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#036;1 million to help health care in region

More than $1 million in grant money will drive a new Tri-State program for phone access to nurses, future medical planning and free or low-cost medications, the River Cities Community Health Coalition (RCCHC) has announced.

Monday, November 19, 2001

More than $1 million in grant money will drive a new Tri-State program for phone access to nurses, future medical planning and free or low-cost medications, the River Cities Community Health Coalition (RCCHC) has announced.

"One of our primary goals is to address the need for health programs, especially for at-risk groups such as those with little or no insurance," said Sharon Walker, executive director of RCCHC.

"With this grant we will be able to provide accessible health care information, resources and free or low-cost prescription medications to those who qualify," Mrs. Walker said.

The RCCHC – a coalition of healthcare providers, hospitals, businesses, governments and individuals – will receive $1,079,797 in financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Access Program.

The funding will create Healthy Options for People Everywhere (or HOPE).

The HOPE project will serve the residents of 12 counties lying with the local Tri-State area in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

HOPE will consist of not only the medications program but also a telephone service offering nurse triage and resource referral, Mrs. Walker said.

Funds also will support a community study to evaluate the overall health status of the coalition community, as well as set future coalition plans. The study will be conducted by the Marshall University Office of Research and Economic Development, Applied Research Division.

The coalition spearheads events aimed at promoting wellness and delivering healthcare to communities through educational efforts.

Many government officials assisted with the grant application and award, Mrs. Walker said.

Kentucky U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas said, "I’m pleased that I was able to help River Cities Community Health Coalition secure this funding. The program addresses some issues that I’ve made a priority in Congress-affordable prescription drugs and increased access to healthcare for working families."

The HOPE program implementation began Sept. 1 and will continue through Aug. 31, 2002.

For more information, contact RCCHC at 606-324-1787.