$9.2M HRSA grant to aid care in rural areas

By Bernie Monegain
10:01 AM

Organizations that receive help through the programs use the money for a wide variety of initiatives, such as the purchase and upgrade of health information technology, chronic disease management, workforce development, school fitness and dental programs, mental and behavioral health and maternal and child health.

Administered by the HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the funding supports four grant programs: Delta State Rural Development Network, Rural Health Care Services Outreach, Rural Health Network Development and Rural Health Workforce Development. The HRSA's Office of Rural Health Policy provides these programs to increase access to care for residents of rural and frontier communities.

The GHPC's Community Health Systems Development team, a staff of 14 healthcare experts, will manage the project. CHSD has been providing capacity building and training to HRSA grantees since 2002. The current contracts include 206 communities across the United States. The CHSD team has worked with more than 800 communities in every state, Puerto Rico and in regions as far away as the Marshall Islands.

The CHSD program focuses on helping communities build local capacity to increase access to care and improve the health status of residents. Once community-based organizations are awarded grant funding through HRSA, the CHSD team provides one-on-one training and resource support for the duration of their three-year grant cycle. Concentrating on organizational sustainability and strategic planning, the program offers a variety of innovative techniques, including individual site visits, webinars, peer-to-peer learning, workshops and an interactive online database.

"The grant programs are mechanisms for improving care and expanding services in rural and underserved areas, including frontier and tribal communities,” said Beverly Tyler, senior research associate with the Georgia Health Policy Center and leader of the CHSD team.

"This work is very important to the Georgia Health Policy Center because it keeps us connected to communities," said Karen Minyard, executive director of the GHPC. "By working with people who are trying to find health access solutions locally, our work at the state and the national level is more relevant."