Access East, Inc. recently announced that it has received a four-year grant of $ 795,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Health Care Services Awareness Program. Access East, in partnership with the Vidant Beaufort Hospital, a campus of the Vidant Medical Center, as well as the Beaufort County Health Department and Agape Community Health Services, created the County Rural Health Awareness Consortium of Beaufort. The consortium partners will implement the Rural Health Access Program with a focus on improving access to care and coordination of care in Beaufort County.
The consortium is committed to building a stronger health network for all residents of Beaufort County. The objectives of the program are to increase access to care, improve self-management of chronic diseases, connect residents with necessary resources and reduce the use of emergency services for non-acute care. / urgent by putting residents in touch with a primary care provider.
Vidant Beaufort Hospital is offering a mobile wellness unit – the Community Health Improvement Coach – which will travel to locations in Beaufort County offering free health and wellness screenings. The aim is to provide much needed screening in rural communities with the hope of catching chronic diseases in the early stages.
The Rural Health Access Program also provides a community health worker and benefits advocate who will be a vital asset to those enrolled in the program serving as a liaison between health / social services and participants to facilitate ” access to support services and primary care providers. Those enrolled in the program will receive health education, case management services and linkages between program participants and services to address the social determinants of health.
“Our programs at Access East have bolstered resources to improve health service delivery over the past 20 years in eastern North Carolina,” said Shantell Cheek, Director of Uninsured Programs for Access East and Director of the rural health access program. “We look forward to seeing the impact this program and its related services will have in improving the health and quality of life of residents of Beaufort County. “