The Meigs County Health Department has recently been awarded the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) POWER Grant, which is co-funded by the Sisters Health Foundation and Marshall University. A three-year grant, the ARC POWER Grant is an economic development grant designed specifically for coal impacted counties (as determined by the ARC.) The program’s purpose is to create sustainable funding for Community Health Workers (CHW’s) as members of a care coordination teams that serve high risk diabetes patients. Through this three year process, the program will be developing partnerships with health insurance providers, who ultimately as payers for the service, will allow the CHW position to become sustainable into the future. The MCHD has recently employed Laura Grueser, the first of three planned CHW positions, to serve high-risk diabetic patients in Meigs County.
The overall role of the CHW is to educate and support patients in their homes and communities. Specifically, Grueser’s role in this program will be to will equip patients with self-management decision making and problem solving skills, which will enable them to better manage their diabetes. Grueser will be a member of a care coordination team lead by local clinical partners who will identify high-risk diabetic patients that will benefit from these services, which will include meeting one-on-one with patients in a private setting. Presently, the MCHD is working with clinical partners to identify the high-risk diabetic patients who will be offered enrollment into the program. More information about this grant will be released as the process unfolds.
Leanne Cunningham, RN, BSN, CLC, is the Meigs County Health Department’s Director of Nursing.