State Office of Rural Health

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VA-SORH’s Innovative Programming Awards

For 30 years, the VA-SORH has provided funding that bridges small, rural communities to state and federal resources with the goal of developing long-term solutions to address the root causes of rural health disparities. VA-SORH accomplishes this goal by awarding funds to grant sub-recipients or “grantees”. Each grantee utilizes the funding to implement innovative programming in rural communities across the Commonwealth.

Awards consist of annual grants that range in value from $1,000 to $20,000. Recipients must reapply each year and will receive subsequent grants based on their progress and performance. Priority will be given to applicants who propose to implement innovative programming targeted at 1 or more of the 5 focus areas listed below, demonstrate a need for the funding, have a clear plan in place for using the funding, and can articulate the anticipated impact of the funding if received. For more information on the program, eligibility, and how to apply, please see “Resources for Prospective VA-SORH Grantees” below.

 

VA-SORH’s current areas of focus are:

  • Healthy Moms & Babies
  • Food Access & Nutrition
  • Workforce Development
  • Behavioral Health
  • Telehealth

 

Application & Awards Timeline:

  • The application cycle for grant year 2022 – 2023 will open on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021.
  • Application submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 4th, 2022.
  • Applications will be reviewed and awards will be announced on Friday, April 15th, 2022.
  • Funds will be dispersed during the fiscal year beginning on July 1st, 2022 through June 30th, 2023.

 

Resources for Prospective VA-SORH Grantees:

 

Resources for Current VA-SORH Grantees:

 

Any questions related to eligibility, application or award processes can be directed to: Sarah O’Connor, MPH at sarah.oconnor@vdh.virginia.gov

 

2021-2022 VA-SORH Grantees:

In 2021, VA-SORH awarded nearly $100,000 amongst six grantees. Programs are focused on strengthening the healthcare workforce in rural clinics, establishing telehealth at rescue squad stations, community resilience, behavioral health, supporting the leadership workforce in rural clinics, and healthy moms & babies.

 

Healthy Patrick County & Caring Hearts Free Clinic

  • Bringing Telehealth to Rescue Squad Stations
    • Focus Area: Telehealth
      • Healthy Patrick County is a community coalition that has been working for three years to address health care inequities in one of Virginia’s most rural counties. The group’s recently completed Community Health Assessment & Improvement Plan (CHA/CHIP) focuses on Patrick County’s critical lack of access to medical services of all kinds. 
      • Caring Hearts Free Clinic is a key partner for this project. The clinic has been operating in Patrick County for more than 20 years. The clinic is a volunteer-driven organization committed to creating solutions for a healthy community of all ages by: removing barriers to access; treating holistically with dignity, with respect and without judgment; providing primary care service and health education; and providing support and referral services to those without access to basic health care.
      • Project: At present, medical emergencies require at least an hour’s ride by ambulance to hospitals to the north or south of Patrick county. This is taxing emergency services because ambulances can be away for hours at a time, limiting the number of calls that can be answered. Because of long waits for medical appointments at the county’s only family physician practice, wellness care is generally not available. This is contributing to cancers being discovered later and chronic conditions going untreated.
      • The ability for the residents to have medical visits from nearby rescue squad buildings is a game changer. Transportation barriers are reduced significantly by a drive of a few miles over a drive across rough terrain that may take an hour to a physician’s office. With a small investment in equipment, specialists from all over the country are within reach of those who live in the most rural settings without the prohibitive cost of transportation. And persons who may otherwise call an ambulance for a chronic health issue will have an alternative that is much more suitable for them.

 

Strength in Peers

  • Community Resilience Project
    • Focus Area: Behavioral Health
      • Strength in Peers is a nonprofit peer-run Recovery Community Organization founded in 2015. Strength in Peers has operated substance use and mental health recovery programs in Shenandoah and Page Counties since its founding in 2015.
      • The goal of the Community Resilience Project is to encourage individuals who are struggling with mental and behavioral health challenges to seek help and raise awareness among community members and service providers on how they can better support these individuals and help them to obtain services that honor their needs, preferences and choices.

 

Eastern Virginia Medical School, Eastern Shore Healthy Communities

  • Breaking the Cycle of Trauma among New Mothers & Babies
    • Focus Area: Healthy Moms & Babies
      • The Eastern Virginia Medical School for Eastern Shore Healthy Communities serves a rural, health professional shortage area where medical and behavioral health resources are often inadequate. In order to build a resilient and trauma-informed community the Eastern Shore Healthy Communities will focus on community organizations, primarily worksites, as promising places for secondary prevention of trauma, and thus a stronger alternative investment to building a referral network

 

Far Southwest Virginia Drug Court Initiative & Southwestern Virginia Rural Area Health Education Center

    • Focus Area: Behavioral Health
      • The Far Southwest Virginia Drug Court, representing eleven rural Drug Treatment Courts, works to ensure Drug Court participants, families, significant others, and personal supporters continue to have access to services addressing significant public health issues in their communities. Adult Drug Treatment Courts are an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders who are identified as being alcohol and/or drug dependent while Juvenile Drug Courts target substance abusing adolescents charged with delinquency. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, evidence-based Drug Courts save lives because they graduate individuals with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and because they adhere to Best Practice Standards.

 

Southwestern Virginia Rural Area Health Education Center & Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Healthcare Interprofessional Rural Immersion Program for Students
    • Focus Area: Workforce Development
      • The recent opening of an AHEC in Southwest Virginia on the campus of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg, Virginia has allowed two established institutions to join together to further carry out their joint mission of addressing today’s healthcare workforce gaps, particularly in rural and underserved areas. 
      • The Healthcare Interprofessional Rural Immersion Program for Students, leverages the nexus of health science programs convened through the Southwest Virginia Rural AHEC and VCOM to create a hands-on, interprofessional education and training experience in rural health care, aimed at recruiting and retaining future health professionals to underserved rural areas. 
      • Upon completion of the program, students will have an understanding of common health concerns affecting rural populations, including substance abuse and behavioral health issues; how different medical professionals work together to treat patients using available resources such as telemedicine, mobile medicine, and federally funded and community health clinics; and the importance of cultural competency skills for physicians in rural areas where resources are limited.

 

Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

  • Supporting the Leadership and Strengthening the Healthcare Workforce in Rural Clinics
    • Focus Area: Workforce Development
      • Snowflake, MAVEN Project
      • The Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics free clinic members are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. 
      • Recent efforts to strengthen the volunteer workforce in Virginia’s rural free clinics ensure that they are able to continue to serve working individuals and families so they remain healthy, avoid missed time from work due to illness, and reduce unnecessary and costly visits to the emergency room.