On behalf of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Vice Chancellor Dr. James Keeton, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to explore new ways to tackle the health disparities daunting the Delta Region states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Mississippi faces unique challenges in health care and chronic disease burden. The only way to ensure a healthy future for current and future Mississippians is to develop unique and innovative ways of addressing the myriad of health problems we face. The solutions and programs we offer must be based on the best science and evidence available. In addition, they must be replicable and scalable to be effectively utilized in communities across the nation.
The Mississippi Institute for the Improvement of Geographic Minority Health is dedicated to looking at the interface of Rural Health and Minority Health through the lens of Health Disparities. No other entity in America has a similar charge. A competitive grant award from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health serves as the initial funding source for the Institute. The goal is to develop sustainability through the successful efforts of the Institute and our many excellent partners across the Delta Region.
With your help, we will identify model programs that work; we will expand the body of research affecting these vulnerable populations; we will increase health literacy for the populations we know could benefit most; and finally we will leverage technology to help insure that the quality of the health care experience available to rural and minority populations in Mississippi is second to none. Let’s keep our eyes focused on solutions and be the change our nation wants to see.
Warren A. Jones, M.D., FAAFP
Founding Executive Director
Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine