Home Page

UWA receives multi-year grant to focus on rural health


The University of West Alabama recently received a two-year $730,000 Delta Healthcare Services Grant to implement the West Alabama Rural Health Initiative (WARHI). The purpose of the West Alabama Rural Health Initiative (WARHI) is to facilitate a partnership with local healthcare entities, outreach programs, andeducational institutions that develop
the healthcare career pipeline in West Alabama.

The WARHI team includes five key players who will guide the success of the program.

UWA’s Tina Jones, executive director of the Division of Economic Development and Outreach, and Veronica Triplett, director for the Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Services, are WARHI’s co-directors. They will oversee the operations of the program, from supervising research, training, and reporting, to implementing activities, and developing partnerships.
“WARHI will allow us to build on partnerships that have a proven track record,” said Jones.
West Central Alabama Area Health Education Center (AHEC)’s D’Aviance Harris and Earl Johnson will serve as regional coordinators of the WARHI Scholars Program and Rural Health Immersion Program respectively. Harris will oversee regional field trips, summer programs, and implementation activities. Johnson will oversee the recruitment, selection, and implementation of a one-week residential program that targets medical students who have completed their first year.
“We are extremely excited to be a collaborator in the WARHI partnership. This program will allow us to identify and cultivate students who have the potential, ability, and passion for rural health care,” said Regina Knox, Executive Director of the West Central Alabama AHEC.
The West Central Alabama AHEC’s primary mission is to stimulate regional economies of the counties served by increasing the number of individuals who enter healthcare programs that come from West Alabama, have an interest in training in rural areas, and ultimately obtain healthcare jobs in rural West Alabama communities.
The Tombigbee Healthcare Authority will offer health education and health care services to residents within the six counties the project is targeting. Alex Moore will serve as the program manager for the H-COW program. The H-COW is a mobile clinic that provides immediate care to individuals in rural areas who cannot pay and/or access healthcare.
According to Moore, the staffed H-COW will travel to several locations within each of the six counties to educate and serve patients. The H-COW is equipped with two complete exam rooms, a small lab, intake area, and Satellite Boosted Internet and Telemedicine.
This partnership will support local healthcare developments as well as initiate programs that encourage the development of leadership skills and attract local students into health professional education programs, work in the region, select clinical rotations in the region and provide much-needed services to the underserved communities within West Alabama.
The 2-year program will consist of establishing experiential education programs for students entering the 10th grade that promote healthcare careers in Choctaw, Marengo, and Sumter Counties. The program will also train 24 adults to become CNA’s. The summer programs and H-COW services will also additionally serve Greene, Hale, and Perry Counties. Activities will include 1.) regional field trips and events with 45 high school students to explore local and regional healthcare centers and local healthcare career options, 2.) a 1-week summer health leadership program for 10th grade students; 3.) a 1-week rural health immersion program for first year medical students, and 4.) healthcare screening services within the WARHI service area.
Funding is provided through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Cooperative Services. The purpose of the Delta Healthcare Services program is to provide financial assistance to address the continued unmet health needs in the Delta Region through cooperation among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research institutions and economic development entities in the Delta Region.
For more information about this program, contact Jones or Triplett at tnj@uwa.edu or vtriplett@uwa.edu.  To reach by phone, call Division of Economic Development and Outreach at (205) 652-3828.
Click here to view the Health Care On Wheels 2017 travel schedule
Click here to download the West Alabama Rural Health Initiative Scholars Application


© 2018 Center for the Study of the Black Belt