Delta Health Alliance receives $8.75 Million to reduce teen pregnancy across the Mississippi Delta
(Stoneville, MS) Delta Health Alliance has been awarded a five-year, $8.75 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to implement a Teen Pregnancy Prevention program in Mississippi Delta cities and counties. Mississippi ranks 2nd nationally, with about one in four teen girls becoming pregnant by age 20. The rates are higher in the Delta.
According to Karen Matthews, Delta Health Alliance CEO, this new grant has two features that make it unique: “First, we are partnering with a lot of community organizations, such as churches, rural health clinics, and youth clubs, in addition to school districts, to reach young people in a variety of different settings. Second, we are using specially trained community health care liaisons to teach the approved curriculums and to assess progress.”
Under the grant, Delta Health Alliance will be working with school districts in Carroll, Warren, Sunflower, and Yazoo Counties as well as Leland Medical Clinic and Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center in Clarksdale, Batesville, Tunica, Quitman, and Tate County. In addition, the program will reach teenagers at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Tunica, Yazoo City, Coahoma County, Greenwood and Mississippi Valley State University. More than 50 churches are also enrolled in the program.
According to Matthews, all materials being used in the program are medically appropriate, age appropriate, culturally relevant, and inclusive to all youth. “We are excited for the opportunity to offer this program in the Delta,” Matthews said, “and believe working with all of these partners we can make a difference in reducing teenage pregnancy.”
May is the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Throughout the month, Delta Health Alliance staff will be distributing information to youth and parents, and hosting activities to engage youth in the local community setting and collaborating with partnering organizations with counties in the Delta to raise awareness about teen pregnancy and the importance of avoiding too-early pregnancy and parenthood.
For more information about this grant or about Delta Health Alliance, please visit our website at www.deltahealthalliance.org or follow DHA on Facebook.