Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 11, 2017

HRSA grant will benefit ‘psychosocial needs’ of Henry County, not just medical

Sep 28, 2017

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News

 

The one-million dollar HRSA grant awarded to Henry County is “beyond medical,” Michelle Rosell said during the Board of Health meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

As the Henry County Public Health Department works with their HRSA technical adviser and meets with other grantees, vision for how the three-year grant will benefit the community is beginning to take shape. The first year will be spent focusing on infrastructure and identifying members of the community who should be “at the table” talking about how to fill the gaps in Henry County, Rosell said.

“It’s this very complex, integrated system that would service not only medical needs, but psychosocial needs of the community,” said Rosell, who is the Chief Operating Officer at Henry County Health Center. “That is our end goal.”

Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC) coordinator Kelly Carr and Public Health Director Patti Sallee attended a rural health summit in Minneapolis, Minn., last week where they met with other grantees who are in their second and even third year of the grant.

During the Board of Health meeting, Sallee said that she and Carr learned a lot at the summit. As a nurse, Sallee said she sees people for 15 minutes and then sends them on their way, but the grant is about improving the community beyond just the public health sphere.

As a HRSA “task team” is organized in Henry County to develop infrastructure and sustain progress, Sallee said it needs to be made of people who really see and hear what’s going on in the community such as people who work in public transportation or churches, not just those in the medical field.

Rosell said that three years from now she hopes the “pie in the sky” would look like members of the community who need assistance being able to walk into a family resource center and get more than just medical attention. Staff would know who to notify to get proper care providers for the family, how to get immunizations for the children, and who at the Fellowship Cup could help with food and housing assistance.

“We’re right at our infancy with this.” Rosell said. “It’s going to be a huge project, but it should have great impact on the whole health of the community and really address those social determinants that are hard to tap into and have impact on like housing, food sources and transportation.”

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