HAI Recent News

Contribute to the 2023 SWVA Health Blueprint

The Healthy Appalachia Institute is pleased to be leading the development of a new iteration of the SWVA Blueprint for Health Improvement and Health-Enabled Prosperity. A consortium of partners including the UVA Center for Telehealth, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, the Health Wagon, Tri-Area Health, and Ballad Health will work together to provide strategic health services in response to the priority health challenges described in the Blueprint. You have an opportunity to tell us your priority health concerns, and what strategic plans are most likely to improve them. To learn more about this opportunity, and see a helpful graphic of some of the root causes of health problems in your community, please follow the read more link below.
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Opportunity for Healthy Appalachia Global Health Scholar


Healthy Appalachia Institute of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise is pleased to announce a global health opportunity in the summer of 2020. UVA Wise students of any major are invited to apply for a research trip to Rwanda or Tanzania with the University of Virginia Center for Global Health. There will be one (1) student selected who will receive a $4,000 stipend for the trip.  Applications are due Friday, January 17, and orientation with other Global Health Scholars will be held in February at UVA Charlottesville. The link to the application can be found below.

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UVA Student Explores Policy Options to Decrease Tobacco Use in Southwest Virginia


This past semester Healthy Appalachia Institute worked with UVA student (and recent graduate) Alyssa Smith from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy (UVA) as she explored Virginia's current tobacco policies and recommended evidence based policy options to decrease adult tobacco use in Southwest Virginia.

"Virginia’s current tobacco control policies are relaxed, even when compared to other southern tobacco-growing states. This report attempts to strengthen current policies and programs using best practices from throughout the U.S. Virginia operate under the Dillon Rule, which means no locality may impose a law stronger than state law. Therefore, all tobacco control policies proposed herein will apply statewide. This report specifically analyzes (1) maintaining the status quo (2) increasing the tobacco excise tax (3) giving free cessation drugs to Medicaid and uninsured populations (4) a more comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Act (5) and an extension of the Tips From Former Smokers campaign. To evaluate each option I used the following criteria: cost-effectiveness, efficacy, equity, financial capability, and political feasibility."

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Mountain Empire Older Citizens Receives Accessible Mobility Innovations Grant


CONTACT: Mitch Elliott - Innovations in Transit Mobility 276-523-7433- melliot@meoc.org

Big Stone Gap, Virginia —Today, Mountain Empire Older Citizens is pleased to announce that Big Stone Gap is one of six communities nationwide to receive an Innovations in Accessible Mobility grant from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). The grant award of 47,215 dollars will be used to create a one-call center to assist the people in our area that have diabetes or a chronic illness to be able to access transportation and find help in navigating the health care system.

One hundred and thirty organizations representing thirty-seven states and two Tribal nations competed for these FTA cooperative agreement funds, which are managed by the NADTC. Grantees located in six communities in five states – Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia – will work to expand mobility opportunities that enable older adults and people with disabilities to better connect to employment, health care and other needed community services.

This grant will help us focus on four areas of concern in our region. Those with Diabetes that are on Dialysis .The veterans that need to travel from our area for specialized care. Those who have been diagnosed with cancer and those with a disability.

This is a joint effort with the Junction Center for Independent Living and Developmental Services operated by Frontier Health and local transportation board (MERTAC) and its members.

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Strengthening Connections with Cervical Cancer Specialists: A UVA Telemedicine Pilot Project


Dr. Timothy Showalter is a certified Radiation Oncologist at the University of Virginia's Health System. He provides radiation treatment for patients with genitourinary, gynecologic, and pediatric cancers, melanoma and sarcoma. As a clinical researcher Dr. Showalter is focused on developing more effective radiation therapy schedules and evaluating advanced technologies for brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy.

Dr. Showalter is looking forward to working in Southwest Virginia on this cervical cancer pilot project. If you are interested in partnering with Dr. Showalter or have follow up questions and want to learn more about this opportunity, please complete this short survey.

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