POW Health Network Receives Federal Funding to Facilitate Continued Collaboration
May 12, 2011
The purpose of the Rural Health Network Development Grant Program is to expand access to, coordinate and improve the quality of essential health care services, and enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas. These grants support rural providers who work in formal networks, alliances, coalitions or partnerships to integrate administrative, clinical, technological, and financial functions. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the rural health care delivery system by 1) improving the viability of the individual providers in the network, and/or 2) improving the delivery of care to people served by the network. Funds provided through this program are not used for direct delivery of services.
Networks must consist of at least three separately owned entities, and each must sign a memorandum of agreement or similar document. Current members of the POW Health Network are PeaceHealth, SEARHC, State of Alaska Craig Public Health Center, and Alaska Island Community Services.
Nationally, 125 health networks applied to the grant program, and just 18 grants were awarded. Applicants were scored based on their plans and abilities to expand their infrastructure, integrate systems of care, complete business, strategic and sustainability planning, and implement telehealth services.
The POW Health Network’s 3 year work plan includes the following goals:
1) Increase the capacity of providers and the community to implement a full continuum of behavioral health treatment and prevention services, including formation of a behavioral health advisory committee, prevention of domestic violence and assault, increased youth development opportunities, improved delivery of emergency mental health services, integration of primary care with behavioral health, and identification of barriers to increased telebehavioral health services;
2) Increase access to healthcare and improve health outcomes, including continued community education about healthcare services available on POW, annual community health education campaigns to address priority health concerns, improved coordination and accessibility of maternal and child health services, and continued support of visiting specialty clinics and continuing education opportunities;
3) Strengthen the healthcare delivery system through expanded interagency communication and collaboration on Prince of Wales, including establishment of the Network as an independent non-profit organization; expansion of Network membership; and implementation of a sustainability plan that maintains the POW Health Network into the future.
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