HomeImproving Our Health
Improving Our Health
Since 2008, the Healthy Appalachia Institute has been working to restore our region's health through community.
- $23,000 grant from ARC leveraged to a $2,793,414 direct investment in programming.
- Co-led and published a regional strategic health plan the Blueprint for Health Improvement and Health-Enabled Prosperity, in partnership with the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, a state-legislated entity, which formally adopted the plan.
- Led development of a Blueprint Progress Report in 2011 to highlight successes and opportunities for future advancements.
- Continued telehealth capacity expansion by adding telemedicine sites for specialty services at a number of regional centers such as hospitals and Federally Qualified Community Health Centers.
- Partnered with UVA Wise Nursing to develop a telenursing curriculum, host a regional telehealth symposium in March 2012, and connect a nursing simulation lab to U.Va. health system for advanced specialty training.
- Implemented and expanded desktop, in-home, web-based telemedicine technology.
- Screened 650+ underserved women for breast cancer through tele-mammography.
- Established four preceptor sites for UVA nurse practitioner students and continued of $1.4 million HRSA grant for nurse-delivered primary care, which includes UVa-Wise.
- Helped facilitied telemedicine clinics in the region in partnership with UVA serving over 3, 200 patients, including upgrading four additional FQHC sites in the region to HD capacity and adding a telemedicine site to UVa-Wise's new Health & Wellness Center, currenty under construction.
- Facilitated cancer case consultations between Southwest Virginia cancer centers and UVA cancer center physicians. Added Cancer-Help information kiosk at one cancer center, another underway. Working with the University of Virginia Cancer Center to facilitate its Cancer Center Without Walls, a $964,390 initiative to increase access to the benefits of cancer research and advanced cancer care in the region.
- Patient navigator for Southwest Virginia patients established at the UVA Cancer Center.
- Certified five nurse practitioners and one physician in video-colposcopy and have conducted cervical cancer screenings, treatments and procedures for 156 patients to date.
- Hosted two hospice roundtable to provide professional development for volunteers and professionals on topics such as pain management and late referrals to the Medicare Hospice benefit.
- Developed regional health statistic data to serve as a benchmark for progress.
- Launched Healthy Appalachia website with regional health data.
- Held region’s first Health Summit that brought over 100 key leaders from various sectors together to discuss improving the region’s health and economic prosperity.
- Mentored 23 Student Fellows, nine of whom are in professional or graduate programs in medicine, nurse practioner, health or a related field, three of whom are working in health-related fields, and the remaining whom are still undergraduates. Initiated annual research symposium to showcase HAI Student Fellows research and service projects on cancer, diabetes education in public schools, dental health and global health. Helped launch scholarship for nurse practitioner students from SWVA at UVA School of Nursing.
- Appointed HAI Faculty, including faculty who are doing research on pain management, tobacco cessation, diabetes management and cervical cancer in the region.
- Assisted One Care of Southwest Virginia in developing The Blueprint for Substance Abuse and Misuse Prevention, Treatment and Control, a strategic plan to address substance abuse and misuse to develop a healthier workforce.
- Supported the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise by organizing medical volunteers.
- Provided evaluation, technical and grant development services to local entities such as the Health Wagon to advance organizational development. This also includes a leadership role in developing the region’s entrepreneurial blueprint, The Blueprint for Entrepeneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia.
- Designated as a Robert Wood Johnson Emerging Institute with the National Network of Public Health Institutes, which gives Healthy Appalachia and Southwest Virginia the benefit of national, expert resources for our work.
- Co-led dental school blueprint study at UVa-Wise.
- In partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension, sponsoring Master Food Volunteer classes at sites in Southwest Virginia in 2012-2013, including one for high school students. The Master Food Volunteer program provides 32 hours of instruction in nutrition and wellness to volunteers who then serve in their communities, schools and chuches to improve the health and wellness of their neighbors.
- In partnership with Smart Beginnings Appalachia, sponsoring a regional conference for early childhood educators, parents and care-givers on childhood wellness in 2013 and in 2014.
- Coordinating regional efforts in 2012-2013 to develop a strategic plan in health and outdoor recreation to improve population health through better use of the region's tremendous outdoor recreation assets.
- Added an overview of health in Appalachia in the Social Issues in Medicine course in the School of Medicine at U.Va.
- Preparing conference report for U. S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy's Prescription Drug Summit, held in November 2012 in Wytheville, VA.