Contact: David Gross or Mary Margaret Colliver
“This grant will enable us to strengthen the health care infrastructure within this region. We’re not taking anything away. We’re enhancing the relationships we already have in order to bring new and improved health care services to people that might not ordinarily be able to have access to them.”
-- Susan Starling,
Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2004) -- The newly formed Kentucky River Health Network (KRHN) has been awarded a $200,000 outreach grant by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to foster greater coordination of services and more partnerships in delivering health care in rural Kentucky.
The grant will allow Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital in Irvine to build a network with health care providers, including Kentucky River District Public Health Department, Hazard; Lee County Constant Care, a long-term nursing and assisted-living facility in Beattyville; and the Lee County Emergency Medical Services. Lee County Fiscal Court and Lee County Area Technology Center, a vocational technology high school, represent non-health entities in the network partnership.
“This grant will enable us to strengthen the health care infrastructure within this region,” Marcum & Wallace President/CEO Susan Starling said prior to a grant celebration luncheon, held May 21 at the Cedar Village Restaurant in Irvine. “We’re not taking anything away. We’re enhancing the relationships we already have in order to bring new and improved health care services to people that might not ordinarily be able to have access to them.”
The first phase of the grant focuses on improving access to health care and providing preventive care services for the underinsured and uninsured in Lee County. The services and activities that will be offered include:
- Mammography, prostate and PSA screenings;
- Development of a hepatitis screening service;
- Transportation services;
- Educational programs to recruit students interested in medical professions;
- Continuing education programs for participating health care providers; and
- Public awareness programs.
“The funds will help rural providers improve the delivery of vital health services to local residents,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said of the $2.1 million that was awarded to 11 rural health outreach grantees chosen from among more than 200 applicants. “By building rural health partnerships, health care professionals will be better able to offer their skills and services into the most isolated parts of the nation, where the need is great and resources often are scarce.”
The other Kentucky grantee, Murray State University, was awarded $187,150. It will partner with the Purchase Area Health Education Center and Western Kentucky Children’s Coalition in an effort to strengthen dental services for children in Kentucky’s Delta Region. The UK Center for Rural Health, through its Kentucky State Office of Rural Health, provided technical support for each of Kentucky’s successful grant applications.
“The Center for Rural Health is proud to help this worthy community get the resources they need to address their own problems, using their own ingenuity,” said Judy Jones, J.D., director of the UK Center for Rural Health. “I'm sure Marcum & Wallace will put these funds to use for the good of this region.”
The grant recommends continued support for two additional years with funding of $200,000 each year. Proposals for Phase II include implementation of services and activities in five other counties within KRHN’s service area – Breathitt, Jackson, Owsley, Powell and Wolfe. The long-term plan focuses on community development that emphasizes the education of young people and continuing education for health care providers.