UTICA — The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Foundation recently received $249,947 from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for a new project to promote health equity and fight heart disease in the community: Mohawk Valley Health Partnership to Combat Heart Disease.
The Mohawk Valley Partnership to Fight Heart Disease will build on the work done by the Mohawk Valley Health Equity Task Force and expand on education to COVID-19 and the equitable distribution of COVID vaccines to meet the critical health needs of vulnerable populations in Oneida County.
“As the largest health care organization in this community, it is important that we are a leader and partner for the health of our community, especially ensuring health equity within the population. said Darlene Stromstad, FACHE, president and CEO of MVHS.
“This project builds on the current work of the Health Equity Task Force and the commitment to expand the initiatives of the partnership. There is a mutual desire to continue collaborating to address key health issues and needs in our region, particularly among the most vulnerable populations: cardiovascular diseases that have a direct link to diabetes, stroke and obesity,” Stromstad added.
The project will build on and strengthen two key elements of the current task force: 1) the use of community navigators for grassroots education and engagement, and 2) working closely with the faith community to educate and engage their congregations. Funding from the grant will be used to expand and expand the work of the Community Navigators, which are managed by the Center, and to hire two community health nurses. Together, community nurses and navigators:
– Provide health education services and referrals to providers.
– Conduct health screenings in the community.
-Assistance in obtaining health insurance.
-Collaborate with the Visiting Nurses Association of Utica and Oneida County (VNA) and Senior Network Health – provide support to patients/clients of these health entities.
-Coordinate clinics with partners, providers, and residents in locations frequented by target populations (places of worship, The Center, federally qualified health centers, Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center, the NAACP of Utica and Rome NAACP, Mohawk Valley Latino Association offices, local community centers, etc.)
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with MVHS and using an outreach framework that has proven effective in reaching some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Shelly Callahan, Executive Director of the Center. “By including community members as part of a public health strategy to reach diverse communities, we have had a positive impact on the ability of individuals and families to access or effectively use services, which ultimately improves health outcomes.”
“As we look back on the worsening crises of recent years, the health needs of vulnerable communities have only increased,” said Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., president and CEO of Visa and president of Mother Cabrini. Health Foundation Council. “Our grantees have shown extraordinary resilience, creativity and dedication to serving those in need, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have such a detrimental impact.”