The Mississippi Delta Health Collaborative's clinical initiatives increase access to care for the treatment of heart disease, stroke, and related risk factors in the 18-county Delta region.
Community Health Workers
Community Health Workers (CHWs) work in association with the Mississippi State Department of Health in urban and rural environments to link the gap between providers and community population in need of care. CHWs conduct outreach and education to citizens in their community who suffer from chronic diseases, early childhood diseases, and other health conditions. They make home visits, help patients navigate complex health information systems, advise, and help connect patients to the resources they need. They are an essential link between healthcare providers and patients, and ultimately help reduce health disparities in Mississippi.
CHWs have contributed to significant improvements in community members' access to and continuity of care, screening and other health-related behaviors, and adherence to treatment for control of various conditions and diseases as well as reduced health care costs.
Tougaloo College/Central Mississippi Area Health Education Center (CMAHEC) is currently working with the Mississippi State Department of Health and other organizations to develop a standardized program for certifying community health workers in Mississippi. This program will result in the credentialing and recognition of CHWs as a profession and vital link in the state's health services.
Medication Therapy Management
The Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program involves the pharmacist, patient or caregiver, and other healthcare team members working together to promote safe and effective use of medication for improved clinical outcomes. Pharmacists as medication experts are well-suited for providing patient care that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes and that can contribute to the lowering of overall healthcare costs.
The Delta Pharmacy Project draws from the University of Mississippi Medical Center experience, other successful community models such as the nationally acclaimed Asheville Project Diabetes MTM program, and the Core Elements of an MTM Service Model as well as other national initiatives, to create a patient-centered pharmacy program in rural community pharmacies and provider clinics in the Mississippi Delta. This new model is structured to address the health care needs in this region and to demonstrate how pharmacists can impact clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes through MTM.
The clinical pharmacists provide MTM sessions focused on cardiovascular risk reduction in a number of patients identified by the MSDH in four sites:
- Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center, Batesville and Clarksdale
- G. A. Carmichael Family Health Center, Yazoo City
- Vicksburg-Warren Family Health Center (Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center), Vicksburg