The United States' Delta is one of the most impoverished regions in America. The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal agency dedicated to improving the economy of the region and represents the area’s eight states, including 240 counties and parishes.
Realizing poor health played a major role in productivity, the DRA retained our firm to develop a health-based outreach and education initiative in the region. This progressive concept by the DRA was a groundbreaking approach to centralizing and coordinating a major healthcare initiative in a multi-state region. ComGroup was tasked with developing the strategy, building the infrastructure and implementing the program.
Primary research through focus groups conducted in several delta region communities identified awareness of the disease, barriers to detection and treatment, and appropriate messages for use in the outreach initiative. Based on poor outcomes and lower availability of healthcare resources in the African American population, surveys were developed and distributed to more than 1,200 minority churches in the region to identify the best way to incorporate churches.
Planning & Implementation:
With strategic input from our specialists, a coalition was built including the DRA, private sector funding and participation, media, 1,200 minority churches, local chambers of commerce, healthcare providers and other governmental entities.
For several years, ComGroup conducted a statewide diabetes prevention and intervention outreach program in partnership with the state of Arkansas and Eli Lilly. This model was instrumental in developing and implementing the DRA program.
The outreach strategy included:
- Mass media utilizing our leveraged Funded Public Service® approach which doubled media market exposure
- Community-based healthcare screenings
- Information dissemination in minority congregations throughout the region
The extensive coalition of public/private sector program participants included a national firm providing free meters and reduced-price insulin and injection supplies for program participants, matching funds from the Walmart Foundation, over 1,200 minority churches, and public health services throughout the region.
Retained by our group, an independent, quasi-governmental healthcare agency provided direct contact, follow-up and reporting. The agency acted as a centralized call center, handled enrollment, provided health screening/consulting, and served as an outcome measurement resource.
The Delta Regional Authority continues to provide economic development services to the region. Healthy Delta continues to operate with an emphasis on employee-based wellness.