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Healthcare providers, community organizations team up to provide health care for the poor

October 18th, 2013 1:12 pm by Staff reports

Healthcare providers, community organizations team up to provide health care for the poor

Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority held a kickoff event Friday for the new “Know Your Numbers” health and fitness program at Robert E. Lee Apartments.

Several healthcare providers and community organizations are joining forces to help low-income and disadvantaged people improve their health.

The Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority held a kickoff Friday for the new "Know Your Numbers" health and fitness program at Robert E. Lee Apartments in downtown Kingsport.

Through the year-long pilot program, residents at Lee Apartments who signed up at the kickoff to participate, will receive free online healthcare screenings, including cholesterol and glucose testing, next Friday, Oct. 25. Women participants will also have access to free mammograms and pap smears.

After baseline testing and health assessments are completed, participating residents will meet with healthcare professionals to develop an action plan to improve their numbers. Throughout the year-long program, participants will receive periodic coaching from healthcare professionals, and be encouraged to stick with the program through incentives, including free onsite health and nutrition classes and a year-long membership to the Greater Kingsport YMCA. After one year, residents will undergo follow-up testing to measure their progress.

Partners include Wellmont Health System, Mountain States Health Alliance's Health Resources Center, Holston Medical Group's Healthy U, Rural Health Services Consortium, the Sullivan County Health Department, the YMCA of Greater Kingsport, Kingsport Tommorrow and Healthy Kingsport.

"This pilot program is a collaborative effort among many different healthcare providers and organizations in the community who have joined together to bring positive change in the lives of residents living at Lee Apartments," said Terry Cunningham, executive director of the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority. "If successful, we believe this program could be used as a pilot for other public housing developments in our region and across the nation to help improve the health and well being of disadvantaged residents."

Robert E. Lee Apartments, with 225 low-income residents in 128 units, is one of seven public housing developments operated by the KHRA.

The Know Your Numbers program is an early start project for KHRA's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning Grant. KHRA received a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning Grant in October 2012 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a revitalization plan for the midtown neighborhood, including Lee Apartments, Gibson Mill District, Cloud Apartments, Watauga Street District, North Center Street District, White City Historic District, Sullivan-Center Street District, Radial Streets District, Park Hill Historic District, Cherokee Village, Roller Street District, and the Downtown District. 

The focal point of the revitalization plan is Robert E. Lee Apartments.


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