New grant funding strengthens access to care for disadvantaged communities on the lower shore

SALISBURY, Md. – “In our community, there may be resources. A lot of people just don’t know where they are,” Rebirth Inc. Executive Director Habacuc Petion said.

Helping those in need locate those resources is the goal of the Rural Equity and Access to Community Health or REACH Project. Thanks to new grant funding from The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, Tidal Health has been given $1.2 million dollars it can use to focus on underserved communities.

It’s a collaborative effort between Tidal Health and local community partners that’s tackling barriers to health care resources for diabetes and hypertension. “Especially in Salisbury, Eden, Princess Anne, Pocomoke and Snow Hill because the data shows that’s where we have some of the worst outcomes,” TidalHealth’s Director of Community Health Initiatives Kat Rodgers said. “And then among our black population these rates were much as 5 times higher than the white population on the Eastern Shore.”

The grant will also support a community health worker at Rebirth Inc, a local non-profit serving the Haitian community in Salisbury, providing support in the form of education and outreach to bridge the gap. “You have a lot of Haitian’s that will come here and did not actually have the habit of having regular doctor visits or going whenever its necessary to go. They did not have that habit,” Petion said.

“That is the aim. To achieve health equity so that people can be empowered to participate as a partner in their healthcare and achieve their optimal quality of life,” Rodgers said.

The REACH project was the only grantee on the eastern shore for the new Pathways to Health Equity program by CHRC.  After the first two years, Rodgers says its their hope to build a strong foundation to be a candidate for another 5 years of funding and be designated as a Health Equity Resource Community.

The funding will also support staffing for diabetes prevention programming and supplies for mobile health screenings.

To find out more about Rebirth Inc., click here 

Categories: Health, Local News, Maryland, Money