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Coalition tackles Medicaid expansion, workforce readiness with Harvest grant

The Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness will focus on Virginia’s Medicaid expansion and build on its existing programs with a two-year grant of $929,720 from The Harvest Foundation.

The state’s Medicaid expansion will impact around 3,800 local residents. The Coalition will partner with the Department of Social Services to enroll uninsured adults who are newly-eligible for Medicaid by providing one-on-one application assistance.

The coalition also will focus on continuing its work in connecting patients and clients with employment opportunities and use those connections to move patients forward and maintain their health gains.

“We are proud of the ongoing relationship we have had with the Coalition,” said Sheryl Agee, impact officer and team leader at The Harvest Foundation. “They are a strong organization and an integral part of our local healthcare system. Their work supports the belief that education and income directly impact health outcomes, and likewise, health impacts the economic stability and vitality of our community. Through the health stabilization of patients and then connections to employment training and jobs, their work is a vital part of building a ready workforce for our community.”

The Coalition’s Health Connect Center will serve as a hub for employment assistance services and support the transition of existing Health Connect clients to Medicaid. According to the grant application, approximately 75 percent of Health Connect clients will be eligible for Medicaid. In addition, 95 percent of clients are working age (19-64) with 25 percent working full or part time.

The coalition will enhance services by improving its ability to connect patients not only with health services, but also workforce, educational and training services. Patients will be referred to United Way of Henry County and Martinsville’s “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World” program, and a referral system will be established with the Virginia Workforce Center.

In addition, the coalition will work with Community Recovery Program (a program of Piedmont Community Services) to establish job readiness and successful employment training workshops at the Health Connect Center. Through these joint partnerships, patients will receive help with job searches, resume writing, interviewing and other skills.

“The Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Wellness appreciates the confidence and opportunity to collaborate and partner with The Harvest Foundation,” said Mike Farley, executive director of the coalition. “The grant will be a positive step in furthering collaborative relationships with multiple agencies throughout Martinsville and Henry County to promote job growth and job development in a continuum of quality-focused, patient-centered care.”

The Coalition’s programming aligns with Harvest’s strategic plan under the workforce goal by providing workforce entry supports.

The Martinsville-Henry County Health Coalition operates Bassett Family Practice and Ridgeway Family Health, in addition to services available at the Health Connect Center. Other programs include Ladies First Mammography, Eyes Forward, medication assistance, the Diabetes Prevention Program, community fitness classes, and a variety of evidence-based educational classes such as chronic disease self-management and diabetes.

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