot be solved by single entities working alone,” said Dr. Wakefield. “Networks of care are better able to coordinate services, share best practices and reach more people with limited access to care.”

The funding is part of a collaboration with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), a federal-state partnership formed to improve the economy in the eight-state Delta region. Through its Healthy Workforce Challenge, the DRA is awarding $800,000 in supplemental funds to help five of the federal grantees implement programs that incentivize healthy activities in the workplace.

“A healthy Delta workforce is vitally important to the strength of the Delta Region,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Christopher Masingill. “That contributes to a stronger economy and a stronger America.   This announcement supports the administration’s commitment to invest against chronic health diseases among Delta families and throughout our nation's rural communities.”

The grants align with the goals of the White House Rural Council, initiated by President Obama in 2011 to better meet the needs of rural communities through collaboration between federal agencies.

Delta States Rural Development Network Grant Program FY 2013 Awards



The Tombigbee Healthcare AuthorityDemopolis






Greater Delta Alliance for HealthDe Witt



Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondale



Baptist Health Madisonville, INCMadisonville



The Health Enrichment NetworkOakdale



Parish of RichlandDelhi



Delta State UniversityCleveland



Jefferson Comprehensive Health Center, INC.Fayette



Big Spring Medical AssociationEllington



County of MississippiCharleston



Paris-Henry County Healthcare Foundation, INCParis




The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit

The Delta Regional Authority, a federal-state partnership, is congressionally mandated to identify and provide economic development investments to the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta. Through the Rural Communities Advancement Program, the DRA funds regional initiatives with the guiding principal to build communities and improve lives in the Delta region.