MSHA chosen for new federal program in Southwest VA

(PHOTO: L. Owens / WCYB)

Southwest Virginia will be the focus of a new health initiative launched by Mountain States Health Alliance.

A grant from the Department of Health and Human Services gives MSHA $2.5 million to help Medicare and Medicaid patients in under-served areas of the state improve their lives, the health care provider said Tuesday during a news conference in Bristol, Va.

The grant money will primarily pay for patient navigators to help these patients find the other services they need once they've been seen by a doctor.

"When that patient goes home, if they don't have good housing, they don't have access to food, they don't have reliable transportation, they're not going to make it to their doctor's for follow ups. They're not going to be able to get their prescriptions. They may not be able to make healthy food choices, because they're just worried about eating," said Allison Rogers, MSHA Vice President of Strategic Planning.

The collaborative effort will include several partners including 13 facilities and 27 physician offices shared by MSHA and Wellmont Health System. The program is scheduled to become operational by next year.

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