The College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is pleased to announce that their Center for Healthy Communities has received grant funding from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. This funding, totaling $583,000, will support rural health departments in navigating the state’s Medicaid transformation plan. The purpose of the project, led by Leah Mayo, Center for Healthy Communities Coordinator, is to support Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties in preparing for a successful transition into a value-­based model of care. Value-based healthcare is a model in which providers are paid based on services provided and rewarded for improved patient outcomes. This model incentivizes providers to provide quality care to reduce chronic disease and improve quality of life for patients.

“Our health departments play a critical role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our communities. Creating the conditions for health department staff and their community partners to learn, plan and adapt to the transitioning healthcare system will benefit all residents in this region of the state,” says Dr. Ashley Wells, assistant dean for community engagement for the College of Health and Human Services.

The project will support health departments by assessing their capacity and resource needs for the implementation of new policies and procedures related to Medicaid and value-based care. Of the opportunity to assist health departments with the changing landscape of Medicaid, Mayo says, “This project will be instrumental in surfacing what we know and don’t know about how health departments will be impacted by these changes. Collaborative learning environments across counties will work to assess and identify what is needed to achieve success and continue providing quality care to our underserved, rural populations.”

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Originally published July 15, 2019.