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Grant sought to improve treatment for chronically ill
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Hoping to curb the number of local chronic disease sufferers not receiving regular care, the Diversity Health Center board of directors recently applied for the State Office of Rural Health’s Rural Health Network Grant.
Part of the ORH’s goal of fostering more collaboration between health care providers to improve health care services in rural Georgia, the RHN grant would assist Diversity, Liberty Regional Medical Center and both the Liberty and Long County health departments with creating a new partnership to better serve the extensive portion of residents dealing with two common chronic diseases.
“What we’ve found here at Diversity is that a large percentage of the individuals we’re seeing have diabetes, hypertension or both,” Diversity Medical Director Russ Toal said during the Liberty County Board of Health’s June meeting. “And in our discussions with the hospital, it’s also a large percentage of the people seen in their fast track service in the emergency room.”
According to the director, the $107,000 grant request would allow for the hiring of personnel who could identify sufferers and connect them with regular health care services available in the area.
“This proposal would add a full-time discharge planner/case manager to the hospital staff and a case manager to work between Diversity and the two health departments for the purposes of identifying individuals who have either diabetes or hypertension and are not under active care management,” Toal said. “The case manager would get them into some kind of care management either at the health department or Diversity or with a private physician here in the community.”
Although the ORH’s fiscal year 2008 budget went into affect on July 1, funds for RHN grants will come from funds left in the fiscal year 2007 budget.
An official announcement on grant winners is expected in the coming weeks, ORH spokesperson Dena Brummer said.
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