Grant will help improve health in rural areas of state – The Interior Journal



KEntucky Office of Rural Health receives grant to improve access to healthcare services for rural Commonwealth veterans

The Kentucky Office of Rural Health received a three-year grant of nearly $1 million from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy of the Health Resources and Services Administration to improve access to health services. healthcare for veterans living in rural Kentucky and to improve coordination of care for veteran patients. The University of Kentucky Rural Health Center of Excellence in Hazard serves as Kentucky’s federally designed office of rural health.

The $899,997 grant, provided through the Rural Veterans Health Access Program, will fund a range of efforts: conduct a needs assessment focused on resources, programs, best practices and organizations currently available to help rural Commonwealth veterans; establish and regularly convene a stakeholder advisory group to guide projects being developed and implemented; and organize training sessions and Veterans Community Health Day events for Veterans, Veteran families, health care organizations and other community members.

KORH will also partner with community stakeholders to support grassroots projects that address veterans’ access to care.

KORH was one of only three organizations nationwide to receive funding.

“This is a project and a population that we have wanted to work with for some time. We’re just excited,” said KORH manager Ernie Scott. “We have a veteran on our staff, a number of veterans working at the UK Rural Health Center of Excellence and most of us here have a direct link to at least one veteran in our own families. Our veterans are near and dear to our heart. This is a population with a significant presence in rural Kentucky – more than 40% of Kentucky veterans live in rural communities – and it is our honor to work with them, support them and seek ways to have a positive impact on their health and their ability to navigate the health care system.

Scott said the project also provides the office with an opportunity to develop a closer working relationship with the Veterans Health Administration, the nation’s largest integrated health system, and encourage innovative community partnerships between clinics and VHA medical centers and healthcare professionals across the Commonwealth. .

“Many efforts are being made here in the Commonwealth to meet the needs of our rural veterans. And we’re not here to duplicate those efforts,” Scott said. “Instead, we hope to draw attention to gaps that may exist in veteran care and work with partners to find solutions. We also want to showcase the good that is being done that can be replicated in other communities. This project is a win-win for everyone involved.

Much of the bureau’s work with veterans will focus on the 27 counties where Kentucky’s 28 critical access hospitals — rural facilities with 25 or fewer acute care beds — operate: Allen, Breckinridge, Caldwell, Carroll, Casey , Cumberland, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Grant, Green, Hart, Knox, Leslie, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Marshall, Mercer, Morgan, Ohio, Russell, Simpson, Trigg, Union, Wayne and Woodford.

The Kentucky Bureau of Rural Health, established in 1991, is a federal-state partnership authorized by federal law. The British Rural Health Center of Excellence, located in Hazard, serves as Kentucky’s federally designated office of rural health. KORH works directly with clinicians, clinic and hospital administrators, policy makers and other stakeholders to improve the accessibility of healthcare services for rural and underserved Commonwealth residents. The office connects communities and health care organizations to local, state, and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to financial, quality improvement, and workforce challenges.


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