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UM Recipient of MSDH Grant Aimed to Improve Equity for Mississippians

The University of Mississippi is one of several entities that were recently awarded grants to address health disparities and advance health equity within the state.

To help reach underserved communities, the MSDH’s Office of Preventive Health and Health Equity has awarded nearly $2 million dollars in grants to organizations with programs aimed at improving health equity.

“What we are seeing is that the burden of disease and illness is on racial and ethnic minority populations and the rural and urban poor, and these communities need help,” said Victor Sutton, Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) Chief of Community Health and Clinical Services.

The University of Mississippi’s “Breathe Easy” project seeks to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and substance use services within a collegiate environment through campus engagement activities. The project will train and equip providers to provide the same high level of quality care to every patient, regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, language or level of health literacy.

The groups receiving the competitive grants were chosen based on their ability to address the many barriers to strong health outcomes, including language and literacy skills, faced by historically excluded populations in the community. 

“A major goal of all the funded projects is to ensure that every resident in the state gets the help and support they deserve,” Sutton said.

The MSDH did not say how much each program will receive out of the $2 million dollars.

Other awardees are:

  • Boat People S.O.S, Biloxi 
  • Central Mississippi Inc., Winona 
  • El Pueblo, Biloxi 
  • Fannie Lou Hamer Breast Cancer Foundation, Greenwood 
  • Jackson State University, Jackson 
  • Mississippi Immigrants’ Rights Alliance, Jackson 
  • Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance, Okolona 
  • Mom.ME, Jackson 
  • Operation Shoestring Inc., Jackson 
  • Refill Jackson Initiative, Jackson 
  • The Church Triumphant Global, Jackson 

The project period for all awards ends May 14, 2024. 

For more information on health equity, visit: www.HealthyMS.com/equity

Staff report

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