Tekla Sanders, MHA, MBA
Contact Project Manager:
   Irene   McCraw

The long-term goal of the Health Services Core is to improve the coordination and delivery of healthcare services by assessing the effectiveness of community-based service delivery   models that address health disparities and issues associated with access to care.  The primary objectives of its programs focus on increasing the quality, availability, and effectiveness of educational and community-based programs designed to prevent disease and improve health and quality of life.   By using models that integrate and more efficiently manage existing healthcare resources, the activities within this core develop and improve strategies, methods, and program models to increase the health status of   rural and minority populations.

The primary aim of Health Services is to eliminate gaps in care that rural disadvantaged and minority populations experience.  In pursuit of this goal, this Core focuses on better understanding factors that lead to racial health care disparities and funding practical effective solutions that will enhance health care systems’ ability to improve the quality of care for all.  Through the Health Services Core the Institute supports programs at the community level that directly touch people’s lives and we expect to improve the health status of those we serve.  As we look ahead to the future, we hope to develop additional programs and partnerships that will help address some of the factors associated with disproportions in health care among specific ethnic groups and prevent the decrements of health.  Ultimately, this core envisions improving the way health care is delivered in underserved communities and becoming a model for the nation.

Core Activities

Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi Health Initiative in African American/Minority Churches http://www.msdiabetes.org/

The program developed by the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi provides baseline screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure and blood lipids at churches with populations at high-risk for developing diabetes and associated cardiovascular complications; screenings, and diabetes self-management information to those with diabetes and/or to family members caring for those with the disease; and information on lifestyle modifications to improve overall health and reduce chances of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in those with family history of the disease.

The program also attempts to raise awareness about diabetes prevention by incorporating physical activity and better eating habits. It is hoped the end result will be a healthier, more knowledgeable population who will perhaps adopt beneficial behaviors for life.

Tougaloo College: Addressing Health Disparities by Reaching Out www.tougaloo.edu

This project facilitates the establishment of a community based participatory research (CBPR) resource in the Delta and utilizes an integrated outreach approach to provide health, wellness and nutrition education, primary care and fitness services to improve the disparate health outcomes of rural, disadvantaged, minority populations. The programs and services are designed to effect long-term improvements in the social, behavioral and environmental health of the following counties: Hinds, Humphreys Madison, Rankin, and Washington.

Bayou LaBatre Rural Health Clinic: Bayou Outreach and Support Service Project www.bayouclinic.org

The Bayou LaBatre Rural Health Clinic will work with other health care and social service providers to address unmet health care needs to the multi-generational residents and the medically indigent in this shrimping village on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  This project will apply lessons learned about practice-based research to community health improvement model.