A $420,000 federal grant will help improve health for low-income residents of Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties.
“Many people will benefit from this three-year funding,” said LaVerne Slone.
Slone, a registered nurse, works for the Community Services Department at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center and will be project director for the new program, to be known locally as Healthy People, Healthy Communities.
McDowell announced the funding Wednesday. The money was awarded to the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration as part of its Rural Health Outreach Grant Program.
Healthy People, Healthy Communities will promote cardiovascular-disease awareness, patient outreach, health screenings and case management to low-income residents of the four counties.
“Our ‘whole health’ approach will encourage program participants to set their own goals and to promote self-management of their cardiovascular risk factors,” Slone said.
The grant will be administered by McDowell’s Community Services Department in partnership with the Boyle County Extension Service and health departments in each of the four counties where residents receive free services.
Slone has worked during the last two years conducting a heart health study among 220 participants in the region. She was the local project coordinator for the initiative, funded and directed under the auspices of the University of Kentucky School of Nursing.
“This new grant enables us to build on what we learned during the heart health study,” said Audrey L. Powell, a registered nurse who is executive director of McDowell’s Community Services Department. “It will ensure that our rural patients experience the quality of cardiovascular disease management they might receive from America’s best urban hospitals.”
The award was one of 70 grants worth $10.4 million that the federal agency awarded May 2 to rural collaborations across the United States.
To learn more about the new program, contact Slone or Powell at (859) 239-2429.
Since 2008, the McDowell Health foundation has won three HRSA grants worth a total of $999,041, and it currently has another $237,000 application pending with the federal agency.