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Rural Health Information Hub

Delta Health Alliance

  • Project Title: The Delta BLUES (Better Living Utilizing Engagement Strategies) Diabetes Initiative
  • Grant Period: FY2021 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Healthy Rural Hometown Initiative Track), 2020-2023
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Lesa Wise, Project Director
  • Location: Leland, Mississippi
  • Program Overview: The Delta Health Alliance BLUES Diabetes Initiative aims to reduce morbidity and mortality in rural, low-income minority communities of the Mississippi Delta through a variety of services. Delta BLUES offers nutrition education, medication management, community-based care services, and telehealth endocrine specialty services. The program uses a hub-and-spoke model and has numerous community health partners, a patient advisory board, and an endocrinologist. In a hub-and-spoke model, a hub, usually located regionally, provides specialty services, while spoke sites, which are located within the community, administer ongoing treatment, monitoring, and support services. To supplement the community clinics, Delta BLUES also utilizes a mobile medical clinic to travel to remote areas or to patients that have difficulty traveling to the clinic. Primary care providers in the network's community clinics also received endocrine training to help manage patients with diabetes through Project ECHO's telehealth program.

    The Delta BLUES program is data-driven and monitors program progress through an efforts-to-outcomes case management database, which allows program administrators to monitor and evaluate program progress, with in-depth evaluation support from the University of Memphis. Key components of the program's success include free or reduced rate prescription assistance for the uninsured or underinsured, constant and open communication among network partners and with participants, and the utilization of telehealth services and the mobile clinic to bring the specialist to the patient. In a recent Delta BLUES cohort, 88 of 162 participants served reduced their A1C by an average of 2% and over 113 participants met their cholesterol goals.

Models represented by this program: