The Delta Health Alliance Builds Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds
Driven by a goal to improve the health and education of Mississippi Delta communities, the Delta Health Alliance (DHA) aligns the visions of over 40 programs to fulfill its mission: Healthy moms, healthy babies.
Healthy Pregnancy Program
The focus on children’s health begins at the very beginning, with DHA’s Healthy Pregnancy Program. This program provides monthly individualized support through screenings, to update moms on their health and the health of their developing babies. Moms will also find support from other women in the program. As a bonus, moms can receive incentives for completing prenatal visits and other items related to pregnancy care. This program continues for up to six months after delivery, further ensuring a good start to the journey of both motherhood and infancy.
To further this mission, DHA has established the Delta Breastfeeding Coalition, which brings awareness to breastfeeding and helps support moms with an interest in learning to breastfeed.
Promise Community Initiative
The DHA continues to encourage the health and wellness of children as they grow, through its Promise Community Initiative. The C.A.T.C.H. physical education program has been set up through the Leland, Sunflower and Hollandale School districts. This program brings a dietician into PE classes to teach children how to make better food choices.
“Our Promise Communities are key components of Delta Health Alliance,” explained Director of Communications Rickey Lawson. “Participants, children and families, must live in the ‘footprint’ that has been designated by the Promise Community grant. So, for DCPC – Deer Creek Promise Community – the service area is Hollandale, Leland, Arcola. For IPC – Indianola Promise Community – it has been Indianola. For Leflore Promise Community, our newest, the service area encompasses the entire county.”
Literacy, Summer Programs, and More
The Promise Communities qualify for other services including free books to improve literacy; behavioral support to prevent and assist children and teenagers with behavioral and emotional concerns; summer programs; and courses for college and career preparation.
Summer camps for this year will be announced as enrollment opens for each. Thus far, enrollment for a Coding Camp for high schools will begin in May.
“Our summer programs are some of our most important and favorite endeavors, attracting hundreds of school-age kids every year,” Lawson explained. Enrollment is done through the schools.
Additional Help for Adults
DHA sponsors job fairs regularly. One such fair planned for May happens in conjunction with the Win Job Center.
“Past job fairs have featured vendors such as banks, hospitals, restaurants, shipyard vendors, correctional facilities, car dealerships, branches of the Armed Services and schools seeking to recruit educators,” Lawson said. Check the DHA website to keep posted on details for upcoming fairs.
Get Help with Managing Money
The DHA also offers a financial literacy program for those without bank accounts or those with less-than-ideal credit. It’s a 5-week course focusing on building wealth with debt reduction and increased savings. For more on this, visit Deltahealthalliance.org/find-a-program/financial-literacy/
Manage Your Health / DHA Works with The Delta Blues Program
DHA supports the mobile medical clinic that offers physicals, wellness visits, urgent care and services as part of the Delta Blues Program. The Delta Blues Program works to reduce complications from diabetes in low income and minority populations in five Mississippi counties. Healthcare services are also offered directly through the Leland Medical Clinic, which houses the Delta Wellness Center, where an aerobics room, weights, Zumba classes, yoga and a walking track offer a chance to get fit alongside guidance from a nutritionist. Learn more at Deltahealthalliance.org/find-a-program/delta-wellness-center/
As the opioid crisis has continued to plague the country, DHA has stepped in to help respond through its Delta Opioid Treatment Initiative (DOT). Persons dealing with opioid addiction and mental health disorders in Bolivar, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties may find support and direction through this network of community partners. More on these services can be found at Deltahealthalliance.org/find-a-program/delta-opioid-taskforce-rural-rapid-response-samhsa/
Volunteer or Donate
The Delta Health Alliance brings together the community to help the community. Support for its mission is welcome in all forms. Information on donation and volunteer contributions can be found at Deltahealthalliance.org/volunteer/
Through the support of community members, the Delta Health Alliance can make for a healthier Mississippi Delta mentally, physically and financially.
Alicia Stevens, a resident of Pearl River County, is a freelance writer, wife and mother of two who enjoys traveling with her family and friends.