The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and HRSA https://www.hrsa.gov within HHS, are working together to provide technical assistance to rural hospitals in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. The Delta Region’s Community Health Systems Development Programs are administered by HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
The program provides technical assistance to providers in rural communities including critical access hospitals, small rural hospitals, rural health clinics, and other healthcare organizations. According to Peter Kinder, DRA’s Alternate Federal Co-Chairman, “The region endures growing health disparities when compared to the nation as a whole.”
DRA is assisting federal partners and rural health resource centers with specific areas:
- Improve their financial position and increase operational efficiencies
- Implement quality improvement initiatives to improve health outcomes
- Increase the use of telemedicine
- Develop a community care coordination plan
- Improve the health of area residents
- Integrate social services to address socioeconomic challenges
- Provide access to emergency medical services
- Strengthen workforce recruitment and retention needs
Recently, HRSA working with DRA, selected six rural hospitals across four states in the Delta Region to share $2 million for intensive technical assistance in the areas of finance, operations, technology, and quality improvement.
The six hospitals include.
- Arkansas—Daughters of Charity Services of Arkansas, comprising two rural health clinics and one wellness center
- Louisiana—Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, a 100 bed, non-profit regional medical center
- Mississippi—Tippah County Hospital, a county-owned critical access hospital, and Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital, an acute care facility
- Missouri—Pemiscot County Memorial Hospital, a publicly owned and operated healthcare provider, and Iron County Hospital, a stand-alone critical access hospital