The significant disease burden and presence of health disparities is well documented in the state of Mississippi. It ranks first of all states and the District of Columbia in mortality rates due to cardiovascular disease, 30 percent higher than the national average. Stroke mortality, the third leading cause of death in Mississippi, is 18 percent higher than the rate for the U.S. as a whole. It has the highest prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the nation; approximately 9 percent of the state’s adult population are diabetic and 55 percent are obese. Mississippi ranks 5th highest overall in cancer mortality rates among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In response to the many and significant health disparities faced by rural disadvantaged and minority populations throughout the State of Mississippi, the OMH launched the Mississippi Institute for the Improvement of Geographic Minority Health and Health Disparities Program.
The goal of the Mississippi Institute for the Improvement of Geographic Minority Health and Health Disparities (The Institute) project is to improve the health of rural disadvantaged and minority populations by: (1) increasing awareness of all populations on healthcare issues impacting these populations; (2) increasing access to quality healthcare; (3) increasing access to quality healthcare personnel available to provide services to underserved populations; (4) improving health care outcomes; and (5) developing a model that can be replicated throughout the U.S. to address national policies and programs to improve the health of these rural disadvantaged and minority communities. The institute brings together community, educational, professional, state, and academic resources from across Mississippi, and serves as a hub for program development, information, and research on eliminating racial/ethnic and rural health disparities. It is comprised of four programmatic cores. The Research Core develops and fosters health disparity research projects that focus on the advancement of effective, preventative, and clinical interventions to improve the delivery of healthcare services. A visiting research scholar program allows the development of new research areas and projects. Examples of such projects include “Healthcare Disparity in Chronic Kidney Disease” and “Eliminating Health Disparities: Community-Based Diabetes Health Education in Rural Mississippi.” The Health Services Core develops and assesses the effectiveness of new community-based service delivery models that address health disparities and issues associated with access to care. Examples of such projects include the Health Initiative in African-American Churches, Mental Healthcare Delivery Project, and the Underserved High School Sports medicine Initiative. It also includes a mini grant program and a visiting community health scholar program. The Education/Awareness Core focuses on increasing the number of healthcare practitioners in underserved areas. Examples of such projects include the Health Professions Alliance Program and the Rural Scholars Program.
The Health Information Core develops a technology-based infrastructure, to accommodate the needs of healthcare providers throughout the state, of easily accessible, real-time data and information. A regional database of Electronic health Records and a telemedicine network are at the center of the Health Information Core. The Institute is guided by a Community Advisory Board, composed of Mississippi community leaders, to provide recommendations on projects that would benefit the health of rural and minority populations; and an Institutional Advisory Board to guide its direction, as well as to develop and approve projects funded or coordinated through the Institute.
Grantee: University of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216
Warren Jones, M.D., Project Director
(601) 815-3305 (Tel)
(601) 984-5003 (Fax)
For additional information, please contact the Division of Program Operations, Office of Minority Health.
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