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Delta Thriving Receives Grant to Help Rural Mississippians Battling Diabetes

The Tallahatchie General Hospital Medical Foundation was recently awarded an $800,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Health Care Outreach Services Program to implement Delta Thriving over a four-year period.

Delta Thriving will provide Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Services the Diabetes Prevention Program, and Medical Nutrition Therapy in a virtual format to participants living in an eight-county service area: Coahoma, Grenada, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha Counties.

In addition to diabetes education and nutrition coaching, Delta Thriving staff will also provide health coaching to individuals who can benefit from lifestyle and nutrition coaching services.

Rural Mississippi has traditionally been underserved and lacks access to these important services.

Less than 10 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes receive diabetes or nutrition education and such services are associated with significant reductions in A1c and improvements in health outcomes and quality of life.

Delta Thriving’s initial data shows an average reduction in A1c of 2.4% and over half of the participants achieved target A1c or better within three to six months.

Additionally, the project will focus on community screenings and address the dire issue of undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes in our state. In Mississippi, nearly a third of adults have high blood pressure and 30 percent of them do not know it. Furthermore, over a third of Mississippians have pre-diabetes and of those, 80 percent do not know it.

These statistics highlight the importance of increased screening measures for diabetes and hypertension as early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to reduce the risk for complications and death. Both conditions are functions of insulin resistance, an often-preventable condition associated with seven of the top 10 leading causes of death.

The project’s consortium includes the William Carey University School of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUSOM), Fastring Evaluation and Consulting Services, and the Tallahatchie General Hospital (TGH). Together, along with their consortium partners, their team is ready to move the needle on diabetes, hypertension, and insulin resistance and stop the unnecessary suffering and negative health outcomes so many of our fellow Mississippians experience.

Dr. Catherine Moring, an OIe Miss Alum and Executive Director of the James C. Kennedy Wellness Center, wrote the grant and will serve as the project director.

Moring has a PhD in Health and Kinesiology and is a registered and licensed dietitian, a certified diabetes care and education specialist and is board certified in advanced diabetes management. Jennifer Taylor will serve as the assistant project director. Jennifer is a registered nurse, certified diabetes care and education specialist, and certified personal trainer. Additional core team members include Dr. Bob Bateman, the Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Preclinical Sciences at WCUSOM, Dr. Danielle Fastring, Associate Professor of Pre-Clinical Sciences and Director of Student Research at WCUSOM and owner of Fastring Evaluation and Consulting Services, Jim Blackwood, TGH administrator and managing partner of Sunflower Management Group, and Ben Bloom owner of Affinity Health.

Delta Thriving includes the use of evidence-based models and through its services will increase access to preventive healthcare services, provide DSMES, DPP, MNT, and health coaching via telehealth, host health fairs and community screenings, and make appropriate referrals for care including behavioral healthcare.

Expected outcomes include:

1) Increased and expanded use of telehealth (Increased access to care)

2) Improved management of chronic conditions

3) Reduction in chronic disease-related complications

4) Reduction in unnecessary healthcare spending

5) Improved health outcomes (e.g., weight loss, reduced A1c, lower blood pressure, normalized blood lipids, improved emotional well-being)

6) Identification of undiagnosed chronic conditions and provision of follow-up care

7) Improved quality of life.

Interested participants can be referred to Delta Thriving’s services by their healthcare provider. You can visit the website www.jckwellness.com for more information on the overall Delta Thriving project as well as Diabetes Solutions Services.

For more information, or to enroll in program services, please contact Dr. Moring by email at cmoring@mytgh.com or by phone at 501-276-5459.

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