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Reprinted with permission from Talk Business and Politics, March 26, 2024

NYITCOM Addresses Prenatal Healthcare

The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) at Arkansas State University’s Delta Population Health Institute (DPHI) has received a $114,380 grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas to be used to address maternal and pediatric health in rural Arkansas.

“The need for health education in rural Arkansas has never been greater, specifically when it comes to mothers and young children,” said Brook Laurent, NYITCOM at A-State chair of clinical medicine and founder/executive director of the DPHI. “We are so grateful to the Blue & You Foundation for supporting our efforts to go into these communities and lead programs that will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of so many Arkansans.”

The DPHI serves as NYITCOM at A-State’s community engagement arm and operates a number of programs that work to catalyze an equitable culture of health by leveraging its assets in education, research, policy, and community engagement in the Delta.

Through its most recent grant from the Blue & You Foundation, the DPHI will utilize its Community Champions of Health (CCH) model to create community health leaders through customized learning and care communities where women, mothers, and children can learn how to improve maternal and pediatric health outcomes and curb/prevent adverse childhood experiences in underserved areas of rural Arkansas.

The DPHI established its Community Champions of Health program to train individuals to be health influencers in their communities and to lead education initiatives. The DPHI’s grant was titled, “Maternal Health Learning and Care Communities.”

Participants in Jonesboro, Blytheville, and West Memphis will take part in educational sessions that will train them in preventive care, mental health and well-being. They will engage in interactive sessions where they will learn about becoming healthy before pregnancy and what to expect in prenatal care, the delivery process, and post-partum care.

They will also be connected to wrap-around services in their respective areas to connect them with available resources. Participants will have access to a peer mentor to support them on their journey of health and wellness.

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